Weird sex laws in the U.S.


Back in the 1700s, U.S. law wasn’t too kind to people who
were guilty of sodomy. The illegal act carried a maximum sentence of

But in 1778, Thomas Jefferson rewrote the law to save
people’s lives and, instead of death, the maximum sentence was
castration. Up until 1962, sodomy was considered a felony and, in some
states, oral sex, adultery and masturbation fell under the sodomy laws.

In 2003, however, a Supreme Court ruling invalidated all
sodomy laws nationwide, upholding a citizen’s right to privacy. But even
with that invalidation, there are still some strange sex laws across
the nation:

• Adultery is still illegal in many states, including Colorado.

• In Idaho, fornication (defined as sex between unmarried
people) is illegal, and those guilty of it can pay a fine of up to $300
or serve a six-month prison sentence.

• Colorado has a law saying it’s even illegal for an
innkeeper to knowingly rent a room to unmarried couples if their intent
is to have sex. It’s a class 2 misdemeanor. North Carolina has a similar

• In Oklahoma, if a man takes a woman’s virginity and
doesn’t marry her, it is considered a felony, and the man can face up to
five years in prison.

• Under a noise ordinance in Kalamazoo,
Mich., you can’t sing in public. So serenading your lover on the banks
of the river at Sutherland Park is a no-go.

• In some states, it is illegal for six or more women to live together because it would constitute a brothel.

• The sale of sex toys, specifically, vibrators, is
illegal in Alabama and Mississippi. It was illegal in Texas until 2008.
Apparently, there aren’t any laws against owning or using one.

• In Utah, first cousins can only marry
each other if they’re both over the age of 65. If they can prove they
can’t have children, the age drops to 55.


Nowadays, even Republicans argue against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation

Breaking through the binary

Homosexuality in history