Calendar for June
1792 — Kentucky becomes a state and receives all laws of
Virginia, which includes the reception of the English buggery statute with a
penalty of death.
1880 — The U.S. Census reports that 63 prisoners are
imprisoned for "crimes against nature," 56% in the South, 25% in the
East, 13% in the Midwest, and 6% in the West.
1890 — The U.S. census reveals that 224 people are in
prison for sodomy, up from 63 in the 1880 census.
1915 — California outlaws oral sex. Its unique statute
actually uses the words "fellatio" and "cunnilingus."
1949 — A Georgia appellate court overturns a sodomy
conviction because the indictment did not specify how the defendant was
alleged to have committed the act.
1959 — The Louisiana Supreme Court upholds a sodomy
conviction even though one trial juror violated a court order and discussed
the case with a witness.
1961 — The Second Circuit Court of Appeals upholds a
deportation order against an alien for loitering for solicitation for sodomy.
It says that "simple assault" would not make him eligible for
1972 — The Maryland Commission on Criminal Law publishes
a proposed criminal code that recommends decriminalization of consensual
sodomy with an age of consent of 19. The commission’s comments demonstrate
that they believe sodomy is something only Gay men ever commit.
1977 — Nebraska passes a new criminal code over the veto
of the Governor that includes repeal of the state’s sodomy law.
1993 — A federal judge in Pennsylvania overturns the
lewdness conviction of a man for soliciting an undercover federal agent in a
national park, saying the agent led him on.
1942 — The West Virginia Supreme Court upholds the sodomy
conviction and life sentence of a man under the state’s habitual offender
law. A previous sodomy trial had been entered into evidence by the
1971 — Colorado passes a new criminal code repealing the
state’s sodomy law.
1997 — An Illinois appellate court finds repeated sexual
importuning to be a breach of the peace.
1921 — California passes a new law against oral sex, this
time outlawing "oral copulation." The penalty is set at a maximum of
15 years, 5 more than for anal sex.
1927 — The Missouri Supreme Court rules that both
partners in an act of fellatio can be prosecuted under the sodomy law.
1938 — A California appellate court upholds a cunnilingus
conviction based on "inferences" made by the jury from evidence.
1957 — The New Jersey Supreme Court rules that sodomy
defendants have the right to state their marital and parental status.
1975 — Maine passes a new criminal code and repeals its
1981 — The Maryland Court of Appeals upholds the sodomy
law against a privacy challenge.
1983 — Puerto Rico changes the penalty for sodomy to a
fixed term of 10 years, with a range of 8-20 years for unspecified mitigating
or aggravating factors.
1812 — The Organic Act for the Missouri Territory
receives the 1805 Louisiana sodomy statute, with a compulsory sentence of life
imprisonment at hard labor.
1894 — The Georgia Supreme Court reverses the sodomy
conviction of a boy "under 14" due to questionable evidence. It does
not challenge the right of the state to prosecute those of his age as adults.
1908 — The Iowa Supreme Court upholds a sodomy conviction
against a challenge that one of the jurors on the case on his own visited the
toilet where the crime was alleged to have occurred.
1936 — The Michigan Supreme Court rules that fellatio can
not be prosecuted under the state’s "crime against nature" law
with a 15-year maximum penalty, but must be prosecuted under the "gross
indecency" law with a 5-year maximum penalty.
1954 — The Massachusetts Supreme Court upholds the state’s
"unnatural and lascivious acts" law.
1979 — North Carolina changes the fine for the
"crime against nature" from unspecified to $5,000.
1980 — Puerto Rico amends its "crime against
nature" law to set a 6-year fixed penalty, but to allow a range of 20-99
years if a habitual felon. The range is set at 4-10 years for unspecified
mitigating or aggravating factors.
1981 — A Michigan appellate court overturns restroom sex
convictions on privacy grounds.
1945 — An Alabama appellate court upholds a conviction
for cunnilingus under the state’s "crime against nature" law.
1998 — Rhode Island repeals its sodomy law.
1671 — Plymouth Colony exempts males under 14 and forced
parties from the death penalty for sodomy.
