Are Green and Yellow Really Part of the Rainbow? The Mismatch between the Brazilian Foreign Policy Protagonism for LGBT Human Rights at the UN and the Underachievement of Domestic Public Policies.


  • João Guilherme de Almeida Bueno Federal University of Grande Dourados
  • Matheus de Carvalho Hernandez Federal University of Grande Dourados


Human rights, SOGI, Public policy, UN


From 1999 to 2016, Gay Group of Bahia (GGB) recorded one LGBT death every 16 hours in Brazil. Interestingly, in the same period, Brazilian foreign policy took a leading role in LGBT normative entrepreneurship at the UN, at the same time as a large number of domestic public policy proposals for the group during the FHC, Lula and Dilma governments were made. This article starts from the following research question: how did this process of mismatch between Brazil's foreign policy in defense of LGBT rights at the United Nations and the underachievement of the domestic public policies for the group take place? This misalignment paradoxically constituted an opportunity. Supported by the bibliographic review and the analysis of UN resolutions, reports and documents, we show that this normative entrepreneurship was a way out found by the Executive to lock in policies. From a pragmatic point of view, the political risks of defending the LGBT agenda in the international arena were relatively lower than facing the irreducibility of a deeply conservative Congress.

Author Biographies

João Guilherme de Almeida Bueno, Federal University of Grande Dourados

Bachelor's degree in International Relations by the Federal University of Grande Dourados, Brazil.

Matheus de Carvalho Hernandez, Federal University of Grande Dourados

Professor of International Relations at the Federal University of Grande Dourados (Brazil). PhD in Political Science by the University of Campinas (Unicamp), Brazil. Post-doctoral researcher at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights da Columbia University.