Pas de deux, out of step: Diverging chronologies of homosexuality’s (de)criminalisation in the Low Countries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This article aims to complement two earlier ones by Theo van der Meer and Joke Swiebel in the previous issue of this journal (Swiebel, 2019; Van der Meer, 2019) on the history of homosexuality’s criminalisation in the Netherlands by exploring the same theme from a Belgian perspective. Whereas article 248bis of the Dutch penal code raised the age of consent for homosexual relations from 1911 to 1971, its highly similar Belgian counterpart, article 372bis, was only adopted in 1965 and repealed again in 1985. The analysis will not only devote attention to this striking chronological divergence, but also point to important parallels and cross-border connections. While, individually, this contribution is primarily an attempt to tentatively contextualise homosexuality’s legal history in Belgium, it may be hoped that, together with Van der Meer’s and Swiebel’s, it may serve as a call for more much-needed comparative research on the history of (homo)sexuality in the Low Countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-338
Number of pages18
JournalTijdschrift voor genderstudies
Issue number4
Early online date1 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • homosexuality
  • history
  • Belgium
  • the Netherlands
  • Low Countries
  • criminal law
  • decriminalisation
  • LGBTQI-politics


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