Over the Rainbow: The Dilemmas of a ‘Gay and Lesbian and Democratic’ State
Area Studies and Its Discontents MESAAS Conference, Columbia University, February 22-23, 2018, Working Paper
18 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2022
Date Written: 2018
This paper takes inspiration from the emergent concept within queer theory of utopia. Heeding this call, the paper resorts to a paradigm of legal futurism and imagines a gay and lesbian and democratic state. It calls this state Oz. The paper examines how Oz can maintain a commitment to gay and lesbian identity while balancing its promise of democracy. It explores two central themes. First, it contemplates whether it is a viable concept at all to have a state that stands for gay and lesbian identity and democracy at the same time. Second, the paper examines these tensions by looking at Oz's Law of Return. The paper walks through the tensions imminent to the concept of a “gay and lesbian and democratic” state within the law, and argues that the Law of Return embodies these tensions in a way that is typical in a liberal democracy. It suggests that resistance and opposition to this law would be an attempt to de-legitimize the gay and lesbian people’s right of self-determination.
Keywords: gay and lesbian state; gay and lesbian people; queer nationalism
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