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Synopsis

This book argues that there is an important connection between ethical resistance to British imperialism and the ethical discovery of gay rights. It examines the roots of liberal resistance in Britain and resistance to patriarchy in the USA, showing the importance of fighting the demands of patriarchal manhood and womanhood to countering imperialism. Advocates of feminism and gay rights are key because they resist the gender binary's role in rationalizing sexism and homophobia. The connection between the rise of gay rights and the fall of empire illuminates questions of the meaning of democracy and universal human rights as shared human values that have appeared since World War II. The book casts doubt on the thesis that arguments for gay rights must be extrinsic to democracy and reflect Western values. To the contrary, gay rights arise from within liberal democracy, and its critics polemically use such opposition to cover and rationalize their own failures of democracy.

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