First Nation in Modern Times to Legalize Gay Sex.

What was the first nation in modern times to legalize consensual adult gay sex, a/k/a sodomy?

For the sake of argument, let’s say “modern times” began when Columbus landed on the New World. (I once read some place, sorry I forget exactly where, that some historians consider 1492 the beginning of the Modern Era. And plus it begins the time when America was brought into the picture, which is fitting, I think.) And just to make things interesting, let’s include as “first” nation to legalize gay sex, any nation that had already had legalize before 1492, where it was still legal in 1492.

And as always, thank you in advance to all who reply :slight_smile:

By “legalize” do you “decrimilanize”? :confused:

Supposing some nations never made it illegal?

Yes, I think if I understand you correctly, “decriminalize” would be a better word for what I am asking.

That is also what I am asking in my OP:

I hope this makes everything clear now :slight_smile: .

I’m intrigued as to which Modern Nations that have legalized gay sex as opposed to not prosecuting offenders under existing laws.
In the UK it’s still illegal as the buggery and sodomy laws have not been repealed.
This includes oral sex between hetrosexual couples.
The last time I recall the laws being enforced was on a group of consenting male adults who video taped themselves.

Um, yes they have, the age of consent was even equalized in 2003. France repealed it’s sodomy laws in the 1790s during the French Revolution.

No, I don’t think that is the case at all, and gay “civil unions” are now perfectly legal.

I think I vaguely recall the case you mean, but that, I think, had to do with some kind of behaviour that fell under laws abut attacking people, causing pain, cruelty or some such. Yes, it was pretty stupid to prosecute those guys as it was all consensual, but it was not, I think, to do with laws about buggery/sodomy, since homosexuality has been perfectly legal for many years.

Ingorance Fought!

See Operation Spanner.

Until 2003 a more common offence, not repealed from the Sexual Offences Act (1956) by the Sexual Offences Act (1967), was gross indecency. The 1967 Act:

My bolding.

Section 1 (2) specified that, “where there are more than two persons present (including a female) the behaviour is not “in private” and that a lavatory accessible to the public is not a private place. Consensual homosexual behaviour between members of the Armed Forces or between members of the crew of the UK merchant ships remained criminal. Furthermore, a man who “procures” another male for an “act of buggery” or for gross indecency with a third party commits a crime, even though the acts for in question may be between consenting adults and not in themselves offences.”

In 1998 the Bolton Seven were convicted of gross indecency not for sodomy but simply because there were more than two men present at the proceedings. (Three of the seven were also found guilty of age of consent offences but this was a separate charge).

The Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act of 2000 equalised the age of consent at 16 and the the Sexual Offences Act (2003) decriminalised gross indecency.

Regarding the OP, alphaboi867 has set a good marker with France.

Well done, Chez Guevara, and thanks. I sort of knew what I meant, but reasoned sleepily that a bit of Googling for things, like “buggery”, law", “BDSM” etc might get me a LOT of hits of very little direct relevance. :smiley: (I will write out 100 times that I ought not to post in GQ at 2 a.m. when it is too late to think)

I might have to do my own penance for posting while three sheets to the wind :slight_smile:

Good point.

You can do anything you want as long as long as it’s not illegal.

Not necessarily.

If this document is to be believed:

An example source of which is:

The author notes that:

Maybe not but it does seem possible that while sodomy was not proscribed by any state or royal law before 1533, the church could get you for it and the state would oblige by implementing the sentence.

a long history of homosexuality (no pictures probably sfw) can be found here. http://awsd.com/burgdorf/glbthistory.html

From this my guess that the first Western nation to effectively decriminalise private sodomy was France when it adopted the Napoleonic Code around 1804, but maybe as early as 1791 ( http://www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/napoleonic_code.html )

I recall reading - sorry, no cite - that athough homosexuality was morally and socially condemned in Russia homosexual acts were not criminalised until after the Russian Revolution, when the Soviets included them, for the first time, in an updated criminal code.

Wikipedia has it the other way round:

However, as the article notes, homosexuality was re-criminalised in 1933 and matters stayed that way until 1993.