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Homosexuality in Modern France$
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Jeffrey Merrick and Bryant T. Ragan

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195093032

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195093032.001.0001

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The Regulation of Male Homosexuality in Revolutionary and Napoleonic France, 1789–1815

The Regulation of Male Homosexuality in Revolutionary and Napoleonic France, 1789–1815

Chapter:
(p.80) 4 The Regulation of Male Homosexuality in Revolutionary and Napoleonic France, 1789–1815
Source:
Homosexuality in Modern France
Author(s):

Michael David Sibalis

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195093032.003.0005

This chapter examines the history of the regulation of male homosexuality in France during the period from 1789 to 1815. Consensual sexual relations between adults of the same sex has been legal in France for two centuries and this is usually attributed to the influence of Jean-Jacques-Régis de Cambacérès as second consul and then arch chancellor under Napoleon Bonaparte's government. However, Napoleon's government never showed itself particularly tolerant of homosexual activity and it was determined to enforce the highest moral standards in France. Though the law no longer penalized “crimes against nature”, the government never hesitated to take repressive action against pederasts and sodomites.

Keywords:   homosexuality, France, consensual sexual relations, Jean-Jacques-Régis de Cambacérès, Napoleon Bonaparte, pederasts, sodomites

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