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Out in the PeripheryLatin America's Gay Rights Revolution$
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Omar G. Encarnación

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199356645

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199356645.001.0001

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Gay Rights and the Paradox of Brazil

Gay Rights and the Paradox of Brazil

(p.151) Chapter 5 Gay Rights and the Paradox of Brazil
Out in the Periphery

Omar G. Encarnación

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines why Brazil, a country famous for celebrating sexual diversity and in possession of Latin America’s largest and most politically connected LGBT community, fell behind Argentina in legislating gay rights. The chapter discusses, first, three factors that have made gay rights an uphill struggle in Brazil: an entrenched homophobia in the culture at large that feeds from the country’s infamous inequality; a politically influential Evangelical movement with tremendous political sway; and an inauspicious legislative environment, especially a deeply fragmented party system, that makes enacting legislation quite difficult. The focus of the analysis, however, is on the differences between Brazil and Argentina regarding the crafting of the campaign for gay rights. In contrast to Argentina’s human rights-infused gay rights campaign, the campaign for gay rights in Brazil was framed as a political struggle and depended largely on lobbying the legislature and collaboration with the state.

Keywords:   Brazil, AIDS, gays, Workers’ Party, Lula, Cardozo, Rousseff

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