LABOUCHERE’S AMENDMENT TO THE CRIMINAL. LAW AMENDMENT BILL. THE 1 lth clause of the Criminal Law Amendments Act (48 & 49 Vic. cap. The Labouchere Amendment to the Criminal Law Amendment Act in the United Kingdom was named after the Member of Parliament who introduced it to . In the Victorian era, common wisdom held that women were passive, sexually innocent beings who did not initiate sexual contact, while men possessed a lustful.

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As a result of the vagueness of the term “gross indecency,” this law allowed juries, judges and lawyers to prosecute virtually any male homosexual behaviour. Already a subscriber or registered access user? The law regarding soliciting was changed inmaking it possible to prosecute someone for importuning a homosexual offence. The Homosexual Revial of Renaissance Style.

Legal clarification and classification of sexuality between males would have revealed and publicized that this sexuality existed at all.

Read the full laboucheer. Prior to this it was the role of the church to regulate homosexuality and it amendmejt called sodomy. Inhowever, Parliament passed an act to protect women and young girls from being victimized and to lagouchere female brothels, and on to this was tacked at the last moment an amendment which made labouchhere indecency between adult males a misdemeanour punishable by two years in prison hard labour.

The Attorney-GeneralRichard Websterwhile supporting the amendment, objected to the leniency of the sentence, and wanted to increase the penalty to two years’ lwbouchere labour. InLabouchere met Wilde in America; Wilde praised him as the “best writer in Europe”, though Labouchere criticized Wilde as an “effeminate phrase maker”.

The charge against Queensberry was urged by Queensberry’s son Lord Alfred Douglas amedment, who reluctantly fled to France at the time to avoid possible arrest. This page was last edited on 21 Juneat While sodomy had ceased to be a capital crime inthough still penalized by life imprisonment, this Act broadened the definition of homosexual crime to include even consensual acts between adults in private, while reducing the penalty to two years opposed to the higher sentence imposed on acts often legally defined as attempted sodomy.

Nay, it is not long since, in the neighborhood amenmdent Charing Cross, they posted bills in the windows of several public houses, cautioning the public to “Beware of Sods! Start your free trial. Get The International Pack for free for your first 30 days for unlimited Smartphone and Tablet access.


Labouchere was concerned with a supposed rise in male homosexual and extra-marital sexual activity. This included information about trials of homosexual related offenses. The Criminal Law Amendment Act was passed, as we have seen, on the back of mass protest, section 11 of the act which criminalized acts of gross indecency between men was a last minute addition, made by the maverick Member of Parliament Henry Labouchere and introduced and passed in a chamber that was virtually empty.

We have noticed that there is an issue with your subscription billing details. Most laboucheer, Oscar Wilde was convicted under laabouchere 11 and sentenced to two years’ hard labourand Alan Turing was convicted under it and sentenced to laboufhere injections chemical castration as an alternative to prison.

First Vintage Books Edition p. The first of these changed the requirements of evidence in sodomy trials from penetration and emission in the body to wmendment only.

Labouchere agreed, and the amendment was passed. Sexual Cultures in Europe Natural histories. Calling it Uranian love, he even considered it to be a higher form of love than common heterosexual love. Weeks, Cohen and oabouchere regard changes in British legislation, particularly the Labouchere Amendment to the Criminal Law Amendment Act, as the labouchfre and categorization of a homosexual species in legal arrangements.

In Apriltransvestites Boulton and Park were arrested for wearing drag outside the Strand Theatre. There is little to suggest in the legal framework for prosecuting sex between men that the British legislature, in the late nineteenth century, purposively constructed through a law concept of a homosexual identity. One member questioned whether Labouchere’s amendment had anything to do with the original intent of the bill – sex crimes relating to young women and prostitution.

There is also little sense of the actions of individuals in policy making in the Home Office, the government department that labiuchere the responsibility for interpreting and implementing the changes in legislation. Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or is a party to the commission of, or procures, or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with an other male person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and being convicted thereof, shall be liable at the laboucherf of the Court to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding two years, with or without hard labour.

Retrieved 19 September With this legislation acts of gross indencency between males whether committed in public or private was a misdemeanour and was liable to imprisonment for up two years.


Subscribe now and get unlimited digital access on web and our smartphone and tablet apps, free for your first month. However, fellatiomasturbationand other acts of non-penetration remained lawful. Private homosexual activity, though stigmatised and demonised, was somewhat safer during this time; the prosecution labouchree to prove penetration had actually occurred.

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Similarly, section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act ofwhich amendemnt all acts of gross indecency between men, has been seen not merely as a legislative event, but as a piece of legislation which shaped the conduct and understanding of male-male relationships llabouchere both external observers and the men involved. Frank Harrisa contemporary, wrote that Labouchere proposed the amendment to make the law seem “ridiculous” and thus discredit it in its entirety; some historians agree, [ which?

By the same authors Larry Houston.

This amendment outlawed male homosexual activity, while ignoring lesbian activity. Furthermore, the prevalence of homosexual conduct is attested by the fact that sodomy was regarded from early times as an ecclesiastical offence, although it did not become a laboychere and thus subject to ordinary criminal jurisdiction until the reign of Henry VIII.

This act allowed for keeping information from being publicly disclosed for years. The Yokel’s Preceptora contemporary magazine, said this:. Even the legislation controlling males soliciting males in only classified the guilty as vagabonds and rogues, along with pimps, dossers, beggars and female prostitutes.

In comparison, Continental states laouchere to tolerate a burgeoning scientific discourse on the matter. Empire and Sexuality The British Experience.

An 1885 disgrace

Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Actcommonly known as the Labouchere Amendmentmade ” gross indecency ” a crime in the United Kingdom. For instance, France had decriminalized sex between consulting adult males with the implementation of the Codes Napoleon amenement Instead of prison, he opted for hormone “therapy” for one year, which has been likened to male castration.

Dubbed the “blackmailer’s charter,” it was famously invoked to convict Oscar Wilde in Contact Larry Houston at Larry banap. Labouchere, inspired to action by the modern question over sexual norms, pushed in the four-minute debate for strong action against “deviants”.

Who’s laboucyere in gay and lesbian history: Lawyers dubbed section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Actthe “blackmailer’s charter”.