Zephyrus and Hyacinthus
Attic red-figure cup from Tarquinia, 480 BC (Boston Museum of Fine Arts)
Burning of two homosexuals (the knight Richard von Hohenburg and his squire Anton Mätzler) at the stake outside Zürich, 1482 (from the Spiezer Schilling chronicle)
Dance to the Berdache
Sac and Fox Nation ceremonial dance to celebrate the two-spirit person. George Catlin (1796–1872); Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
A woman spying on a pair of male lovers. China, Qing Dynasty.
Female youths are depicted surrounding Sappho in this painting of Lafond "Sappho sings for Homer", 1824.
Sappho reading to her companions on an Attic vase of c. 435 BC
Photograph of the Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen (1920–1991) alias Tom of Finland, well known for his stylized highly masculinized homoerotic art, playing the piano in late 1950s. In the background, his partner Veli Mäkinen (left) and his sister Kaija (right).
An illustration from the 19th-century book Sawaqub al-Manaquib depicting homosexual anal sex with a wine boy
Shah Abbas I of Persia with a boy. By Muhammad Qasim (1627).
U.S. President Barack Obama signs into law the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010
LGBT activists at Cologne Pride in 2015 carrying a banner with the flags of 70 countries where homosexuality is illegal
Protests in New York City against Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
Roy and Silo, two New York Central Park Zoo male chinstrap penguins similar to those pictured, became internationally known when they coupled and later were given an egg that needed hatching and care, which they successfully provided.
Blood donation policies for men who have sex with men
–Men who have sex with men may donate blood; No deferral
–Men who have sex with men may donate blood; Temporary deferral
–Men who have sex with men may not donate blood; Permanent deferral
–No Data
Original Rainbow Pride Flag in San Francisco, designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978

It has been claimed that Powell's decision to uphold the law was influenced by his belief that he had never known any homosexuals, even though one of his own law clerks was gay.

- Bowers v. Hardwick

In 1986, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Bowers v. Hardwick that a state could criminalize sodomy, but, in 2003, overturned itself in Lawrence v. Texas and thereby legalized homosexual activity throughout the United States of America.

- Homosexuality
Zephyrus and Hyacinthus
Attic red-figure cup from Tarquinia, 480 BC (Boston Museum of Fine Arts)

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Burning of the accused sodomites outside the walls of Zürich, 1482 (from the Spiezer Schilling chronicle)

Sodomy law

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Law that defines certain sexual acts as crimes.

Law that defines certain sexual acts as crimes.

Burning of the accused sodomites outside the walls of Zürich, 1482 (from the Spiezer Schilling chronicle)
Depiction of the buggery of a goat, by Paul Avril
Legal status of sodomy around the world (2022):
Legal
Illegal
1791–1850
1850–1945
1946–1989
1990–present
Unknown date of legalization of same-sex intercourse
Same-sex sexual intercourse always legal
Still criminalized
US sodomy laws by the year when they were repealed or struck down. In the late 1950s, drafts of the Model Penal Code recommended decriminalizing sodomy and the first state to adopt decriminalization was Illinois (light yellow) in 1961. Sodomy laws remaining as of 2003 were struck down by the US Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas.
Laws repealed or struck down from 1970 to 1979
Laws repealed or struck down from 1980 to 1989
Laws repealed or struck down from 1990 to 1999
Laws repealed or struck down from 2000 to 2002
Laws struck down by the Supreme Court of the United States in 2003

This age was lowered to 18 in the East in 1968 and the West in 1973, and all legal distinctions between heterosexual and homosexual acts were abolished in the East in 1988, with this change being extended to all of Germany in 1994 as part of the process of German Reunification.

In the 1986 Bowers v. Hardwick decision upholding Georgia's sodomy law, the United States Supreme Court ruled that nothing in the United States Constitution bars a state from prohibiting sodomy.