Society and Identity
For many years, members of LGBTIQ communities around the world have campaigned for same-sex marriage rights in various legally and culturally specific ways. While these campaigns have garnered a measure of social and legal recognition of same-sex unions in some Western countries, they are being increasingly discussed politically and represented in popular culture in different countries of Asia. A related but distinct movement for the recognition of rainbow families is also emerging around the world. A global and growing network that celebrates the annual International Family Equality Day (IFED) was established in 2011, and while associated local/national queer family networks are thriving, regional transnational coalitions within Europe (NELFA) and the Asia-Pacific (APRFF) are also being formed. Challenging hetero-normative marriage and family concepts and promoting the “right to marry” and the “right to family” of sexual and gendered minorities, these local and regional initiatives and coalitions are partaking in and shaping a global wave of diverse rainbow family cultures. This panel seeks to trace this new and transnational phenomenon in countries of Asia and Europe, and discusses the legal, social, political and cultural ramifications for same-sex marriage and queer family formations in different countries. We ask, what are the shared legal and social challenges, and what are the transnational strategies and transcultural implications of these new forms of human rights movements? We also critically discuss whether such claimed or newly won rights to same-sex marriage/queer family may be able to subvert and resist the hetero-normative logic or if they rather produce new divisions between institutionally sanctioned versus socially rejected forms of queer life choices.