Because We Are Human

Contesting US Support for Gender and Sexuality Human Rights Abroad

By Cynthia Burack

Subjects: Political Science, Public Policy, Queer Studies, Lesbian / Gay Studies, International Relations
Series: SUNY series in Queer Politics and Cultures
Hardcover : 9781438470139, 294 pages, June 2018
Paperback : 9781438470146, 294 pages, January 2019

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Table of contents

Introduction: Putting the SOGI in Human Rights

1. The US Government and SOGI Human Rights Abroad: The Early Years

2. SOGI Rights Are Human Rights, and Human Rights Are SOGI Rights

3. The US Government and SOGI Human Rights: After Geneva

4. No Human Right to Sodomy: Christian Conservative Opposition to SOGI Human Rights

5. Dispensing Human Rights? Critical Humanists and SOGI Human Rights

Afterword Reflections on SOGI Human Rights and Democracy

Appendix A Barack Obama, Presidential Memorandum
Appendix B Hillary Clinton, Remarks in Recognition of International Human Rights Day

Offers a complete empirical account of US government programs, policies, and interventions outside the United States on behalf of the human rights of LGBTQ people.


Finalist for the 2018 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award in the LGBT category

Around the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people continue to be threatened, attacked, arrested, tortured, and sometimes executed just for being sexual or gender minorities. Since the final months of the Clinton administration, agencies and officials of the US government have been engaging in programs and projects whose stated purposes are to serve goals of justice and equity for LGBTQ people outside the United States. Because We Are Human gives readers an inside look at US sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) human rights assistance programs. Cynthia Burack explores settings where indigenous and transnational human rights advocates meet to fund and strategize SOGI human rights movements. This book also examines key arguments against these programs, policies, and interventions that originate on both the conservative right and the progressive academic left. Burack ultimately recommends support for a US commitment to SOGI human rights and programs that serve the needs of LGBTQ people.

Cynthia Burack is Professor of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the Ohio State University. She is the author of Sin, Sex, and Democracy: Antigay Rhetoric and the Christian Right and Tough Love: Sexuality, Compassion, and the Christian Right, both also published by SUNY Press.


"Thorough and thought-provoking … In Because We Are Human, Cynthia Burack's insights help to shape a smart, comprehensive picture of US involvement in the global fight for LGBTQ rights. " — Foreword Reviews