Abstract Since the late 1990s, a growing body of literature has researched the cross-national diffusion of policies that affect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities. Studies stemming from world society consider how state ties to newly emergent global norms regarding the treatment of LGBT communities are a driver of this process. A shortcoming of these studies, however, is that they do not adequately consider which type of ties to global norms are most meaningful for policy adoption. Considering the ever-increasing notion that LGBT rights are human rights, this study contrasts the role of human rights international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) and LGBT INGOs on LGBT policy diffusion between 1991 and 2015. While previous studies assume a global norm exists, focus on a narrow band of policies, or restrict analyses to key geographic areas, this study develops a new measure of global LGBT norms and offers a comprehensive LGBT Policy Index for a global sample of 156 countries. Through pooled cross-sectional time series with fixed effects, the results demonstrate that human rights INGOs are not adequate vehicles for pressuring national adoption of LGBT policies. Instead, targeted advocacy efforts, embodied through LGBT INGOs, are required in order for policy adoption to transpire. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) movement is often heralded as a successful, modern movement due to the accomplishments gained (Kollman and Waites 2009). In addition to changing cultural perceptions on sexual orientation and gender identity (Loftus 2001), the movement has demonstrated particular acumen for influencing public policy. When the movement gained mainstream prominence after the 1969 Stonewall Riots in the United States, only 63 countries allowed for same-sex sexual acts between consenting adults (Asal, Sommer, and Harwood 2013). By 2015, 118 countries allowed these acts to occur (Carroll and Itaborahy 2015). In 2000, the Netherlands became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage; since then, 18 additional countries have followed suit, with several more offering civil unions (Kollman 2007; Paternotte 2015). Progress has not been linear, however, as countermovements and targeted violence have risen as a result (Ungar 2000). Regressive policies have also grown, including the “anti-homosexuality” law in Uganda (Tamale 2009) and “anti-propaganda” laws (Persson 2015), and eight countries have laws outlining the death penalty for those engaging in same-sex acts (Carroll and Itaborahy 2015). Despite setbacks, there is a need to explain the processes behind the increasing adoption of LGBT-related policies in recent decades. Since the 1990s, discourses between transnational LGBT organizations and transnational human rights regimes have converged (Kollman and Waites 2009). Activists increasingly use terms like “LGBT human rights” as a means to leverage existing human rights treaties and to advance protections for LGBT communities (Baisley 2016; O’Flaherty and Fisher 2008). Moreover, broad-based human rights organizations, like Amnesty International, increasingly promote LGBT initiatives within their work (Mertus 2007). Drawing upon neo-institutional perspectives on norm diffusion (Meyer et al. 1997), the explanation behind LGBT policy adoptions could be attributed to country embeddedness within a global context increasingly agreeing that “gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights” (Clinton 2011). In this perspective, to explain national adoption of LGBT policies, one should examine how countries are tied to transnational human rights institutions. Some studies question the relationship between the LGBT movement and human rights institutions (Hagland 1997), suggesting that alternative explanations are necessary. For instance, Ayoub (2015), when looking at LGBT policy adoption in European countries, found that the number of LGBT organizations themselves had a significant association with policy outcomes. When looking at other social movements as examples, such as the international women’s movement, research has demonstrated the necessary work of specific women’s organizations to enact feminist legislation (Htun and Weldon 2012), despite the generally agreed-upon idea that women’s rights are human rights. Therefore, a question remains: is the expansion of nation-state recognition for LGBT individuals the result of organizing done by transnational human rights groups, generally, or, rather, the strategic work of LGBT international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) in particular? To answer the above question, this study utilizes cross-sectional time series with fixed effects to assess the global processes influencing LGBT policy adoption in 156 countries between 1991 and 2015. A wide variety of policies chronicled in the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association’s (ILGA) State Sponsored Homophobia Report are combined into a single measure: the LGBT Policy Index. This index is an improvement over prior research because such studies have been narrow in policy scope (Asal, Sommer, and Harwood 2013; Frank, Camp, and Boutcher 2010; Frank and McEneaney 1999; Kollman 2007) or limited to regional measures (Ayoub 2015; Fernández and Lutter 2013). To predict a state’s LGBT Policy Index score, I look at measures of country connectedness to the global context through human rights INGOs (HRINGOs) and LGBT INGOs (LINGOs). Contrasting the role of HRINGOs with LINGOs will help clarify if broad-based, human rights organizations are effective advocates for initiatives put forth by sexual minorities or whether there is a need for a targeted movement. Defining LGBT Policies of Interest For this study, an LGBT policy is defined as a law that is adopted, either through judicial ruling, executive decree, or legislative approval at the national level, with specific implications for those of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, or engaging in same-sex practices. Although the adoption of a policy does not necessitate an effective implementation of that policy, it does give insights into nation-state preferences and can lay the groundwork for eventual impact on lived experiences (Htun and Weldon 2012). Most policies under consideration aim to promote recognition and equality, but given the reality of the regulation of non-heteronormative identities, targeted, discriminatory policies are within the scope of this project as well. Additionally, while some broad social policies may be particularly relevant to LGBT communities, such as school bullying (Birkett, Espelage, and Koenig 2009) or homelessness (Abramovich 2012), to be included within the context of this study there must be specific intentionality to target an aspect of LGBT communities. Previous research has shown that there are key types of LGBT-related policies that have been applied across a range of countries (Fernández and Lutter 2013; Frank, Camp, and Boutcher 2010; Frank and McEneaney 1999; Kollman 2007; Waaldijk and Bonini-Baraldi 2006). These policies—ones that have been implemented across multiple contexts, countries, and/or cultures—are the policies most likely to be subject to transnational forces.1 To illustrate the expansion of such LGBT policies over time, a selected set of policies are presented within figure 1. As highlighted, bans on employment discrimination increase from less than 1 percent in 1991 to over 32 percent in 2015. The legalization of same-sex acts, which have been the subject of several diffusion studies to date (Asal, Sommer, and Harwood 2013; Frank, Camp, and Boutcher 2010; Frank and McEneaney 1999), has the highest rates of adoption due, in part, to being an initial hurdle for further policy reforms. Since the early 1990s, a range of LGBT policies have begun to be adopted as the international LGBT movement grows and diversifies its policy priorities. Taken as a whole, a coherent policy portfolio begins to emerge for transnational advocates. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Growth of selected LGBT policies, 1991–2015 Source: ILGA's State Sponsored Homophobia Report. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Growth of selected LGBT policies, 1991–2015 Source: ILGA's State Sponsored Homophobia Report. Why LGBT Policies Diffuse Across Countries Global Norm Development Within an ever globalized world, sociologists and international relations scholars increasingly look at how global forces shape domestic behavior. One such approach, guided by world society theory, examines how isomorphism, or the structural conformity and similarity throughout the world system, is reflective of a consensus achieved by countries, transnational actors, and international organizations (Boli and Thomas 1997; Frank, Hironaka, and Schofer 2000; Meyer et al. 1997). Countries, in an effort to be viewed as “modern,” comply with emergent expectations, either due to agreement or because the cost of resistance becomes too burdensome. Using this theoretical frame, researchers have been able to explain the diffusion of a range of policies, such as gender quotas (Hughes, Krook, and Paxton 2015), state response to domestic violence (Htun and Weldon 2012), and environmental regulations (Longhofer et al. 2016). Since the late 1990s, researchers have started to investigate how this broader global context specifically impacts LGBT policies. When looking at the decriminalization of same-sex acts, or sodomy laws, Frank and McEneaney (1999) argue that “a basic shift in world models of society…prompted a world-level redefinition of sex and, in turn, global transformations in its criminal regulation” (870). Stemming from this critical shift in the reconceptualization of sex itself, other researchers have looked to see how ties to the transnational space influence a broader range of LGBT policies, such as same-sex unions (Kollman 2007) and multiple policies in European Union countries (Ayoub 2015). Each of these studies demonstrate that domestic policy debates surrounding the regulation of sexual orientation and gender identity rights increasingly have global-level influence shaping them (see: Paternotte  in particular). Although these articles have generally framed the global context as having a positive influence on the expansion of recognition for sexual minorities, there are important nuances to recognize. In their 2013 edited volume, Weiss and Bosia highlight how political leaders preemptively harden opposition to LGBT rights as a response to global discourse, even when this discourse does not reflect domestic organizations’ policy priorities. Similarly, Long (2005) argues that the growing attention placed on LGBT rights has resulted in backlash against LGBT communities, particularly in non-Western countries, such as Nigeria, Iran, and Eastern Europe. Despite this, however, progress is not limited to just countries within the democratic West (Drucker 2000). Therefore: Hypothesis 1: The development of the global context surrounding LGBT rights will result in more progressive state LGBT policies. Domestic Ties to Transnational Advocacy: Are LGBT Rights Human Rights? Although the global context operates outside the bounded nation-state and broadly impacts all actors (Paxton, Hughes, and Green 2006), ties to transnational advocacy are country-centric, thus varying the degree to which countries may be subject to this outside influence (Beckfield 2003). In order to properly assess how domestic connections to transnational advocacy ties may influence LGBT rights, however, one must first understand the means through which the transnational LGBT movement has been presented on the world stage. While giving a speech in Cairo, Egypt, for International Human Rights Day, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that “gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights” (2011). This quotation is illustrative of two concepts important to understanding the diffusion of LGBT rights: 1) it reflects the global context, as previously discussed, of accepting LGBT rights as an expectation of modern nation-state behavior; and 2) it epitomizes the rhetorical effort since the 1990s of connecting the transnational LGBT rights movement to existing human rights arguments. When Western, gay liberation movements were brought to mainstream attention after the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City, the movement did not use a human rights frame to discuss its priorities (Valocchi 1999). Instead, the emphasis was on collectivist liberation from multiple forms of oppression, similar to activists in Latin America advocating for queer liberation (Encarnación 2011). Beginning in the early 1990s, however, the discourse converged between the LGBT movement and transnational human rights regimes (Kollman and Waites 2009; Mertus 2007). Categorizing sexual identities within a “minority rights” frame planted the seeds for LGBT activists to begin using human rights language to advance their agenda (Valocchi 1999). Simultaneously, with the establishment of ILGA in 1978, transnational LGBT networks began to form and conduct professionalized political lobbying efforts (Kollman and Waites 2009); having a human rights discourse helped facilitate this level of organizing to international bodies. In 1991, Amnesty International decided to include sexual orientation within the scope of their “prisoners of conscience” letter-writing campaigns (Tremblay and Paternotte 2015). This was the first notable case of a broad human rights organization picking up the mantle of LGBT causes. Following this, other human rights organizations, such as Human Rights Watch, joined as well in what Mertus (2007) refers to as the “assimilationist period” of the LGBT movement. Along with the establishment of more international LGBT NGOs, such as the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, now OutRight International, a growing transnational advocacy network started to exert pressure on international institutions with the characterization of LGBT rights as human rights. Although sexual orientation and gender identity are not explicitly protected within their own UN treaty, similar to the Conventions on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), significant progress has been made by activists within the UN system. Baisley (2016) identifies the history how LGBT advocacy has strategically targeted the UN through human rights treaties, covenants, resolutions, and other important rulings and statements. For example, in 1999, the UN body overseeing CEDAW stated in a review that “lesbianism be reconceptualized as a sexual orientation and that penalties for its practice be abolished” (CEDAW 1999). Furthermore, in the 2000–2006 review process, the governing body of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights criticized 13 countries for their discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation as it applies to same-sex sexual relations, prohibition of employment discrimination, unequal age of consent for sexual activity between same-sex and different-sex partners, and lack of explicit mentions of sexual orientation in anti-discrimination programs (O’Flaherty and Fisher 2008). A dedicated decision to place emphasis on expanding current international human rights law to cover sexual orientation and gender identity came in 2006 through the creation of the Yogyakarta Principles. These 29 principles, established by legal scholars, academics, activists, and NGO leaders in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, outlined how LGBT communities were already protected within existing human rights obligations (O’Flaherty and Fisher 2008). Research has demonstrated the influence this human rights frame has had on UN advocacy and how domestic organizations articulate for LGBT rights within their respective home countries (Kollman and Waites 2009). Given the concerted effort encouraged by transnational LGBT activists to incorporate topics of sexual orientation and gender identity into human rights frameworks, one type of transnational advocacy ties that could influence state adoption of LGBT policies are those to human rights INGOs. This claim is supported by the fact that “INGOs create, carry, and embody the world culture in the world polity, diffusing policy scripts to countries” (Beckfield 2003, 402) and the history of human rights INGOs actively incorporating LGBT causes within the scope of their work. Therefore: Hypothesis 2: Country-level ties to human rights transnational advocacy networks via human rights INGOs will result in more progressive domestic LGBT policies. The Need for Targeted Social Movements When the transnational LGBT movement first began to move in a human rights direction, Paul EeNam Park Hagland (1997) critiqued such a strategy on multiple grounds, including: 1) the universalizing of sexual identities to fit within a Western mold; and 2) the