Building: Anthropole Floor: 5 Room: 5060
The way societies deal with sexual minorities is seen by some as a litmus test for openness and pluralism in Post socialist Europe (e.g. Kon 1993). On the one hand, rights of sexual minorities are discussed within the frame of universal human rights that need to be protected by “modern” democracies; on the other hand they are seen as degeneration of cultural, religious and traditional values. These different perspectives are the dividing line between growing acceptance and more legal rights versus discrimination and (state-sanctioned) homophobia.
This panel tackles these diverging developments within European societies. With different time-spans and success, LGBTIQ* organizations and social movements have managed to influence, design and implement public policies on anti-discrimination issues. They change and challenge cultural norms and social institutions (family, marriage, work), build communities and self-help networks, as well as politically and legally mobilize for the rights and needs of the sexual minority communities across Europe. At the same time, antipluralist and homophobic movements and parties are on the rise. We reframe the research perspective, taking the Post-socialist countries as a “trendsetter” for Western Europe. We argue that an adequate reflection of the status quo of LGBTIQ* needs to look at homonationalisms, homophobia and equal rights from a comparative European perspective.