Washington Territory is created out of the Oregon Territory and receives all
Oregon law. Because the operative Oregon criminal code doesn’t mention
sodomy, it becomes legal in Washington. Had the Territory been created just a
year later after Oregon outlawed sodomy, things would have been different.
is the first state in the nation to adopt a Constitution with an explicit
right to privacy therein.
the Washington Supreme Court found that there was no sodomy law in the state,
but that the common-law offenses statute was sufficient for prosecution, the
legislature nevertheless enacts a sodomy law. Governor John Harte McGraw
refuses to sign the bill, allowing it to become law without his signature, the
only time in U.S. history that has happened.
enacts the nation’s first law forbidding newspapers from reporting news of
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