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From Sodomy Laws to Same-Sex Marriage

From Sodomy Laws to Same-Sex Marriage

By Sean Brady and Mark Seymour

Inspired by recent adoptions of same-sex marriage, From Sodomy Laws to Same-Sex Marriage provides international perspectives on the legal and social history of same-sex relationships from the early 19th century to the present. Its emphasis is on areas where the impetus for change has been most noticeable: Europe, the Americas, and Australasia.

Human Rights Marriage Marriage Equality 

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    Inspired by recent adoptions of same-sex marriage, From Sodomy Laws to Same-Sex Marriage provides international perspectives on the legal and social history of same-sex relationships from the early 19th century to the present. Its emphasis is on areas where the impetus for change has been most noticeable: Europe, the Americas, and Australasia. 

    From Sodom and Gomorrah to Britain's sodomy laws and continental Europe's abhorrence of sexual acts 'against nature', the history of same-sex love traditionally ranged from fire and brimstone maledictions to secrecy and scandal. Until recently, legal positions across the western world reflected the legacies of the British and French empires, as well as Christianity, particularly Catholicism. In recent years, however, there has been a revolution in attitudes towards same-sex relationships. This poses hitherto unanswered questions: what historical complexities lie behind the revolutionary shift from punitive attitudes to legal endorsement of same-sex relationships? Given the cultural variety of historical attitudes to same-sex relationships, why has their legal acceptance been so international? The essays in this volume provide answers to these questions, offering the first international overview of the topic. 

    While other studies have attempted to explain the change in legal and social treatment of same-sex relationships in a national context, or within a shorter time frame, this is the first volume to examine the topic from the French Revolution to the present day, bringing together a diverse array of perspectives over a range of countries. It is an important volume for students and scholars of queer history, the history of sexuality, law and sociology.

  • About the author
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    ISBN: 9781350023925

    Published: 2019

    Format: Hardcover

  • Table of contents

    Acknowledgements
    Notes on Contributors
    Foreword, The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, (Retired Judge, Australia)
    1. 'From Sodomy Laws to Same-Sex Marriage: Historical Transformations', Sean Brady (Birkbeck, University of London, UK) and Mark Seymour (Otago University, New Zealand)
    2. 'Homosexuality and the French Revolution', Bryant Ragan (Colorado College, USA)
    3. 'Arguing Against Intolerance: Louisiana and Britain in the Early Nineteenth Century', Charles Upchurch (Florida State University, USA)
    4. 'Regarding Pratt and Smith, the last couple of sodomites to be hanged in Britain', Dominic Janes (Keele University UK)
    5. 'Defining “unnatural crime”: sex and the English convict system, 1850-1900', Ben Bethell (Birkbeck, University of London UK)
    6. '“It is my husband who has such weaknesses”: A mid nineteenth-century Peruvian divorce case', Magally Allegre Henderson (Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, Peru)
    7. 'Flappers and Felons: Rethinking the criminal law and homosex in interwar Australia, 1920-1939', Yorick Smaal (Griffith University, Australia) and Mark Finnane (Griffith University, Australia)
    8. 'Spain from Franco's Repressive Regime to Same-Sex Marriage', Geoffroy Huard (Université de Cergy-Pontoise, France)
    9. 'Affecting legal change: Law and Same-Sex Feelings in West Germany since the 1950s', Benno Gammerl (Max Plank Institute, Berlin, Germany and Goldsmiths University, UK)
    10. 'The Sexual (Geo)Politics of Loyalty: Homosexuality and Emotion in Cold War Security Policy', Kate Davison (University of Melbourne, Australia)
    11. Homosexual Politics in the British World: Towards a Transnational Understanding', Graham Willett (University of Melbourne, Australia)
    12. 'Gender and the politics of marriage in post-war Australia and Britain', Rebecca Jennings (Macquarie University, Australia)
    13. 'From Giarre to Civil Unions: The 'Long March' for Same-Sex Relationships in Italy', Yuri Guaiana (ILGA (Universita degli Studi di Milano, Italy) and Mark Seymour (University of Otago, New Zealand)
    14. '“It's Poppycock to say homosexuals can be excused”: Rethinking the Gay and Lesbian Movement in the Republic of Ireland 1970s-1990s', Patrick McDonagh (European University Institute, Florence, Italy)
    15. '“…Do You Want More?” A Brief History of Same-Sex Partnerships, Family Formations, and Marriage in Twentieth-Century U.S.A.', Marcia Gallo (University of Nevada, USA)
    16. 'Gay Marriage in England: After the Party', Daniel Monk (Birkbeck, University of London, UK)
    17. 'Same-Sex Unions: In Retrospect and Prospect', Robert Aldrich (University of Sydney, Australia)
    Index

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