Foreword Reviews

Because We Are Human

Contesting US Support for Gender and Sexuality Human Rights Abroad

2018 INDIES Finalist
Finalist, LGBT (Adult Nonfiction)

Cynthia Burack’s Because We Are Human is an intelligent look at how national governments address the preservation of LGBTQ rights, especially as influenced by the United States.

Thorough and thought-provoking, this academic book discusses different cultures and religions around the world and their views on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) issues, focusing on how the United States has chosen to support LGBTQ communities abroad. The government does so in part through meetings and events, and it also helps with the development of laws to protect SOGI communities. Burack examines how that support has impacted international relations.

Burack uncovers evidence that government support of LGBTQ communities is not entirely selfless. It’s about gaining votes, achieving leverage over certain countries, and the appeasement of important advocates and groups. Progress is both a matter of actually benefiting LGBTQ communities and of bolstering political interests, the author shows.

Discussions regarding the protection and funding of LGBTQ groups have frequently been contentious. With its incorporation of factual data, interviews and speeches, court cases, and excerpts from similar literature on the topic, Because We Are Human will inform knowledgeable approaches to such discussions.

Burack’s extensive research on human rights, LGBTQ rights, and the perceived differences between the two draws from speeches, quotes, laws, memorandums, and personal experiences, fairly demonstrating different perspectives. For example, she quotes Hillary Clinton’s 2011 speech in Geneva:

Being LGBT does not make you less human. And that is why gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.

In Because We Are Human, Cynthia Burack’s insights help to shape a smart, comprehensive picture of US involvement in the global fight for LGBTQ rights.

Reviewed by Katie Asher

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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