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A Human Rights Watch Report - December 2008

The Origins of "Sodomy" Laws in British Colonialism

by sacw.net, 18 December 2008

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Human Rights Watch, 17 December 2008

This Alien Legacy - The Origins of "Sodomy" Laws in British Colonialism
A Human Rights Watch Report, December 2008

This 66-page report describes how laws in over three dozen countries,
from India to Uganda and from Nigeria to Papua New Guinea, derive from
a single law on homosexual conduct that British colonial rulers
imposed on India in 1860. This year, the High Court in Delhi ended
hearings in a years-long case seeking to decriminalize homosexual
conduct there. A ruling in the landmark case is expected soon.

Table of Contents

This Alien Legacy

I. Introduction

II. "Sodomy," Colonialism, and Codification

III. Colonial Power on the Street and over the Body

IV. Interpreting Sodomy Laws: The Scope Expands

V. Conclusion: The Emancipatory Potential of Decriminalization

Recommendations

Acknowledgements