Sodomy law

sodomy lawssodomyanti-sodomy lawanti-sodomy lawscrime of sodomygross indecencycriminalisation of homosexualitydecriminalisedhistorical legislation that outlawed homosexual actslaw
A sodomy law is a law that defines certain sexual acts as crimes.wikipedia
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Buggery Act 1533

Buggery Act of 1533buggeryBuggery Act
In England, Henry VIII introduced the first legislation under English criminal law against sodomy with the Buggery Act of 1533, making buggery punishable by hanging, a penalty not lifted until 1861.
It was the country's first civil sodomy law, such offences having previously been dealt with by the ecclesiastical courts.

Sodomy

buggerysodomizedsodomite
In England, Henry VIII introduced the first legislation under English criminal law against sodomy with the Buggery Act of 1533, making buggery punishable by hanging, a penalty not lifted until 1861. The precise sexual acts meant by the term sodomy are rarely spelled out in the law, but are typically understood by courts to include any sexual act deemed to be unnatural or immoral.
Sodomy laws in many countries criminalized the behavior.

Lawrence v. Texas

Lawrence2003539 U.S. 558
However, by 2003, 13 U.S. states still criminalized homosexuality, along with many Missouri counties, and the territory of Puerto Rico, but in June 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas that state laws criminalizing private, non-commercial sexual activity between consenting adults at home on the grounds of morality are unconstitutional since there is insufficient justification for intruding into people's liberty and privacy.
The Supreme Court struck down the sodomy law in Texas in a 6–3 decision and, by extension, invalidated sodomy laws in 13 other states, making same-sex sexual activity legal in every U.S. state and territory.

Human sexual activity

sexual activitysexual behaviorsex
A sodomy law is a law that defines certain sexual acts as crimes.
Sodomy laws were seen as discouraging same-sex sexual practices, but may affect opposite-sex sexual practices.

Toonen v. Australia

Toonen v Australia
Tasmania was the last state to decriminalise sodomy, doing so in 1997 after the groundbreaking cases of Toonen v Australia and Croome v Tasmania (it is also notable that Tasmania was the first jurisdiction to recognize same-sex couples in Australia since 2004 under the Relationships Act 2003.
The case resulted in the repeal of Australia's last sodomy laws when the Committee held that sexual orientation was included in the antidiscrimination provisions as a protected status under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

France

FrenchFRAFrench Republic
In France, it was the French Revolutionary penal code (issued in 1791) which for the first time struck down "sodomy" as a crime, decriminalizing it together with all "victimless-crimes" (sodomy, heresy, witchcraft, blasphemy), according with the concept that if there was no victim, there was no crime.
France does not recognise religious law as a motivation for the enactment of prohibitions; it has long abolished blasphemy laws and sodomy laws (the latter in 1791).

Sex and the law

sex crimesex crimessexual offences
A sodomy law is a law that defines certain sexual acts as crimes.

Homosexuality

homosexualgayhomosexuals
In practice, sodomy laws have rarely been enforced against heterosexual couples, and have mostly been used to target homosexuals.
The first known appearance of homosexual in print is found in an 1869 German pamphlet by the Austrian-born novelist Karl-Maria Kertbeny, published anonymously, arguing against a Prussian anti-sodomy law.

Anal sex

analanal intercourseanal penetration
Sodomy typically includes anal sex, oral sex, and bestiality. ) In 2016 Queensland became the final Australian jurisdiction to equalise its age of consent for all forms of sexual activity at 16 years, after reducing the age of consent for anal sex from 18 years.

Don Dunstan

DunstanDon Dunstan FoundationDunstan government
Following the Wolfenden report, the Dunstan Labor government introduced a consenting adults in private type legal defence in South Australia in 1972.
Some bills, such as the one to remove the sodomy law and decriminalise male homosexuality, had been initially blocked by the Legislative Council.

National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality v Minister of Justice

National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality and Another v Minister of Justice and OthersNational Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality and Another v. Minister of Justice and Otherssubsequent court decision
The common-law crimes of sodomy and "commission of an unnatural sexual act" in South Africa's Roman-Dutch law were declared to be unconstitutional (and therefore invalid) by the Witwatersrand Local Division of the High Court on 8 May 1998 in the case of National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality v Minister of Justice, and this judgment was confirmed by the Constitutional Court on 9 October of the same year.
Basing its decision on the Bill of Rights in the Constitutionand in particular its explicit prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientationthe court unanimously ruled that the crime of sodomy, as well as various other related provisions of the criminal law, were unconstitutional and therefore invalid.

