Crime against nature
||The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2010)|
The crime against nature or unnatural act has been a legal term in English-speaking states for forms of sexual behavior not considered natural and seen as punishable offenses. Sexual practices that have historically been considered to be "crimes against nature" include anal sex and bestiality.
Currently, the term crime against nature is still used in the statutes of the following American states. However, these laws are unconstitutional to enforce for sexual conduct between consenting adults in light of Lawrence v. Texas (2003). The crime against nature statutes are however still used to criminalize sexual conduct involving minors, public sex, prostitution and bestiality.
- Idaho (I.C. § 18-6605)
- Louisiana (R.S. 14:89) (Struck down the part of the statute that criminalize adult consensual anal and oral sex by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in 2005)
- Massachusetts (MGL Ch. 272, § 34) (Struck down the part of the statute that criminalize adult consensual anal and oral sex by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 1974)
- Michigan (MCL § 750.158) (Struck down the part of the statute that criminalize adult consensual anal and oral sex by the Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan in 1990 and it applied only to Wayne County)
- Mississippi (Miss. Code § 97-29-59)
- North Carolina (G.S. § 14-177) (The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled that the crime against nature statute, N.C. G.S. § 14-177, is not unconstitutional on its face because it may properly be used to criminalize sexual conduct involving minors, non-consensual or coercive conduct, public conduct, and prostitution)
- Oklahoma (Okla. Stat. § 21-886) (Struck down the part of the statute that criminalize heterosexual adult consensual anal and oral sex by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals in 1988)
- Rhode Island (§ 11-10-1.)
- Virginia (Va. Code § 18.2-361) (Struck down by United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on March 12, 2013)
Repeal and unconstitutionality
Except for the above nine states, all other states in the United States have repealed their "crimes against nature" laws. Furthermore, in 2003, in Lawrence v. Texas, the US Supreme Court held that nonremunerative sex between consenting adults in private was protected by the Constitution and could not be criminalized under "crimes against nature" laws. Thus, fellatio, cunnilingus and homosexual sex can no longer fall within the scope of such laws.
See also Sodomy laws.
- Section 377A of the Singapore Penal Code prohibits any form of male to male sexual conduct.
- Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code (since 1860) calls for a maximum punishment, being life imprisonment, for all sexual acts against human nature.
- Paragraph 175 in the imperial penal code of the German Empire
- William Blackstone (1753), Commentaries on the Laws of England, Book 4, Chapter 15, Section 4
- See Rose v. Locke, 1975, 96 S.Ct. 243, 423 U.S. 48, 46 L.Ed.2d 185.
- Andrews v. Vanduzer, N.Y.Sup. 1814 (January Term, 1814)(Vanduzer accused Andrews of having had connection with a cow and then a mare and the court understood this to mean that Vanduzer was going around telling others that Andrews had been guilty of the crime against nature with a beast.
- "Sodomy law revisions are upheld on appeal, Times-Picayune". Nola.com. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
- STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA v. GREGORY PAUL WHITELEY
- Rictor Norton (Ed.). "The Shortest Way with Whores and Rogues, 1703". Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook. Archived from the original on 2005-12-17. Retrieved 2005-12-31.