The law may also have been used to prosecute male citizens who willingly played the passive role in same-sex acts.
It is unclear whether the penalty was death or a fine.
This defence was initiated as a bill by Murray Hill, father of former Defence Minister Robert Hill, and repealed the state's sodomy law in 1975.
The Campaign Against Moral Persecution during the 1970s raised the profile and acceptance of Australia's gay and lesbian communities, and other states and territories repealed their laws between 19.
In Asia, male homosexual acts remain punishable by death in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
Additionally, life imprisonment is the formal penalty for male homosexual acts in Bangladesh, the Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Qatar.
Following Sir William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, the crime of sodomy has often been defined only as the "abominable and detestable crime against nature", or some variation of the phrase.
This language led to widely varying rulings about what specific acts were encompassed by its prohibition.
For example, male homosexual acts, at least in theory, can result in life imprisonment in Barbados and Guyana.
In Africa, male homosexual acts remain punishable by death in Mauritania, Sudan, and some parts of Nigeria and Somalia.
The same principle was held true in the Napoleon Penal Code in 1810, which was imposed on the large part of Europe then ruled by the French Empire and its cognate kings, thus decriminalizing sodomy in most of Continental Europe. As of 2017, sodomy related laws have been repealed or judicially struck down in all of Europe, North America, and South America, except for Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.
In 1830, Emperor Pedro I of Brazil signed a law into the Imperial Penal Code. After the publishing of the Wolfenden report in the UK, which asserted that "homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence", many western governments, including the United States, have repealed laws specifically against homosexual acts. There have never been Western-style sodomy related laws in the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, or Vietnam.
The exception was Tasmania, which retained its laws until the Federal Government and the United Nations Human Rights Committee forced their repeal in 1997.