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Title:Somewhere over the rainbow nation: gay, lesbian and bisexual activism in South Africa
Author:Thoreson, Ryan RichardISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
interest groups
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03057070802259969
Abstract:The author addresses the apparent paradox that South Africa's gay, lesbian and bisexual (GLB) movement, although opposed by the vast majority of the population, has progressed much faster since democratization in 1994 than other GLB movements worldwide. Why have the movement's legal victories - especially on same-sex marriage, which is little discussed in the scholarly literature - not been overturned by a hostile public? The author's answer considers the political alignments of the postapartheid era, the tactical responses of the movement and its opponents, and the attempts of both sides to site their arguments within the broader masterframes of liberation or tradition. The GLB movement has succeeded because stable political alignments allow it to concentrate on lobbying and litigation, where it has compellingly argued that its own agenda dovetails with that of the ruling elite. The countermovement, in contrast, has focused on electoral politics, has lacked internal cohesion, and has been unable to craft a message that resonates with the beliefs and values of postapartheid nationalism - weaknesses that to date have impeded popular opposition from interfering with the GLB movement's legal victories and that are likely to continue doing so unless elite alignments change. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]