Is Democracy Bad for LGBT+ Rights?

Issue Date July 2024
Volume 35
Issue 3
Page Numbers 131–148
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The historical bond between democracy and LGBT+ rights is unraveling globally. With gender and sexuality issues gaining political prominence, anti-LGBT+ forces are exploiting democratic institutions — both majoritarian and nonmajoritarian — to successfully curtail LGBT+ rights. Can democracy still protect and advance LGBT+ rights? This essay contends that as recent empirical developments challenge the longstanding connection between democracy and LGBT+ rights, they also call for a conceptual reassessment. Rather than viewing LGBT+ rights as an outcome of democracy, this essay proposes treating them as constitutive of democracy, particularly in its liberal form. It further offers normative as well as pragmatic justifications for this conceptual shift. 

About the Authors

Kristopher Velasco

Kristopher Velasco is assistant professor of sociology at Princeton University.

View all work by Kristopher Velasco

Siddhartha Baral

Siddhartha Baral is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at University of California, San Diego, and dissertation fellow at the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation.

View all work by Siddhartha Baral

Yun (Nancy) Tang

Yun (Nancy) Tang is a PhD candidate in the Department of Politics at Princeton University.

View all work by Yun (Nancy) Tang

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