Last edited: March 28, 2004



  • Statute: Repealed 1972


            1843     Early Oregon settlers adopt a code of laws based on Iowa law, but it is unclear if the Iowa code adopted is the 1838 code that had Michigan’s sodomy law, or the 1843 code that didn’t have any sodomy law.

            1894     A Gay male couple is reported to police by a neighbor and one is sent to jail.

            1913     Oregon adopts a uniquely worded new sodomy law: “If any person shall commit sodomy or the crime against nature, or any act or practice of sexual perversity, either with mankind or beast, or sustain osculatory relations with the private parts of any man, woman or child, or permit such relations to be sustained with his or her private parts, such person shall upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary not less than one year nor more than fifteen years.”

            1913     Oregon enacts a law requiring the sexual sterilization of “sexual perverts,” who are defined as those “addicted” to sodomy. A group of prominent citizens forces a referendum on the new law and voters repeal it by a 56%-44% margin. Four years later, the Oregon legislature ignores this vote and reenacts the law.

            1955     Oregon enacts the first law in the nation forbidding the kidnapping of a child for purposes of engaging in sodomy.

            1966     The Oregon Supreme Court upholds a sodomy conviction based on a neighbor reporting a Gay couple to police.

            1988     The Oregon Court of Appeals issues two decisions that all but obliterate the state’s law against public indecency when it reverses convictions for masturbating openly in public restrooms.

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