slowness of human rights organizations to fully commit to LGBT initiatives. These two critiques, in particular, are important for understanding the type of transnational advocacy ties that are necessary to hold countries accountable to the global context. Hagland highlights that due to the universal nature of human rights, there will be challenges to incorporating such a culturally relative subject, sexuality, into a totalizing discourse. Hagland asks: If there is no universal pattern of sex and gender identities, then how is a universally applicable guarantee of rights possible? In other words, if LGBT means something different in different cultures and different time periods, how is it possible to establish a fixed relationship between rights and the beneficiaries of those rights, even if international human rights treaties…are revised to include sexual orientation and (trans)gender identity? (371) This critique poses the question: are human rights INGOs flexible enough vehicles to advocate for LGBT communities around the world? Given their very nature, human rights organizations are necessarily universal in their application of rights for various populations. Since “the words ‘gay,’ ‘lesbian,’ and ‘bisexual’ are predominantly Western terms which may not adequately or accurately define individuals” (Hagland 1997, 371), human rights organizations may not have a deep enough knowledge of sexuality to localize terminology and advocacy. Following this, human rights organizations may have another limitation: the disconnect between human rights and domestic societies in general. Petchesky (2000) highlights how human rights institutions discuss a right to “privacy” in lieu of discussing sexuality, but the conceptualization of “privacy” is not a culturally universal idea. Others, such as Puar (2007), have unearthed how Western governments threaten other countries in the name of “human rights.” In doing so, “concepts of ‘rights’ have sometimes been advanced in local contexts where poor individuals lack the education, language or resources to claim and operationalize them, contributing to feelings of disempowerment” (Kollman and Waites 2009, 7). In continuing Hagland’s critique, the questionable relationship that human rights organizations have with some local communities further problematizes how these institutions can advocate for LGBT identities outside a universalizing discourse. Second, a question remains about how serious human rights organizations take LGBT priorities (Picq and Thiel 2015). Although Amnesty International began considering sexual orientation within its “prisoners of conscience” campaigns in 1991, this took place after 17 years of lobbying efforts from ILGA (Hagland 1997). In 2001, after the “Queen Boat” in Egypt was raided under the suspicion of gay men hanging out, “a significant number of [national] organizations rejected not only the idea of the right to express diverse sexual orientations but also refused to represent the Queen Boat defendants on that grounds that homosexuality is not part of Egyptian culture” (Pratt 2007, 142). These cases highlight the variability in how individual human rights organizations adhere to LGBT rights as human rights—some may even reject the notion outright. This suggests that an alternative type of transnational advocacy tie may be necessary to hold countries accountable. To date, there has been little research on how domestic ties to LGBT INGOs (LINGOs) influence the diffusion of LGBT policies cross-nationally. Studies that do investigate the relationship between the global context and LGBT policy adoption have generally relied on other indicators to determine the embeddedness of a country in the world society (Frank, Camp, and Boutcher 2010; Frank and McEneaney 1999; Hildebrandt 2014). One analysis of European Union countries focused only on domestic LGBT organizations that had affiliations with two prominent LINGOs (Ayoub 2015). Due to limited research on LINGOs, specifically, evidence from the international women’s movement helps provide support for why targeted organizations may serve better to “embody the world culture” (Beckfield 2003) surrounding LGBT issues. World society scholars looking into the diffusion of feminist policies generally consider country ties to transnational women’s networks as an explanatory factor (Htun and Weldon 2012). Hughes, Krook, and Paxton (2015) argue that rather than evaluating country ties to INGOs, broadly, to understand the adoption of gender quotas, researchers should pay attention to ties to women’s INGOs specifically. The authors claim that since “women’s political rights are generally more controversial…outcomes require specific attention to women’s organizations” (359). The findings from Hughes et al. and others (Bush 2011; Paxton, Hughes, and Green 2006; True and Minstrom 2001) confirm that domestic ties to targeted organizations are a key indicator for how susceptible a country is to the global context. Taken in whole, the literature on the international women’s movement illustrates that despite the idea of “women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights” (Clinton 1995), there is a need for a targeted movement. The adoption of feminist policies has been contingent on the world of feminist organizations holding countries accountable to global expectations. Considering that the international LGBT movement is in an even more nascent stage at being developed into human rights definitions, LINGOs may be even more critical to understanding the diffusion of LGBT policies since the early 1990s. Therefore: Hypothesis 3: Country-level ties to LGBT-specific transnational advocacy networks via LGBT INGOs will result in more progressive domestic LGBT policies. Global Context—Transnational Advocacy Interactions Previous scholarship into norm diffusion has identified an important interaction that takes place between domestic factors and the global context. Keck and Sikkink (1998, 12–13) refer to one such process as boomerang effects, which occur when a domestic movement appeals to international forces to pressure local action. Boomerang effects allow for a top-down and bottom-up “squeeze” on the state (Schofer and Longhofer 2011, 549). This argument suggests that a growth in domestic ties to transnational networks will have a positive interaction effect with the development of a robust global context. Recent studies, however, have suggested a more complicated association between these two forces. Hughes, Krook, and Paxton (2015) reasoned that when it came to adopting gender quotas, there was a negative interaction between the growth of domestic ties and global expectations. The authors suggest that this recoiling effect (Hughes, Krook, and Paxton 2015, 359) may be the result of two processes at play: 1) the growth of women’s organizations signifying an increase in diversity of agendas and “divisions in priorities” (368); or 2) “increased perceptions of threat felt by male elites” (368) creates countermovement against feminist outcomes. Alternatively, domestic organizations may actively resist global scripts in favor of local priorities (Hertel 2006). Given how complex and contextually defined sexuality is, this could very well be the case in the LGBT arena as well. Therefore: Hypothesis 4a: As global context pertaining to LGBT norms increases, there will be a positive interaction with country ties to HR/LGBT INGOs as it relates to domestic adoption of LGBT policies. Hypothesis 4b: As global context pertaining to LGBT norms increases, there will be a negative interaction with country ties to HR/LGBT INGOs as it relates to domestic adoption of LGBT policies. National characteristics While world society and transnational theories emphasize global processes, it is necessary to recognize the uniqueness of each country as it relates to policy adoptions. The variations in political, religious, economic, and cultural standards can greatly determine the openness of a state to adhere to a global norm (Frank, Hironaka, and Schofer 2000; Volden, Ting, and Carpenter 2008). An important national character is the level of democratization, highlighted by the substantial body of evidence relating democratic practices to how well a state respects human rights (Hafner-Burton and Tsutsui 2007). Additionally, higher levels of democracy coincide with legislative protections for minorities (Inglehart and Norris 2013). A more democratic country, therefore, should enable more LGBT policy