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Same Sex, Different PoliticsSuccess and Failure in the Struggles over Gay Rights$
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Gary Mucciaroni

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226544083

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226544106.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 13 June 2021

Legalizing Homosexual Conduct

Legalizing Homosexual Conduct

Chapter:
(p.114) 4 Legalizing Homosexual Conduct
Source:
Same Sex, Different Politics
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226544106.003.0004

This chapter recounts the long and varied history of sodomy laws. The state used these laws to target same-sex consensual activity only relatively recently as part of an unprecedented repression of sexual and gender deviance that reached its apex in the middle of the twentieth century. History is of more than academic interest because the courts have looked to the historical record to support and reject claims about the constitutionality of sodomy laws. The chapter then looks at the disappearance of sodomy laws in the United States over four decades, starting in 1960. Repeal took place during two distinct periods. Mostly legislatures repealed the first group of laws in the 1960s and 1970s, and mostly courts repealed the second group after 1980. Although different institutional conditions operated in these periods, the findings are mostly consistent with the hypotheses presented in Chapter 1.

Keywords:   sodomy laws, same-sex consensual activities, sexual conduct, repeal

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