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An ACES Lecture by Andrew Reynolds. This a hybrid event. By registering below, you can either attend the lecture in person or online.

Event details of The Right Gays
Date 7 December 2021
Time 15:30 -17:00
Location Roeterseilandcampus - building E
Room E1.51

No mainstream political party robustly advocated for gay rights for the first century of modern democracy’s evolution. Then, gathering momentum in the 1970s, a cluster of left wing and liberal Western European parties begin to embrace gay and lesbian rights as part of a new project injecting individual liberty within collective social democratic norms. These early adopters were joined by a few conservative parties in the 1990s and 2000s. Some of these center right converts became greater evangelical true-believers in the gay equality cause than the early adopters on the left. Conservative parties in Scandinavia, the Netherlands, and Britain, trumpeted their newly found enthusiasm for gay rights as a badge of modernity and political maturity. There is a clear pattern of embrace driven by changing social values, the idiosyncratic agency of leadership, and declining religiosity. Today the right wing lesbian, gay or bisexual parliamentarian is far from an exception. Since 1976, nearly 150 self-identifying LGB parliamentarians from right of center parties have taken office.

More recently a xenophobic and islamophobic radical right has re-emerged with anti-immigration white supremacy as its raison-d'etre. Radical right parties, short on core values but long on opportunism, invoked the nationalism of gay rights as a club to beat back the Muslim immigrant. The irony is that gay rights only became a core national value because the center right had embraced them a decade or so before. But radical right parties do not embrace gay rights in those places where ‘homosexuality’ continues to be seen as a foreign trait. In part because there, the right did not unshackle itself from the church.

While the arc of the gay rights movement bends towards freedom, in many countries the T has been jettisoned from the LGB. When the left is slow to adopt, the right sees little gain in moving on the issue, nor is disposed to lead from the front.

Andrew Reynolds is a faculty member in the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and a Professor of Political Science (on leave) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Reynolds is one of the leading scholars on LGBT representation in the world. His latest book ‘The Children of Harvey Milk: How LGBTQ Politicians Changed the World’ has been lauded as a groundbreaking study of the impact of out queer elected officials.

Roeterseilandcampus - building E

Room E1.51

Roetersstraat 11
1018 WB Amsterdam