Richardson, Diane and Monro, Surya (2009) Rethinking Sexual Citizenship: Sexuality, Equality and Local Governance. In: BSA Annual Conference 2009 - The Challenge of Global Social Inquiry, 16th - 18th April 2009, Cardiff, UK. (Unpublished)

Since the 1990s, the dominant political discourse of social movements concerned with 'sexual politics' has been that of seeking access into mainstream culture through demanding equal rights of citizenship. These citizenship demands have been, at least to a degree, answered via a tranche of recent legislation including the Civil Partnership Act (2004) and the Equality Regulations (Sexual Orientation) 2007, and by associated changes in policy making and practice. However, the shift towards the normalcy of lesbian and gay citizenship has taken place in tandem with the fragmentation of sexual politics and identities. It is possible to argue that the normative citizen is no longer necessarily heterosexual, whilst the non-normative subject is now non-partnered or multiply-partnered, ambiguous in gender identity, or inhabiting social spaces where they are likely to face multiple disadvantage. The sites of 'othering', in which certain groups or individuals are excluded from full citizenship, have seemingly shifted. This paper discusses these issues in relation to findings from a large ESRC funded study on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equalities initiatives in local government. The study takes an innovative action research approach in conducting a cross-cultural exploration of equalities work in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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