1940 — Congress amends the Assimilative Crimes Act to
absorb state laws enacted through February 1, 1940. The first revision
since 1933, this makes oral sex on federal property in three additional
1950 — The New Hampshire Supreme Court rejects the
contention that the 1949 "psychopathic offender" law repealed the
state’s sodomy law.
1979 — The Ohio Supreme Court upholds the state’s law
prohibiting the "offensive" solicitation of a person of the same
sex. The Court says that homosexuality was accepted in the Dark Ages and
Victorian times, but not in the modern, sexually liberated world.
1986 — Hawaii revises the conflict in its age of consent
law by lowering the age for all activity to 14.
2001 — Estonia equalizes the age of consent for
homosexual and heterosexual sex.
1919 — A California appellate court upholds the sodomy
conviction of a man. The mother of his consenting partner had drilled holes in
his bedroom walls to watch.
1937 — Colorado increases the minimum fine for possession
of sex toys and requires defendants to pay all court costs.
1972 — The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals
rules that consensual sodomy is a "crime involving moral turpitude"
within the meaning of federal law permitting deportation of any alien
convicted of such a crime. The case is brought by a man convicted of sodomy
with a woman.
1973 — The Nevada Supreme Court upholds the right of the
state to prosecute heterosexual cunnilingus under the "crime against
nature" law. In 1914, it said at lease one male must be involved, so this
decision gives Lesbians a solitary exemption from the law.
1975 — New Hampshire passes a new sexual assault law and
includes a repeal of the consensual sodomy law that is not noticed for a year
after passage. The repeal of the sodomy law is well hidden in the law and is
signed by homophobic Governor Meldrim Thomson, who does not learn of the
repeal for a year afterward.
1955 — The Ohio Supreme Court upholds the
constitutionality of the state’s sodomy law. In a per curiam opinion of just
28 words, it claims that there is no debatable constitutional question
involved, meaning that the constitutionality of sodomy laws is beyond dispute.
1979 — North Carolina outlaws loitering for the purpose
of prostitution or the crime against nature.
1989 — South Carolina expands the penalty for commission
of certain sexual offenses, including buggery, to 10 years in prison and/or a
$10,000 fine if they occur within 100 yards of a day care facility.
1653 — In Plymouth Colony, Richard Berry and Teage Joanes
are ordered to stop living together, four years after a charge of sexual
relations with each other.
1948 — Congress passes a sodomy law for the District of
Columbia which, for the first time, includes oral sex.
1953 — The West Virginia Supreme Court reverses the
sodomy conviction of a man because prior acts of his were admitted into
evidence against him.
1973 — West Germany lowers the age of consent from 21 to
1978 — Arizona passes a lengthy correction to its 1977
criminal code, due to poor drafting of the original law, and includes an
insertion to the sodomy law that one "knowingly" had to violate it.
1893 — Cleveland legalizes and attempts to regulate
prostitution. The experiment goes on for 10 months, but is terminated largely
because of the overwhelming number of male prostitutes attracted to the city.
1903 — Michigan outlaws "gross indecency"
between two males only. This apparently will cover any sexual or erotic acts
whatsoever, but probably was aimed most specifically at fellatio.
1946 — The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear a case from
Hawaii of a man convicted of fondling another. This is the first same-sex sex
case to be appealed to the highest court.
1996 — The Tennessee Supreme Court declines to review the
appellate court decision striking down that state’s sodomy law and asks it
to publish its opinion as precedent.
1879 — Pennsylvania passes the nation’s first explicit
law prohibiting fellatio.
1902 — A California appellate court upholds a sodomy
conviction over the contention of the defendant that the witness’s failure
to swear "so help me God" invalidated the conviction.
1957 — A Pennsylvania appellate court upholds the sodomy
conviction of a man after the witness told the jury that "[h]e is known
as a fairy.
1971 — A New York trial court rules that solicitation is
not an attempt to commit sodomy.
1973 — An Indiana appellate court rules that masturbation
of an adult does not violate the state’s sodomy law.
1976 — West Virginia’s new sexual assault law,
including repeal of the consensual sodomy law, takes effect.
1998 — A California judge throws out the "lewd
behavior" indictment of a man enticed by an undercover police officer.
