1st Edition

British Colonialism and the Criminalization of Homosexuality Queens, Crime and Empire

By Enze Han, Joseph O'Mahoney Copyright 2018
    128 Pages
    by Routledge

    126 Pages
    by Routledge

    British Colonialism and the Criminalization of Homosexuality examines whether colonial rule is responsible for the historical, and continuing, criminalization of same-sex sexual relations in many parts of the world.

    Enze Han and Joseph O’Mahoney gather and assess historical evidence to demonstrate the different ways in which the British empire spread laws criminalizing homosexual conduct amongst its colonies. Evidence includes case studies of former British colonies and the common law and criminal codes like the Indian Penal Code of 1860 and the Queensland Criminal Code of 1899. Surveying a wide range of countries, the authors scrutinise whether ex-British colonies are more likely to have laws that criminalize homosexual conduct than other ex-colonies or other states in general They interrogate the claim that British imperialism uniquely ‘poisoned’ societies against homosexuality, and look at the legacies of colonialism and the politics and legal status of homosexuality across the globe.

    Chapter 1 Introduction

    Chapter 2 The History of British Colonialism and the Spread of Criminal Law and Penal Codes Criminalizing Homosexuality

    Chapter 3 Empirical Analysis of Colonial Legacies around the World

    Chapter 4 Continuing Criminalization of Homosexuality in Several Former British Colonies

    Chapter 5 Decriminalization of Homosexuality in Several Former British Colonies

    Chapter 6 Conclusion


    Enze Han is Associate Professor at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at University of Hong Kong. He has a PhD from George Washington University, USA, and is a member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, USA. He used to teach at SOAS, University of London, UK.

    Joseph O’Mahoney is Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Reading and a Research Fellow in the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. He has a PhD from George Washington University, USA and has held positions at Brown University, Seton Hall University, and Regis College.

    '72 countries treat same-sex acts as a crime. Many are Islamic, but others constitute less-expected group: British ex-Colonies. The UK is now at the front of LGBT rights, but historic prohibitions, imposed across the empire, have dire traces. This fascinating and careful book looks at how the situation came about and offers some hope for repeal.' -- Timon Screech, Professor, SOAS University of London, UK