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Global HomophobiaStates, Movements, and the Politics of Oppression$
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Meredith L. Weiss and Michael J. Bosia

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037726

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037726.001.0001

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Why States Act

Why States Act

Homophobia and Crisis

(p.30) 2 Why States Act
Global Homophobia

Michael J. Bosia

University of Illinois Press

This chapter studies how the state when challenged is served by homophobia, what challenges homophobia addresses, and what problems it seeks to resolve. These phenomena are referred to as “state homophobia.” While “state” to some suggests law and policy, the chapter considers state homophobia as the totality of strategies and tools, both in policy and in mobilizations, through which holders of and contenders over state authority invoke sexual minorities as objects of condemnation and targets of persecution. The chapter examines the motif of governance in terms of sexuality, and considers political homophobia as embedded in forms of sexual governance and personhood. The framework follows three dimensions, focusing on purpose and will to target agency even when constrained, and on the work done by homophobia in periods of instability or uncertainty.

Keywords:   homophobia, state homophobia, law, policy, mobilizations, sexual minorities, sexuality, sexual governance, personhood

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