1838 — The Organic Act for the Iowa Territory receives
all laws of the Wisconsin Territory, which received the laws of Michigan,
setting a 3-year maximum penalty for sodomy.
1956 — The Arizona Supreme Court upholds the sodomy
conviction of a man after a news reporter made prejudicial remarks against the
defendant in the presence of the jury and the state claimed that it was a
1957 — Oregon prohibits anyone convicted of sodomy from
being a public school teacher.
1970 — A Georgia appellate court rules that penetration
is not necessary under the new sodomy law.
2001 — The Michigan Court of Appeals affirms the
dismissal of gross indecency charges against two men for sex in a restroom
1905 — In Ohio, 9-year-old Robert Collingwood enters the
Boys’ Industrial School for sodomy.
1916 — The Wisconsin Supreme Court reverses the sodomy
conviction of a man who proved an alibi for the date in question and after a
doctor who did not know him testified at the trial, repeating community gossip
about the defendant.
1924 — A California appellate court says that an assault always
is a manifestation of sodomy.
1963 — The Washington Supreme Court overturns a sodomy
conviction because the prosecutor told the jury that the defendant was a
1979 — A New York court rules that sex occurring inside
an enclosed van is occurring in a public place.
1979 — Texas outlaws the sale of sex toys.
1898 — New Jersey passes a new criminal code and its
sodomy provisions prohibit bail and declare that a "conspiracy" to
commit sodomy is sufficient to convict for actual commission. This code also
makes it legal for any person to kill any other person who is engaging in
1973 — Texas passes a new criminal code. It reduces the
penalty for sodomy from a felony to a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a
$200 fine. It also changes the name of the "crime" to
1978 — Alaska passes a new criminal code repealing that
state’s sodomy law.
1989 — Tennessee enacts a new criminal code and abrogates
common-law crimes. It also reduces the penalty for consensual sodomy from 5-15
years in prison to a maximum of 30 days in jail and/or a $50 fine. The law,
for the first time, is made applicable only to people of the same sex.
1993 — South Carolina bans foster care by persons
convicted of buggery.
1704 — Two men are beheaded in Prussia for consensual
sexual relations with each other.
1933 — Congress revises the Assimilative Crimes Act to
include state laws enacted up to June 1, 1933. The first revision to the
law since its enactment, it adds sodomy as a crime on federal property in two
territories, and oral sex on federal property in 26 states.
1950 — The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals
upholds the indefinite indictment provision of the District of Columbia sodomy
1812 — The Virginia Supreme Court is the first to rule
that emission is not necessary to complete the "crime against
1887 — Massachusetts passes a law prohibiting
"unnatural and lascivious acts" in an apparent attempt to outlaw
consensual oral sex.
1891 — Pennsylvania limits the availability of bail for
those accused of sodomy.
1931 — Michigan reduces its fine for gross indecency from
$5,000 to $2,500.
1971 — Florida passes a new criminal penalties code that
reduces the penalty for sodomy from a maximum of 20 years to 15 and for
"unnatural and lascivious act" from 6 months to 60 days.
1972 — The Pennsylvania Superior Court overturns a
solicitation for sodomy conviction of a man who rubbed the penis of an
undercover police officer in a restroom.
1993 — Nevada repeals its same-sex-only sodomy law. The
repeal passes the Senate 14-6 and the House 29-12. This makes Nevada the first
state ever to repeal a discriminatory sodomy law.
1938 — The Minnesota Supreme Court overturns the sodomy
conviction of a man because the state failed to treat a young man who acted as
his procurer as an accomplice.
1952 — The New Jersey Supreme Court rules that the date
of an alleged act of sodomy is irrelevant, because "sodomy is a crime
1958 — The West Virginia Supreme Court overturns a life
sentence for sodomy under the habitual criminal law because the defendant had
not been confronted with previous sodomy convictions during trial.
1974 — The District of Columbia Court of Appeals upholds
the right of police to arrest only males for soliciting in public, but not the
females who are soliciting in public with them.
1975 — The Alabama Court of Appeals upholds a sentence of
10 years in prison for a 16-year-old sodomy defendant.
