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State-enabled killing of same-sex attracted people: a legal pluralist account

Alexander, C., Sato, M. and Zanghellini, A. (2023) State-enabled killing of same-sex attracted people: a legal pluralist account. Law & Social Inquiry, 48 (3). pp. 719-747. ISSN 1747-4469

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/lsi.2022.48


In eleven countries, same-sex sexual intimacy is punishable by death. Applying a legal pluralistic framework, we argue that ‘State-enabled killing’ of same-sex attracted people occurs in at least 23 countries. State-enabled killings range from extrajudicial and quasi-judicial killings, where State actors carry out the killing; through instances where the State retrospectively authorises, through bias or lawful excuses to homicide, the killing of same-sex attracted people by private actors; to cases where the State permits or endorses forms of so-called ‘conversion therapy’ that lead to death. We contend that a narrow focus on the death penalty as the only genuine form of State-enabled killing of same-sex attracted people is analytically unwarranted and strategically dubious in terms of law reform advocacy. Critical legal pluralism allows us to pursue the practical and normative implications of hypothesising a functional equivalence between the death penalty and these other forms of State-enabled killing.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:105093
Publisher:Cambridge University Press


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