adoptions. The portion of female members of national legislatures could be an important factor in the advancement of LGBT initiatives, given the interweaving complexities of gender and sexuality (Robinson and Spivey 2007; Seidman 2009). Additionally, growth in the proportion of female parliamentarians tends to be coupled with an increase in the proposals regarding social welfare and minority concerns (Melander 2005; Paxton, Kunovich, and Hughes 2007; Thomas 1991). Another common indicator of human rights practices is population density (Henderson 1993; Keith 1999; Poe and Tate 1994). This may be due to the fact that increases in population density could cause competition for resources or “the threat (real or perceived) that large populations pose to entrenched regimes” (Cole 2012, 1148–49). Country “porousness” is another indicator of the degree to which outside ideas can influence domestic policy approaches. There are specifically two aspects of “porousness” relevant to this particular context: social and economic. Social “porousness,” as indicated by information flows across countries, has a significant association with LGBT policy adoption throughout the European Union (Ayoub 2015). Additionally, other studies looking into human rights found that the degree to which trade comprises a country’s overall GDP significantly influences human rights practices (Hafner-Burton 2005, 2013). The last national characteristic that could affect this process is level of development. Improvements to economic status of the country should increase LGBT policy adoption because economic growth is associated with greater political inclusion and levels of democracy (Doorenspleet 2004; Huntington 1991; Ramirez, Soysal, and Shanahan 1997). Data and Methods This analysis investigates LGBT policies adopted between 1991 and 2015, in three-year intervals. Following cross-national research conventions, I include 156 UN-recognized countries with a population of at least 500,000 in 1991. The early 1990s serves as the starting point in this analysis because gatekeeper HRINGOs like Amnesty International (Mertus 2007) began to first recognize LGBT issues at this time. The 1990s also effectively marks the beginning of the transnational institutionalization of the LGBT movement (Kollman and Waites 2009).2 Countries that do not have UN recognition in 1991 enter the analysis once this status has been reached. Dependent Variable The LGBT Policy Index is an improvement to other measures by broadening the scope of LGBT policies under consideration (Asal, Sommer, and Harwood 2013; Frank and McEneaney 1999; Kollman 2007) and moving beyond regional considerations (Ayoub 2015). I code 14 federal policies from ILGA’s State Sponsored Homophobia Report to generate the index, a source often used to document cross-national LGBT policies (Ayoub 2013; Frank, Camp, and Boutcher 2010; Frank and McEneaney 1999; see LaViolette (2009) for limitations):3 1–2) (Il)Legality of Same-Sex Acts:4 The presence of a law declaring that same-sex actions are criminalized/not criminalized between consenting adults. For example, in 2003 the US Supreme Court ruled that anti-sodomy laws were illegal. In 1991, 42 percent of countries had same sex acts legalized. By 2015, this grew to 61 percent.5 3–4) (Un)Equal Age-of-Consent Laws: The presence of a law outlawing different ages of consent between same-sex and different-sex partners, which serves as a tool to inhibit same-sex acts between consenting adults (Frank, Camp, and Boutcher 2010; Waites 2003). For example, Congo’s penal code allows for the age of consent for heterosexuals to be 13; however, “anyone who has committed an indecent act or an act against nature with an individual of the same sex younger than 21 years, will be punished with imprisonment for six months to three years” (Carroll and Itaborahy 2015). In 1991, 26 percent of countries had equal age-of-consent laws, increasing to 52 percent in 2015 (Carroll and Itaborahy 2015). 5) Employment Discrimination Bans: Banning employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity (Carroll and Itaborahy 2015). The United States, which has no such policy, allows private employers to legally terminate employees solely based on their gender identity or sexual orientation (Badgett 1996). In 1991, <1 percent of countries had such bans, but by 2015, over 32 percent did (Carroll and Itaborahy 2015). 6–7) Hate Crime & Incitement to Hatred Protections: Hate crime laws designate a crime against someone based on sexual orientation or gender identity as an aggravating circumstance, while incitement to hatred protections make any act that could provoke a targeted crime illegal (Carroll and Itaborahy 2015). In 1991, <1 percent of countries had hate crime protections while <2 percent had incitement to hatred policies. In 2015, these numbers expanded to 18 percent and 17 percent, respectively. 8–10) Full Marriage, Civil Unions, and Partial Union Rights: Full marriage allows for no legal distinctions between same-sex and different-sex marriages. Civil unions, also considered domestic or registered partnerships, tend to offer most of the same legal benefits of marriage while denying marriage itself. Finally, only a couple of countries provide a very limited set of legal benefits to same-sex unions. In 1991, no countries had these policies in place. By 2015, though, these had grown to 10 percent, 6 percent, and 3 percent, respectively. 11) Joint Adoption: This policy allows for same-sex partners to legally adopt a child, with both parents being recognized as such. In 1991, no state allowed for joint adoptions, but in 2015, roughly 10 percent did. 12) Constitutional Protections Against Discrimination: National constitutions are classified as protective if there is explicit language, such as in South Africa and Nepal, or if judicial cases have set legal precedent for such protections, as occurred in Egan v. Canada in Canada (Carroll and Itaborahy 2015). In 1991, no state had constitutional protections, while 4 percent did in 2015. 13) “Anti-Propaganda” Laws: This policy bans “propaganda for non-traditional sexual relations” (Persson 2015, 257). Vaguely written, these laws are utilized to discriminate against LGBT individuals in the name of protecting “public morality, particularly pertaining to children” (Carroll and Itaborahy 2015, 32). While no state had such policy in 1991, as of 2015 roughly 2.6 percent did (Carroll and Itaborahy 2015). 14) Death Penalty: This policy allows for individuals caught engaging in same-sex acts to be punished by death. The set of countries having death penalty laws has remained stable, with about 4 percent having it from 1991 and 2015. To create the LGBT Policy Index, I coded each policy as either a +1 or −1, depending on its progressive/regressive nature (see table 1).6 I then summed to create a composite score for each country every year (Reynolds 2013).7 Following Htun and Weldon (2012), the index is meant to capture the scope of policy adoption as it relates to LGBT rights.8 Table 1. Scoring LGBT Policies Policy Score Legalization of same-sex acts 1 Equal age of consent for same-sex partners 1 Prohibition of employment discrimination 1 Constitutional prohibition of discrimination 1 Hate crime protections 1 Incitement to hatred prohibited 1 Full marriage rights 1 Civil unions 1 Any type of partial union rights 1 Joint adoption between same-sex partners 1 Criminalization of same-sex acts −1 Unequal age of consent for same-sex partners −1 Death penalty for same-sex acts −1 Anti-propaganda laws −1 Policy Score Legalization of same-sex acts 1 Equal age of consent for same-sex partners 1 Prohibition of employment discrimination 1 Constitutional prohibition of discrimination 1 Hate crime protections 1 Incitement to hatred prohibited 1 Full marriage rights 1 Civil unions 1 Any type of partial union rights 1 Joint adoption between same-sex partners 1 Criminalization of same-sex acts −1 Unequal age of consent for same-sex partners −1 Death penalty for same-sex acts −1 Anti-propaganda laws −1 Table 1. Scoring LGBT Policies Policy Score Legalization of same-sex acts 1 Equal age of consent for same-sex partners 1 Prohibition of employment discrimination 1 Constitutional prohibition of discrimination 1 Hate crime protections 1 Incitement to hatred prohibited 1 Full marriage rights 1 Civil unions 1 Any type of partial union rights 1 Joint adoption between same-sex partners 1 Criminalization of same-sex acts −1 Unequal age of