Sodomy Laws in the US: By The Numbers

US Sodomy Laws by Year of Repeal/Struck Down

US Sodomy Laws by Year of Repeal/Struck Down

While many states are passing laws allowing gay marriage, some areas regarding sexuality are still in the Dark Ages: Fourteen states still have laws on the books banning sodomy. And these laws aren’t just for the LGBT crowd; they’re for everyone, regardless of orientation.

Contrary to popular belief equating sodomy with only anal sex, these laws can also cover oral sex, and certain sexual acts between homosexual couples, unmarried heterosexual couples and even married couples.

Though these “crimes against nature” laws were invalidated in 2003 with the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court case, some remain, and are still enforced, in certain states.

How common are these laws? Let’s take a look:

Number of states with active sodomy laws: 14

Number of states outlawing anal sex: 27

Number of states outlawing oral sex: 24

Number of states outlawing both anal and oral sex: 24

Number of states with laws including certain acts between homosexual couples: 27

Number of states with laws including certain acts between unmarried heterosexual couples: 20

US Sodomy Laws by Year of Repeal/Struck Down

US Sodomy Laws by Year of Repeal/Struck Down

Number of states with laws including certain acts between married couples: 16

 

If you’d like more information, Wikipedia has a very helpful matrix.

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