1779 — Virginia, working on a revised criminal code,
rejects the suggestion of Thomas Jefferson to eliminate the death penalty for
1935 — The Alabama Supreme Court issues an advisory
opinion on a just-passed law requiring the sterilization of, among others,
"sexual perverts," "Homosexualists" and "sodomists."
The Court says that the law is unconstitutional because it does not give
individuals the right to a hearing before the operation is performed. If there
is a hearing, the Court said, it would be constitutional.
1965 — The North Carolina Supreme Court rules that the
state’s sodomy law had not been "impliedly" repealed by a new law
dealing with sexual acts with children.
1975 — The Arizona Court of Appeals permits use of a
Phoenix ordinance on "grossly indecent act" against a man for
fondling an undercover officer.
1996 — Tasmania defeats a measure to repeal its sodomy
1812 — New Hampshire reduces the penalty for sodomy from
death to 10 years.
1891 — The Connecticut Supreme Court approves a monetary
settlement brought by the father of a boy against the father of another boy,
due to the two sons having sexual relations.
1963 — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals upholds a
15-year sentence for two prisoners caught engaging in consensual sodomy.
1863 — West Virginia breaks away from Virginia in a
dispute over the Civil War. It retains the Virginia sodomy law.
1944 — The Oregon Supreme Court permits the introduction
of evidence of acts with another person to be admitted into evidence in sodomy
1950 — The Georgia Supreme Court upholds a life sentence
for sodomy handed down on a retrial after the first conviction had been
overturned, and after the sodomy law’s life imprisonment penalty had been
1958 — The District of Columbia Court of Appeals upholds
the solicitation conviction of a man, saying no corroboration was needed
because he admitted he touched the complaining undercover officer.
1973 — The Attorney General of Maryland issues an opinion
that anyone convicted of sodomy is "infamous" and ineligible under
the state constitution to vote.
1975 — New Mexico’s new sexual offenses law, including
repeal of the consensual sodomy law, takes effect.
1850 — Hawaii, under influence of Christian missionaries,
outlaws sodomy with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
1922 — The Illinois Supreme Court rules that obtaining
money by threatening to accuse the victim of sodomy constitutes robbery, but
that no other threat does.
1945 — An Ohio appellate court upholds a sodomy
conviction based largely on a doctor’s examination of the partner.
1965 — A California appellate court upholds the oral
copulation conviction of a man with a 16-year-old male who, he claimed,
seduced him and he complained to the boy’s mother about it.
1967 — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals upholds a
sodomy conviction even though testimony from other partners was allowed.
1968 — Romania enacts a new criminal code with a sodomy
provision applying only to people of the same sex, with a penalty of 1-5
1993 — South Carolina changes the penalty for sodomy from
a mandatory five years in prison to a maximum of five years.
1995 — The Rhode Island Supreme Court upholds the
constitutionality of the state’s sodomy law as applied to consenting
1869 — Canada outlaws buggery with a term of 2 years to
1874 — A new criminal code for the District of Columbia
makes no reference to sodomy or common-law crimes, thus apparently legalizing
sodomy. This code creates much confusion in the District as to what is legal
and what is not, but the consensus of opinion is that neither the common law
nor laws of Maryland are in force. Since the code makes no reference to
sodomy, it apparently is legalized in the District.
1899 — The Washington Supreme Court rejects a vagueness
challenge to a sodomy indictment.
1953 — The Washington Supreme Court rules that the mere
touching of a sex organ with the tongue or mouth is not "carnal
knowledge" within the language of the state’s sodomy law.
1833 — English Member of Parliament William Bankes is
acquitted of a charge of sex with a soldier in a public restroom. Eight years
later, he flees to the continent after a similar charge is leveled against
1916 — A Pennsylvania trial court ignores the 1899 ruling
that struck down the law against oral sex and permits a trial under the
1927 — The Ohio Attorney General issues an opinion that
the state’s law banning probation for sodomy is absolute.
1939 — Pennsylvania raises the maximum fine for sodomy to
1976 — Former federal judge G. Harrold Carswell is
arrested for soliciting an undercover officer in a public restroom in Florida.