consent for same-sex partners −1 Death penalty for same-sex acts −1 Anti-propaganda laws −1 Policy Score Legalization of same-sex acts 1 Equal age of consent for same-sex partners 1 Prohibition of employment discrimination 1 Constitutional prohibition of discrimination 1 Hate crime protections 1 Incitement to hatred prohibited 1 Full marriage rights 1 Civil unions 1 Any type of partial union rights 1 Joint adoption between same-sex partners 1 Criminalization of same-sex acts −1 Unequal age of consent for same-sex partners −1 Death penalty for same-sex acts −1 Anti-propaganda laws −1 Additionally, this index does not encompass either the effectiveness of these policies nor the degree to which they are implemented. Previous research has documented the gap between policy and overall enforcement, especially pertaining to the unique role frontline officials have in subjectively implementing laws (Hafner‐Burton and Tsutsui 2005; Riccucci et al. 2004). Additionally, a critique of world society analyses is that these types of studies ignore lived experiences, instead focusing on policy and forces of institutional isomorphism (Meyer 2010). Although this is a strong critique, it does not diminish the relevancy of understanding policy adoption. It is still meaningful to undertake this approach for three distinct reasons (Htun and Weldon 2012): 1) it demonstrates state priorities while mobilizing social movements; 2) “policies cannot be implemented if they are never adopted” (551); and 3) understanding the conditions that drive state policy adoption help uncover relevant avenues to changing state discrimination. By illuminating the processes behind LGBT policy adoption, activists can utilize this information to advance their fight and leverage adoption into effective implementation—outlining a path that ultimately does affect the lived experience. Independent Variables To capture global context as described by H1, I will be using a continuous scale composed of two items: the cumulative number of concluding observations, general comments, reports, and resolutions published throughout the UN system with explicit reference to sexual orientation and gender identity and the cumulative global total of LINGOs. Data on UN statements pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity have been gathered by the International Commission of Jurists. Although one concluding observation was made in 1982, there was a 10-year gap until the next statement was documented; since 1992, the UN has issued some type of document pertaining to sexual minorities every year. The global total of LINGOs was collected from the Yearbook of International Organizations (YIO) published by the Union of International Associations. If the aim described aiding any aspect of the LGBT community, I coded it as LGBT. In 1991, 33 organizations explicitly focused on LGBT issues; this number grew to 84 by 2015. To create a composite score, I summed together the z-scores of each item.9 These two measures result in a new variable, Global LGBT Context, that has a value of −2.48 in 1991 and grows to 3.53 in 2015.10 Figure 2 outlines the growth of Global LGBT Context over time. Figure 2. View largeDownload slide Growth of LGBT Policy Index and Global LGBT Context, 1991–2015 Source: ILGA's State Sponsor Homophobia Report, Yearbook of International Organizations, International Commission of Jurists. Figure 2. View largeDownload slide Growth of LGBT Policy Index and Global LGBT Context, 1991–2015 Source: ILGA's State Sponsor Homophobia Report, Yearbook of International Organizations, International Commission of Jurists. The two measures of domestic transnational advocacy ties, HRINGOs and LINGOs, are both collected via the YIO.11 Data is collected from volumes published from 1991 to 2015, in three-year intervals. The HRINGOs of interest are limited to those that have a broad human rights focus as determined by the organization’s aim. I limit the inclusion to just these types of organizations because these are the ones most likely to include LGBT initiatives within the scope of their work. Country ties to LINGOs are also based on organizational aims. Transnational anti-homosexuality organizations, like Exodus International, are excluded from the overall LINGO count. Ties to these organizations are included in some models as a control variable, however, since ties to such organizations could influence policy adoption.12 Table 2 below outlines the descriptive statistics for both sets of INGOs, Global LGBT Context, and the LGBT Policy Index. Table 2. Descriptive Statistics of Key Variables Mean Std. dev. Min Max LGBT Policy Index 0.88 2.21 −2 8 LINGOs 1.81 3.02 0 23 HRINGOs 4.61 3.6 0 44 Global LGBT Context 0 1.94 −2.49 3.54 Mean Std. dev. Min Max LGBT Policy Index 0.88 2.21 −2 8 LINGOs 1.81 3.02 0 23 HRINGOs 4.61 3.6 0 44 Global LGBT Context 0 1.94 −2.49 3.54 Table 2. Descriptive Statistics of Key Variables Mean Std. dev. Min Max LGBT Policy Index 0.88 2.21 −2 8 LINGOs 1.81 3.02 0 23 HRINGOs 4.61 3.6 0 44 Global LGBT Context 0 1.94 −2.49 3.54 Mean Std. dev. Min Max LGBT Policy Index 0.88 2.21 −2 8 LINGOs 1.81 3.02 0 23 HRINGOs 4.61 3.6 0 44 Global LGBT Context 0 1.94 −2.49 3.54 Country-Level Controls Level of democracy is assessed by using the Freedom House rating. These ratings are widely used throughout political research as a measure of democracy (Norris, Frank, and Martínez i Coma 2013) and are a good reflection of the definition of democracy (Bollen and Paxton 2000). Freedom House rates countries from 1 to 7, with 1 being the most democratic. For this analysis, the scale is inverted so 7 becomes the most democratic. To measure women in parliament, the proportion of women in the lower chamber (or unicameral) of the national parliament is used. This data is collected using the Varieties of Democracy dataset (Lindberg et al. 2014). When this value is missing, the previous year’s data is carried over (Hughes, Krook, and Paxton 2015). Following Ayoub (2015), the measure of social “porousness” of each country is determined by the KOF Index for social globalization (Dreher 2006). Social globalization is composed of three parts: 1) data on personal contact, measured by rates of international tourists, foreign population, and outgoing telephone traffic; 2) data on information flows, measured by the amount of internet users, televisions, radios, and newspapers; and 3) data on cultural proximity, measured by per capita counts of McDonald’s. This item is measured on a 100-point scale, higher values indicate more connections to outside influences. Economic development is indicated by gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, in constant 2015 USD. This variable is logged to minimize the skewness of the distribution. Trade is calculated as the summed value of goods and services derived from exports/imports as a percentage of the overall country-level GDP. And, finally, population density is measured as the mid-year population total per square kilometer. Following previous research (Cole 2012), this measure is logged. Each of these three indicates are collected from the World Bank (2015). Methods To analyze a country’s score on the LGBT Policy Index, I use cross-sectional time series with fixed effects (Beck and Katz 1995) with 1,323 country-year observations.13 This technique has been used by others assessing cross-national comparisons and to evaluate changes to national policy (Beckfield 2004; Hafner‐Burton and Tsutsui 2005) because it accounts for unmeasured heterogeneity that exists between countries. Fixed effects allow the model to measure within-country variation on the key variables of interest, while controlling for time-invariant attributes like culture. This allows for a honed-in understanding of how the change in the variables of interest affect the dependent variable. Although there are strengths to accounting for invariant state attributes, this can also be a limitation. These models limit the inclusion of regional or domestic factors that have been previously associated with LGBT or human rights policy adoption, such as common-law legal systems and religious factors (Asal, Sommer, and Harwood 2013; Giddens 1992; Russet 1989). Models account for heteroskedasticity and the violation of the independence of error assumption through corrected standard errors (Beck and Katz 1995). Results Results from the cross-sectional time series with fixed-effects analyses are presented in table 3. Model 1, which provides a baseline