Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Tolerance for Homosexuality in Latin America

Really interesting article in the Washington Post, based on a Pew Research Center report, about tolerance of homosexuality. Latin America is very tolerant compared to the rest of the world (especially less developed countries) and has become more tolerant over the past 6-7 years.

So why? On the surface, Latin America seems not to be an auspicious context for tolerance. It is heavily Catholic, though certainly not as much as in the past. The region does not have a history of protecting the rights of minority groups.

There is not a large literature on the topic, but there are indicators that we need to look at the groups pushing for change. Jordi Diez argues in a recent Comparative Political Studies article that we need to focus on well-organized social mobilization. Omar Encarnación argued in a 2011 Journal of Democracy article that the answer lay in the political strategies of activists, especially in terms of framing gay rights as human rights. There are political and cultural obstacles, but activists are finding ways to navigate them.


Anonymous,  2:45 PM  

The issue is more general. Latin America has less issue with the "Other" than most places. It's a region that generally celebrates diversity of language, ethnicity, age. Nationalism is present but very rarely flares into violence. Contrary to your post, I think this is more about the lack of organization. Left to their devices, one on one, most people get along well. It's in groups that we become stupid toward one another.

Brian c,  10:34 AM  

Javier corralled has written some good work on this tooic.

SaltShaker 8:42 AM  

It's interesting, everyone always starts the conversation about tolerance towards homosexuality in Latin America with Catholicism. The truth is, while ostensibly
Catholic, and most South Americans whom I know would say they are, the Catholicism here is not European traditional. It's more of an overlay on the historical traditions and customs of the indigenous cultures. As such, I think it has a very different influence on social issues, attitudes towards "the other", and, simply, daily life.

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP