Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Marquis reviews Corrieveau, "Judging Homosexuals"

The Law & Politics Book Review has posted a review of Patrice Corriveau, JUDGING HOMOSEXUALS: A HISTORY OF GAY PERSECUTION IN QUEBEC AND FRANCE (University of British Columbia Press, 2011) (Kathe Roth, trans.). Here's an excerpt of the review, by Greg Marquis (University of New Brunswick Saint John):
Judging Homosexuals by criminology professor Patrice Corriveau is an interesting comparative study of the legal persecution of homosexuals in two francophone societies, France and Quebec, from the 17th century until recent times. Corriveau adopts the explanatory theory that at different times in history, usually social or economic crises, the “dominant classes,” acting in the name of religion, public order or the family, have scapegoated and repressed the “dangerous” classes (p.168). Although they share a common culture, the legal and political systems of the two jurisdictions discussed in the book have developed on distinct trajectories; Quebec, for example, a colony of France’s until 1763, was a British colony until it became a province of Canada in 1867. Under the British North America Act of 1867, the federal government could legislate on marriage and divorce, but Sec. 92 (12) gave the provinces exclusive rights over the “solemnization” of marriages. In Quebec, where most of the population remained French speaking and Roman Catholic, the Catholic church retained, well into the 1950s, a conservative grip on family or social policy. Women in Quebec were permitted to vote on the provincial level only in 1940 and prior to the 1968 federal Divorce Act, unlike in a number of other provinces, the courts played no part in divorce.

This study is not a social history of homosexuality in France and Quebec, but an examination of how homosexuality was constructed by law as shaped by various experts and organizations of influence such as the clergy, doctors and jurists. . . . 
Read on here.