assessment for how the global context is operating, finds that the global context indeed has a significant association with the LGBT Policy Index (b = 0.425, p < 0.001), supporting H1. Considering that the Index has only a 13-point range, nearly half a point increase for a one-unit change in the global context represents a fairly substantive effect size. Beginning in 1991, it took roughly eight years for the Global LGBT Context to increase by one unit; by 2012, it took less than three—underscoring the dramatic growth the international LGBT movement has experienced. Table 3. Cross-Sectional Time-Series of LGBT Policy Index, 1991–2015 Model 1 2 3 4 5 6 Baseline context HRINGOs LINGOs HRINGOs + LINGOs HRINGOs interaction LINGOs interaction Global LGBT Context 0.425*** 0.397*** 0.235** 0.244** 0.235* 0.178* (0.075) (0.074) (0.074) (0.074) (0.108) (0.085) HRINGOs 0.053+ −0.009 0.005 (0.029) (0.031) (0.038) LINGOs 0.209*** 0.202*** 0.109* (0.039) (0.042) (0.051) Global context x INGO interaction 0.023* 0.024* (0.012) (0.011) Anti-homosexuality INGOs 0.103 0.124 (0.140) (0.134) GDP per capita (logged) 0.024 0.005 0.198 0.193 0.108 0.227+ (0.134) (0.132) (0.127) (0.125) (0.129) (0.127) Women in parliament (%) 0.033** 0.032** 0.031** 0.030** 0.033** 0.032** (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) Population density (logged) −3.837*** −3.878*** −2.980*** −2.999*** −3.628*** −2.758*** (0.529) (0.539) (0.517) (0.527) (0.566) (0.558) KOF Index: Social globalization 0.045*** 0.044*** 0.041*** 0.041*** 0.048*** 0.044*** (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) Trade as % of GDP 0.004+ 0.004+ 0.003 0.003 0.004+ 0.003 (0.002) (0.002) (0.002) (0.002) (0.002) (0.002) Level of democratization 0.034 0.034 0.020 0.021 0.028 0.021 (0.055) (0.055) (0.052) (0.052) (0.056) (0.052) Country fixed effects? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Constant 12.868*** 13.018*** 8.194*** 8.333*** 11.253*** 7.069** (2.365) (2.381) (2.266) (2.284) (2.538) (2.446) Observations 1,323 1,323 1,323 1,323 1,323 1,323 R-squared 0.427 0.431 0.471 0.472 0.440 0.477 Number of countries 156 156 156 156 156 156 Model 1 2 3 4 5 6 Baseline context HRINGOs LINGOs HRINGOs + LINGOs HRINGOs interaction LINGOs interaction Global LGBT Context 0.425*** 0.397*** 0.235** 0.244** 0.235* 0.178* (0.075) (0.074) (0.074) (0.074) (0.108) (0.085) HRINGOs 0.053+ −0.009 0.005 (0.029) (0.031) (0.038) LINGOs 0.209*** 0.202*** 0.109* (0.039) (0.042) (0.051) Global context x INGO interaction 0.023* 0.024* (0.012) (0.011) Anti-homosexuality INGOs 0.103 0.124 (0.140) (0.134) GDP per capita (logged) 0.024 0.005 0.198 0.193 0.108 0.227+ (0.134) (0.132) (0.127) (0.125) (0.129) (0.127) Women in parliament (%) 0.033** 0.032** 0.031** 0.030** 0.033** 0.032** (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) Population density (logged) −3.837*** −3.878*** −2.980*** −2.999*** −3.628*** −2.758*** (0.529) (0.539) (0.517) (0.527) (0.566) (0.558) KOF Index: Social globalization 0.045*** 0.044*** 0.041*** 0.041*** 0.048*** 0.044*** (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) Trade as % of GDP 0.004+ 0.004+ 0.003 0.003 0.004+ 0.003 (0.002) (0.002) (0.002) (0.002) (0.002) (0.002) Level of democratization 0.034 0.034 0.020 0.021 0.028 0.021 (0.055) (0.055) (0.052) (0.052) (0.056) (0.052) Country fixed effects? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Constant 12.868*** 13.018*** 8.194*** 8.333*** 11.253*** 7.069** (2.365) (2.381) (2.266) (2.284) (2.538) (2.446) Observations 1,323 1,323 1,323 1,323 1,323 1,323 R-squared 0.427 0.431 0.471 0.472 0.440 0.477 Number of countries 156 156 156 156 156 156 Note: Robust standard errors in parentheses. *** p < 0.001 ** p < 0.01 * p < 0.05 + p < 0.1 Table 3. Cross-Sectional Time-Series of LGBT Policy Index, 1991–2015 Model 1 2 3 4 5 6 Baseline context HRINGOs LINGOs HRINGOs + LINGOs HRINGOs interaction LINGOs interaction Global LGBT Context 0.425*** 0.397*** 0.235** 0.244** 0.235* 0.178* (0.075) (0.074) (0.074) (0.074) (0.108) (0.085) HRINGOs 0.053+ −0.009 0.005 (0.029) (0.031) (0.038) LINGOs 0.209*** 0.202*** 0.109* (0.039) (0.042) (0.051) Global context x INGO interaction 0.023* 0.024* (0.012) (0.011) Anti-homosexuality INGOs 0.103 0.124 (0.140) (0.134) GDP per capita (logged) 0.024 0.005 0.198 0.193 0.108 0.227+ (0.134) (0.132) (0.127) (0.125) (0.129) (0.127) Women in parliament (%) 0.033** 0.032** 0.031** 0.030** 0.033** 0.032** (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) Population density (logged) −3.837*** −3.878*** −2.980*** −2.999*** −3.628*** −2.758*** (0.529) (0.539) (0.517) (0.527) (0.566) (0.558) KOF Index: Social globalization 0.045*** 0.044*** 0.041*** 0.041*** 0.048*** 0.044*** (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) Trade as % of GDP 0.004+ 0.004+ 0.003 0.003 0.004+ 0.003 (0.002) (0.002) (0.002) (0.002) (0.002) (0.002) Level of democratization 0.034 0.034 0.020 0.021 0.028 0.021 (0.055) (0.055) (0.052) (0.052) (0.056) (0.052) Country fixed effects? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Constant 12.868*** 13.018*** 8.194*** 8.333*** 11.253*** 7.069** (2.365) (2.381) (2.266) (2.284) (2.538) (2.446) Observations 1,323 1,323 1,323 1,323 1,323 1,323 R-squared 0.427 0.431 0.471 0.472 0.440 0.477 Number of countries 156 156 156 156 156 156 Model 1 2 3 4 5 6 Baseline context HRINGOs LINGOs HRINGOs + LINGOs HRINGOs interaction LINGOs interaction Global LGBT Context 0.425*** 0.397*** 0.235** 0.244** 0.235* 0.178* (0.075) (0.074) (0.074) (0.074) (0.108) (0.085) HRINGOs 0.053+ −0.009 0.005 (0.029) (0.031) (0.038) LINGOs 0.209*** 0.202*** 0.109* (0.039) (0.042) (0.051) Global context x INGO interaction 0.023* 0.024* (0.012) (0.011) Anti-homosexuality INGOs 0.103 0.124 (0.140) (0.134) GDP per capita (logged) 0.024 0.005 0.198 0.193 0.108 0.227+ (0.134) (0.132) (0.127) (0.125) (0.129) (0.127) Women in parliament (%) 0.033** 0.032** 0.031** 0.030** 0.033** 0.032** (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) Population density (logged) −3.837*** −3.878*** −2.980*** −2.999*** −3.628*** −2.758*** (0.529) (0.539) (0.517) (0.527) (0.566) (0.558) KOF Index: Social globalization 0.045*** 0.044*** 0.041*** 0.041*** 0.048*** 0.044*** (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) (0.011) Trade as % of GDP 0.004+ 0.004+ 0.003 0.003 0.004+ 0.003 (0.002) (0.002) (0.002) (0.002) (0.002) (0.002) Level of democratization 0.034 0.034 0.020 0.021 0.028 0.021 (0.055) (0.055) (0.052) (0.052) (0.056) (0.052) Country fixed effects? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Constant 12.868*** 13.018*** 8.194*** 8.333*** 11.253*** 7.069** (2.365) (2.381) (2.266) (2.284) (2.538) (2.446) Observations 1,323 1,323 1,323 1,323 1,323 1,323 R-squared 0.427 0.431 0.471 0.472 0.440 0.477 Number of countries 156 156 156 156 156 156 Note: Robust standard errors in parentheses. *** p < 0.001 ** p < 0.01 * p < 0.05 + p < 0.1 Models 2–5 seek to provide clarity on how domestic ties to HRINGOs and LINGOs impact a country’s LGBT Policy Index score. The results from model 2 do not provide support for H2 and suggest that there is not a significant association between the Index and HRINGOS. Instead, as model 3 highlights, only LINGOs are associated with increasing a country’s position on the Index.14 To compare HRINGOs and LINGOs more directly, both variables are included in model 4.15 LINGOs continue to be the only transnational advocacy tie that have a significant association and, despite the addition of HRINGOs, the effect size of the coefficient and standard error remain essentially unchanged. Not only do models 3 and 4 support H3, but the effect size of the coefficient signifies a substantive connection between LINGOs and LGBT policy adoption. The addition of one domestic tie results in an expected increase of 0.199–0.209 (p < 0.001) on the LGBT Policy Index, suggesting that five advocacy ties may provide enough pressure for a country to adopt one new LGBT policy. Models 5 and 6 test the hypotheses (H4a and H4b) that there is an interaction between the global context and domestic ties. Both models confirm that as the transnational LGBT movement achieves greater institutionalization, this increases the association that domestic ties have with the LGBT Policy Index, supporting H4a but rejecting H4b. The effect of this interaction is similar across models, 0.023 and 0.024, respectively. Although both interactions are significant, by plotting the marginal effects in figures 3 and 4, it is apparent that the interaction