In 1970, he is the choice of President Nixon for the U.S. Supreme Court, but
the Senate rejects him due to his extreme conservatism and mediocre
1646 — Jan Creoli is burned at the stake in New
Netherland Colony (New York) for sodomy.
1925 — The Iowa Supreme Court rules that, while
drunkenness is a possible defense against a charge of sodomy, the burden of
proof is on the defendant.
1948 — Congress extends the Assimilative Crimes Act to
absorb all state laws as they are enacted.
1976 — The New Mexico Supreme Court upholds the
constitutionality of the state’s sodomy law in a case brought by someone
convicted before the law’s 1975 repeal.
1916 — The Arkansas Supreme Court upholds a malicious
prosecution award brought by a man against another who falsely had accused him
1942 — A California appellate court rejects the
contention of a man arrested for cunnilingus with a woman that oral sex
between people of the opposite sex is not sodomy.
1951 — The Arizona Supreme Court lowers bail set for a
sodomy defendant from $150,000 to $60,000.
1957 — The Maryland Court of Appeals upholds the
conviction of a man for "assault" for unzipping the pants of a
hustler and soliciting him.
1828 — A new law in England determines that emission is
not necessary to complete the "crime against nature." For the first
time, the buggery law is gender-neutral.
1968 — The Virginia Attorney General issues an opinion
that the state’s common-law reception statute can be used to prosecute Gay
men who are soliciting. Virginia has no solicitation law.
1975 — Washington passes a new criminal code and repeals
its sodomy law.
1919 — Illinois creates a minimum penalty for sodomy of
1928 — A California appellate court rules that sodomy
convictions can be obtained from circumstantial evidence only. In this case,
one partner physically resists police arrest when caught in the act.
1935 — A new penal code enacted by the Nazis extends the
sodomy law to cover kissing, touching, or giving someone a "wrong
look." Before this law was passed 2,319 men were convicted in the
1931-1933 era, but in the years 1937-1939 the number of convictions rises to
1939 — A Pennsylvania court rules that cunnilingus
violates that state’s sodomy law.
1952 — The Texas Court of Appeals upholds a sodomy
conviction based entirely on circumstantial evidence, without testimony of the
alleged victim, and after making reference to the defendant’s Mexican
1976 — Iowa passes a new criminal code that includes
repeal of its sodomy law. An effort in the House of Representatives to keep
the sodomy law is defeated 62-30.
1989 — A federal court in Maryland upholds a conviction
for indecent exposure in a federal park, rejecting the defendant’s
contention that his not being seen by anyone but the arresting officer made
his act non-public.
1629 — The English ship Talbot arrives in
Massachusetts. Five boys on board are found to be having sexual relations with
each other and are sent back to England for punishment. Their fate is not
1846 — The New York Herald reports that a young
man arrested on the Battery (a leading Gay cruising area) for "revolting
and disgraceful acts" attempts to bribe his discoverer into not reporting
him to the police.
1953 — Congress passes a new solicitation law for the
District of Columbia that increases the maximum fine to $250 and removes the
ability of judges to "impose conditions" on offenders.
1960 — The House of Commons defeats an effort to repeal
England’s sodomy law by a vote of 213-99.
1981 — The Oregon Court of Appeals strikes down the state’s
law against "accosting for deviate purposes," saying that it is a
violation of freedom of speech.
1989 — The Washington Times reports on a
"call-boy" ring operating in the White House and enjoyed by both
Reagan and Bush Administration officials.
1994 — South Carolina creates a sex offender registry
program and includes those convicted of buggery.
1943 — A New York appellate court overturns a sodomy
conviction because the question of the partner’s being an accomplice had not
been submitted to the jury.
1969 — The Nevada Supreme Court decides that the
"crime against nature" law might be unconstitutional as
applied to consenting adults, but says that the defendant in this case can not
raise the issue since it was assaultive in nature.
1983 — An Ohio appellate court overturns the public
indecency conviction of a man for sex with another man in a six-foot-high
patch of honeysuckle in a public park.
1986 — The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the
constitutionality of the Georgia sodomy law and finds that "homosexual
sodomy" is not a fundamental right.
1993 — Missouri enacts a law requiring the bond to be set
for those arrested for sodomy to cover the costs of HIV testing of the