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Canary in the Mine

Richard Coles examines the tensions inherent in the way gay and lesbian rights have become a Western yardstick for the measurement of global human rights.

Richard Coles completes his excavation of same-sex desire across the ages, focusing on the recent history which has seen western societies change dramatically in their attitudes to same-sex relationships.This self-proclaimed enlightenment is however now being used as a measure of human rights across the globe.

That creates enormous tension, given that some countries, particularly those in Sub-saharan Africa and with a predominantly Muslim culture, see this attitude as neo-colonial.

Richard talks to gay rights activists in Egypt, Greece, China, India and the United States about their interpretation of these changing attitudes. He also hears from those debating whether or not gay identity is really an effective way of moving forward in the face of the apparent impasse between human rights and religious and cultural beliefs.

Producer: Tom Alban

First broadcast in September 2011.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 3 Aug 2012 22:00

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