for HRINGOs is significant (p < 0.05) only once the Global LGBT Context measure reaches 3.0 in 2014. For LINGOs, however, the marginal effect is significant once Global LGBT Context reaches −0.8 in 2001. Additionally, by being more responsive to the global context, the effect of LINGOs nearly double from 2001 to 2015. Figures 3 and 4 further confirm that LINGO ties are highly associated with LGBT policy adoption while HRINGOs do not have an effect until a minimal association forms in 2014. Figure 3. View largeDownload slide Marginal interaction effects: HRINGO ties on Global LGBT Context Figure 3. View largeDownload slide Marginal interaction effects: HRINGO ties on Global LGBT Context Figure 4. View largeDownload slide Marginal interaction effects: LINGO ties on Global LGBT Context Figure 4. View largeDownload slide Marginal interaction effects: LINGO ties on Global LGBT Context Most of the control variables presented within table 3 have the expected associations. Economic development, as measured by GDP per capita, does not have a significant association with LGBT policy adoptions. The proportion of women in parliament is significant in all models. Surprisingly, the size of the coefficient is stable, even once accounting for domestic ties and the interaction effect. This stability suggests that there is durable connection between female parliamentarians and progressive LGBT policy. Population density has strong negative associations with the LGBT Policy Index (b = −3.8 to −2.7, p < 0.001). This finding provides significant support to previous research (Cole 2012) that as population density increases, countries are more inclined to prohibit human rights in order to exert greater control over the population. Following Ayoub (2015), I find that social globalization has highly significant associations with the LGBT Policy Index (b = 0.041–0.048, p < 0.001), while trade has minimal explanatory relevance (b = 0.003–0.004, p < 0.10). In all models, level of democratization does not have a significant association with the LGBT Policy Index. Given that Asal, Sommer, and Harwood (2013) also found level of democracy to be insignificant in the legalization of same-sex acts, it may be that there is no direct link between democratization and respect for rights pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity. Although the work of Cole (2012) and Hafner‐Burton and Tsutsui (2005) shows the positive relationship between democracy and human rights overall, further work is needed to explore the specific dynamics between democratic regimes and sexual governance. Discussion and Conclusion Since the early 1990s, countries spanning the globe have adopted LGBT policies. Success has come in the form of decriminalizing same-sex acts, banning employment discrimination, and same-sex union rights, among others. Given the movement’s ability to spur policy reform, it is important to understand the underlying processes so that other movements can learn successful strategies and determine how the international LGBT movement proceeds into the future. As other researchers have argued (Fernández and Lutter 2013; Frank, Camp, and Boutcher 2000; Ayoub 2015), considering the global context is important in explaining this process. Across all models, the Global LGBT Context is found to have substantive, positive associations with the LGBT Policy Index. To understand how the Global LGBT Context measure could elicit national policy adoption relating to LGBT concerns, take three recent examples of Seychelles, Luxembourg, and Montenegro. Since 2012, these three countries have decriminalized same-sex activity, adopted same-sex marriage, and banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, respectively (ILGA 2016). These legislative advances were implemented after partaking in the UN’s Universal Periodic Review Process (UPR). During the second UPR in 2012, these countries received explicit recommendations from their peers and civil society organizations to improve conditions for LGBT communities (ILGA 2016)—highlighting the significance of global processes prompting state action. Developing a new measure of this international context is one contribution from this research. Previous studies measure international LGBT norms as general globalization (Asal, Sommer, and Harwood 2013), the proportion of countries that have adopted a particular policy (Greenhill 2016), or make an assumed case that the global context is developing and measure only transnational advocacy ties (Ayoub 2015; Fernández and Lutter 2013; Frank and McEneaney 1999). Over time, there is an opportunity to improve this measure as new developments transpire, like emerging financial resources dedicated to LGBT causes such as the Global Equality Fund—launched in 2011 by the US State Department (Clinton 2011). The manner in which countries are exposed and held accountable to this norm is another key insight. The disconnect between HRINGOs and effective LGBT policy adoption is representative of how human rights have been developed on the world stage, both within international institutions and advocacy organizations. Elliott (2011) traced the types of rights and violations outlined in 779 human rights instruments from 1863 to 2003, discovering an emphasis on protections covering bodily harm, children, and discrimination, while none of the instruments mention sexuality. Interestingly, with an emphasis on protecting against physical harm, the elimination of the death penalty for same-sex acts would be one policy reform that could fit within this model; however, this has been the most stable policy over time. The emphasis on physical protections is also characteristic of how transnational human rights advocacy networks and organizations like Amnesty International developed during the 1970s (Keck and Sikkink 1998). By prioritizing a particular frame of human rights, it is unsurprising that when pressured to expand to include sexual orientation and gender identity, human rights institutions resisted. At the 1993 and 1995 UN World Conferences on Human Rights (Vienna) and Women (Beijing), activists tried including sexual orientation within the scope of protections, but both times this language was removed (Sanders 1996). Additionally, even though Amnesty International did incorporate sexual orientation into its work in 1991, this occurred after a 17-year debate (Sanders 1996). Only after the outset of the HIV/AIDS epidemic did international human rights organizations finally begin paying attention to gay causes and provide a space for organizations like ILGA (Mann and Tarantola 1996).16 The hesitation by human rights groups is also illustrated by the Queen Boat case (Dalacoura 2014; Pratt 2007), suggesting that HRINGOs may have disagreements over the extent to which LGBT rights are human rights (Pratt 2007), and supports the critiques presented by Hagland (1997). There is a possibility that HRINGOs may be advocating for other types of LGBT-oriented policy reforms not reflected in the LGBT Policy Index, leading to insignificant associations. Given the significant interaction with the Global LGBT Context, though, it poses the question if human rights organizations genuinely believe “gay rights are human rights,” or only do so once prompted by mounting external pressure. Although qualitative investigations have looked into the relationship between HRINGOs and LGBT initiatives (Mertus 2007; Paternotte 2016), more assessment is needed to determine the influence this is having on policy. Alternatively, results from this study suggest that transnational advocacy ties, explicitly embodied by LINGOs, are an effective means to shaping a country’s position on the LGBT Policy Index. This finding builds on previous research looking into the diffusion of LGBT and same-sex policies by explicitly considering LINGOs as the vehicle through which countries are held accountable. Other research has looked at country ties to psychology and law INGOs (Frank, Camp, and Boutcher 2010), INGOs and intergovernmental organizations broadly (Frank and McEneaney 1999; Fernández and Lutter 2013; Greenhill 2016), or domestic LGBT organizations that have an affiliation with two LINGOs (Ayoub 2015). Therefore, an outcome of this study is a demonstration that LINGO growth has been robust since the early 1990s and these organizations should be part of future LGBT policy studies. The model design chosen for this study, however, cannot fully account for the direction of