Vice: How the British Empire Exported Homophobia | Empires of Dirt. A set of laws known as the penal code was exported from Britain to its colonies and is still affecting LGBTQ politics to this very day. The penal code laws made being gay a criminal offense, and while Britain decriminalized homosexuality in 1967, it’s still illegal in over 30 former British colonies. These countries didn’t have a history of homophobia before Britain enforced their own ideas of morality, but thanks to the empire these laws mean many live in fear. VICE World News host Zing Tsjeng investigates how the legacy of the empire is still ruining lives to this day.