Best for society? Transnational opposition to sexual and gender equalities in Canada and Great Britain

Catherine Jean Nash, Katherine Browne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Whilst much has been written about the limitations of new legislative equalities, there is a silence in geographies of sexualities regarding the backlash to these changes and the reiteration of particular heteronormativity. In working across Great Britain and Canada, we argue that these resistances are trans-scalar, operating transnationally as well as evoking nation, classroom, home and body. Arguments at the local level are embedded in and draw on the broader ‘natural family’ arguments circulating at local/regional, national and transnational levels. Drawing on the literature on transnationalism that understands these processes as (re)forming values and practices, this paper explores the discourses that reiterate the naturalness and centrality of particular forms of heterosexuality as key for a healthy society and the protection of children. The latter works on three levels, firstly the child cannot be ‘naturally’ produced outside of heterosexual sexual relations. Secondly, the raising of these children appropriately and healthily redefines ‘family’ within heteronormative structures. Thirdly, comments that might be termed ‘homophobic’ are reframed as merely free speech as a way to counter LGBT recognition. We finish the paper by arguing for explorations of heterosexuality within transnational networks to resistances to LGBT equalities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-577
Number of pages17
JournalGender, Place and Culture
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2014

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Gender, Place and culture on 04/03/2014 available online:


  • homonormativity
  • heteronormativity
  • heterosexuality
  • Christian right
  • queer
  • transnationalism


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