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Homosexuality and Crime - Conclusion

people lesbian gay continue

Today gay and lesbian movements and scholars continue to grapple with the legacy of modern and premodern paradigms of sexuality that continue to contend for supremacy in many places. A queer theory school of thought, manifested briefly in the early 1990s as a queer nation movement, critiques the historical peculiarity of the modern homosexual, calling for its deconstruction. Concepts of sin, crime, and sickness all depend on the peculiar process by which heterosexuals produce and reinforce a category of the sexual other through police, medicine, and the mass media. But on the other hand, the queer critique has become possible only because a great many people have been willing to embrace gay and lesbian identities, which means standing up for a right to love and live with persons of one's choice, and standing against the malevolent designations propagated by states, churches, and culture producers. Today, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered identities and cultures continue to hold enormous appeal for those struggling in the "pursuit of happiness" against the forces of repression. Pride celebrations have boomed in three decades from a small gathering in New York's Central Park to a worldwide festival, counting among the largest of celebrations in such cities as Toronto, Sydney, and San Francisco, and serving as symbols around which people mobilize for the first time in small towns and new countries. Despite (or perhaps in opposition to) official silence, or active suppression, people are mobilizing as homosexual people in such places as China, Cuba, and Zimbabwe to claim social and cultural space for themselves.

Criminal law remains a tool held in abeyance in some jurisdictions, but nevertheless ready-at-hand when clerics, police, politicians, or other homophobes choose to wrap themselves in the flag of "virtue" by attacking "vice." Vague laws governing censorship, public conduct, and indecency continue to provide warrant for suspending the freedom of speech and association of homosexual people, even where homosexual "acts" are legal. The status of gay and lesbian people today functions as something of an index of the willingness of democratic societies to follow through on their self-proclaimed principles of guaranteeing equality and freedom of their citizens, acting as individuals, in households, and in communities.

Homosexuality and Crime - Bibliography [next] [back] Homosexuality and Crime - From Criminal To Human Rights Law

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