Sodomy laws in the United States

sodomy lawssodomyLegal since 2003
]]Sodomy laws in the United States were largely a matter of state rather than federal jurisdiction, except for laws governing the U.S. Armed Forces.
During this time, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of sodomy laws in Bowers v. Hardwick in 1986.

Age of consent

underageage of sexual consentunderage sex
) In 2016 Queensland became the final Australian jurisdiction to equalise its age of consent for all forms of sexual activity at 16 years, after reducing the age of consent for anal sex from 18 years. In the 1980s and 1990s, gay rights organizations made attempts to equalize the age of consent for heterosexual and homosexual activity, which had previously been 21 for homosexual activity but only 16 for heterosexual acts. Despite the abolition of sodomy as a crime, the Sexual Offences Act, 1957 set the age of consent for same-sex activities at 19, whereas for opposite-sex activities it was 16. Paragraph 175, which punished "fornication between men", was eased to an age of consent of 21 in East Germany in 1957 and in West Germany in 1969.

LGBT rights in the United Kingdom

gay rightsLGBT rightsUnited Kingdom
In the 1980s and 1990s, gay rights organizations made attempts to equalize the age of consent for heterosexual and homosexual activity, which had previously been 21 for homosexual activity but only 16 for heterosexual acts.
The Act was the country's first civil sodomy law; such offences having previously been dealt with by the ecclesiastical courts.

Zoophilia and the law

Bestialityillegal in most countriesis not outlawed in some countries
Sometimes sodomy laws or "crime against nature" laws are used to prosecute people who have sex with animals.

LGBT rights by country or territory

gay rightsLGBT rightsequality
In 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed an LGBT rights resolution, which was followed up by a report published by the UN Human Rights Commissioner which included scrutinisation of the mentioned codes.

Sexual Offences Act, 1957

Immorality Act, 1957Immorality Amendment Act, 1969Immorality Amendment Act, 1988
Despite the abolition of sodomy as a crime, the Sexual Offences Act, 1957 set the age of consent for same-sex activities at 19, whereas for opposite-sex activities it was 16.

Societal attitudes toward homosexuality

societal attitudes towards homosexualitypromotion of homosexualityhomosexuality with pedophilia
Homosexual sex acts may be illegal, especially under sodomy laws, and where they are legal, the age of consent often differs from country to country.

Paragraph 175

§ 175anti-sodomy laws in Germany§175
Paragraph 175, which punished "fornication between men", was eased to an age of consent of 21 in East Germany in 1957 and in West Germany in 1969.

LGBT rights in Zimbabwe

ZimbabweAn association of LGBTI People in Zimbabwecampaign against homosexuals
Zimbabwe's Former President Robert Mugabe has waged a violent campaign against homosexuals, claiming that before colonization, Zimbabweans did not engage in homosexual acts.
The sections involving gays and lesbians are part of an overhaul of the country's sodomy laws.

Crime against nature

crimes against natureunnatural actunnatural sexual acts
The common-law crimes of sodomy and "commission of an unnatural sexual act" in South Africa's Roman-Dutch law were declared to be unconstitutional (and therefore invalid) by the Witwatersrand Local Division of the High Court on 8 May 1998 in the case of National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality v Minister of Justice, and this judgment was confirmed by the Constitutional Court on 9 October of the same year.

Rape

rapingrapistraped
As with the crime of rape, buggery required that penetration must have occurred, but ejaculation is not necessary.
In many cultures, such acts were illegal, even if they were consensual and performed between married couples (see sodomy laws).

Wolfenden report

Wolfenden Committee1957 reportDepartmental Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution
Following the Wolfenden report, the Dunstan Labor government introduced a consenting adults in private type legal defence in South Australia in 1972. After the publishing of the Wolfenden report in the UK, which asserted that "homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence", many western governments, including many U.S. states, have repealed laws specifically against homosexual acts.
The recommendations eventually led to the passage of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, applying to England and Wales only, that replaced the previous law on sodomy contained in the Offences against the Person Act 1861 and the 1885 Labouchere Amendment which outlawed every homosexual act short of sodomy.

Labouchere Amendment

gross indecencygross indecency" between malesLabouchère Amendment
In 1885, Parliament enacted the Labouchere Amendment, which prohibited gross indecency between males, a broad term that was understood to encompass most or all male homosexual acts.
*Sodomy law

Oral sex

oraloral copulationfellatio
Sodomy typically includes anal sex, oral sex, and bestiality.