causality. Although key variables were lagged for temporal ordering, it is possible that the domestic policy environment influences how transnational ties take shape (Tarrow 2005). The boomerang effect occurring between country-level ties and the global context is a notable process. Although boomerang effects have been empirically tested looking at the diffusion of feminist policies (Htun and Weldon 2012), recently international sexuality scholars have suggested that such effects may not be operating similarly when it comes to topics of homosexuality and LGBT rights. Weiss and Bosia (2013) discuss how globalizing LGBT narratives result in the globalizing of homophobia and nation-state resistance. In particular, these processes took place in countries outside the West and where local LGBT communities had disagreements with the emerging international norm (Weiss and Bosia 2013). Ayoub (2014) notes that state resistance grows concurrently with the perception of threat of LGBT movements. Therefore, as the international LGBT movement continues to be institutionalized and exert more pressure, an increased resistance by countries in the form of recoiling effects, rather than boomerang effects, is expected. It may be that nation-state resistance to the international context is a recent phenomenon, not fully captured yet within the scope of this analysis. Research in the international women’s movement similarly suggests that at early stages, global norms helped feminist groups pressure state policy adoption, but as the women’s movement grew, recoiling effects began to emerge (Hughes, Krook, and Paxton 2015). This analysis, then, may only be capturing the stage of the movement in which the global context has a positive interaction. Now that a new indicator of the Global LGBT Context has been presented within this study, additional research can be done to tease out these dynamics. Another contribution from this analysis is its consideration of a variety of policies, as outlined by the LGBT Policy Index. Htun and Weldon (2012) also constructed an index to capture the various manners in which countries respond to violence against women. By constructing an index as the dependent measure, analyses are able to consider a broader definition of the construct of interest. This is especially important for researching LGBT rights because the diversity of global LGBT communities will necessitate a variety of desired policy reforms. Limitations to the LGBT Policy Index, as constructed, include a lack of full consideration of transgender rights. This is due to the limitations from the data source, but also reflects the under-studied topic of transgender identities and rights writ large (Namaste 2000). The index also does not capture the degree of decoupling (Cole and Ramirez 2013), nor the stability of such policies, being passed through legislative action compared to an executive action, for example. Developing an index that can carefully consider such nuances is an important next step for research. Finally, the findings from this research demonstrate that not all ties are created equally—a point of distinction from some work within the world society literature. In analyzing diffusion of academic systems (Schofer 2003; Schofer and Meyer 2005) and environmental protections (Frank, Hironaka, and Schofer 2000), scholars find that ties to all INGOs, without differentiation to type, suffice. Researchers analyzing newer social scripts, such as abortion liberalization (Boyle, Kim, and Longhofer 2015) and gender quotas (Hughes, Krook, and Paxton 2015), instead rely on specialized women’s INGOs—even though the transnational women’s movement has achieved major UN conferences and a major treaty, CEDAW. Movements that are less institutionalized, like LGBT, reproductive, or indigenous rights, may be even more reliant on the unique role of targeted advocacy networks. Future research is encouraged to directly investigate how the characteristics of movements, such as degree of institutionalization or alignment with tenets of universalism, rationalization, individualism, and voluntaristic authority already embedded within world culture (Boli and Thomas 1997), result in the necessity of general or targeted INGOs. For transnational advocates, such insights would allow for more appropriate strategies to effectively engage and modify world culture. Footnotes 1 By excluding policies unique to each state context, I recognize that this index underreports the true status of nationalized LGBT policies within each state. 2 Auxiliary analyses were conducted beginning in 1978 following the founding of ILGA. Analyses yielded insignificant associations between variables of interest, as the global count of LINGOs and country ties prior to 1991 were quite low; indeed, most countries had zero ties. Pre-1991 also lacked an incorporation of LGBT issues within the global context—the UN issued its first document mentioning sexual orientation in 1982 and the second in 1992. Finally, without gatekeeper organizations signaling support, there were few human rights organizations addressing this topic. 3 Even if numerous local jurisdictions have a policy in place, as is the case with the death penalty throughout northern provinces of Nigeria (Carroll and Itaborahy 2015), the country itself does not receive the designated coding. 4 For most of the countries in the sample, male and female same-sex acts are regulated concurrently. There are around 16 countries within the sample that regulate same-sex acts based on gender differently; each allows for female-female sexual acts but not male-male as of 2015. Nine of these countries are located in Africa; see Giddens (1992) and Russet (1989) for a discussion of this difference. Only countries that allow same-sex acts for males and females are coded 1. 5 Legality/illegality are coded as two separate policies, which have a correlation of −0.95 in this sample, to acknowledge the cases where the policies are not perfectly binary. In such cases, like the United States, this is primarily due to localized regulation over such acts rather than having one national policy in place. 6 The 14 policies have a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.76. Confirmatory factor analysis using a single factor resulted in a well-fitting model with a root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) of 0.062 and a comparative fit index (CFI) of 0.961. 7 This index correlates with Reynolds’s (2013) LGBT policy index, which includes six policies, at 0.86. 8 A weighted version of the index that does consider relative progressiveness/regressiveness of each policy correlated at 0.98 to the original and produced nearly identical results. 9 The UN data was lagged two years. Data within the YIO has a known lag time of around 5–7 years (Boli and Thomas 1999), due to the delay in which the organization is able to find new organizations and gather appropriate information. Therefore, YIO data is not further lagged within models. 10 The two standardized items have a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.934 and Pearson’s correlation of 0.8771, p < 0.001. 11 A country tie means that there is at least one person or organization in the country affiliated with the international organization. 12 Anti-homosexuality organizations are only located in countries that have LINGO ties. Additional models assessed if the presence of anti-homosexuality ties diminished the effect size of LINGOs, but results demonstrated no change. 13 Auxiliary Poisson analyses are presented in the Supplementary Materials in which the dependent variable is treated as a count variable—counting the number of progressive policies only and excluding the negative repressive policies. 14 Standardized coefficients were modeled to provide a more comparative assessment of effect sizes across the various models. Since HRINGOs are not statistically significant (p < 0.05), however, these models are not presented. Available from author upon request. 15 HRINGOs and LINGOs have a correlation of 0.71. 16 I would like to thank a helpful reviewer for highlighting this point. About the Author Kristopher Velasco is a doctoral student in sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. His research is focused on the role of global LGBT civil society in producing social change. 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Social Forces – Oxford University Press
Published: Apr 25, 2018
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