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Is he a "social danger?" : the Franco regime's judicial prosecution of homosexuality in Málaga under the Ley de Vagos y Maleantes


Despite the increasing attention paid by historians to the repression of homosexuality under the Franco regime (1939-1975), there is no previous analysis of the court proceedings resulting from the 1954 revision of the Ley de Vagos y Maleantes (Law of Vagrants and Thugs), which added homosexuality to the list of "social dangers" outlined in the statute. Scholars have claimed that the revision of the law reflected the dictatorship's "obsession" with homosexuality, connecting that obsession to factors as diverse as fascist homoeroticism, modernization, public health theories, and social tolerance towards "active homosexuals." In this article, I focus on the court proceedings that took place in Málaga between 1958 and 1962 to show that in this context the application of this law and the judicial prosecution of homosexuality were actually quite circumscribed. Furthermore, the evidence reveals that homosexuality was not treated as a crime per se, but rather as a conduct, among others, that could indicate an inclination to antisocial and criminal behavior. Accordingly, the actions and discourses of the lawyers and judges of Málaga show that individuals accused of homosexuality who demonstrated an overall normative social behavior were unlikely to be considered a "danger." The defendants who were punished by the court in most cases had also be en indicted to other "antisocial" behaviors (mostly corruption of minors) that were more concerning for the court

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Fernández Galeano, Javier, "Is he a 'social danger?' : the Franco regime's judicial prosecution of homosexuality in Málaga under the Ley de Vagos y Maleantes" (2016). Brown University Student Publications. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.



  • Brown University Student Publications

    This collection contains open access and other scholarly works published by students at Brown University. Items include articles, essays and white papers, among others. For theses and dissertations authored by students for the fulfillment of requirements for degrees granted by …