Zoophilia and the law in the United States

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Zoophilia and the law in the United States looks at the laws prohibiting sex with animals in the United States of America. As of December 2016, sex with animals is illegal in 42 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.[1] In 2017, five states (Texas, Kentucky, West Virginia, Vermont and Nevada) introduced legislation to ban interspecies sex.[2][3][4][5][6] This is the most bills there has been at one time. The most recent states to ban it are Alaska (2010), Florida (2011), Alabama (2014), New Jersey (2015), New Hampshire (2016) and Ohio (2016). Prior to 2000 the number of states banning it was much lower; most laws have been made recently.[1]

A few states, such as Connecticut, Alaska, Maine and New Hampshire, make bestiality a misdemeanor and a felony.

Several states, including Oregon, Washington, Tennessee, Illinois, Florida, Alaska and Ohio, criminalize free speech related to sex with animals (such as promoting or encouraging it).[1] These laws have all been made recently.

Two states, Michigan and Idaho, allow life in prison for sex with animals.[1][7]

Zoophilia[edit]

Federal law[edit]

Laws against bestiality and sodomy in the United States are largely a matter of state rather than federal jurisdiction, except for laws governing the District of Columbia and the U.S. Armed Forces. There is no federal law which explicitly prohibits sex between humans and animals.[8]

District of Columbia[edit]

In 1801, Congress enacted the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 that continued all criminal laws of Maryland and Virginia in the now formally structured District, with those of Maryland applying to that portion of the District ceded from Maryland, and those of Virginia applying to that portion ceded from Virginia. At the time, Maryland had a sodomy law applicable only to free males with a punishment of "labor for any time, in their discretion, not exceeding seven years for the same crime, on the public roads of the said county, or in making, repairing or cleaning the streets or bason [sic] of Baltimore-town" and the death penalty for slaves committing sodomy, while Virginia had a penalty of 1–10 years for free persons committing sodomy, but had the death penalty for slaves committing sodomy. The law went into effect on February 27, 1801.[9]

In 1831, Congress established penalties in the District of Columbia for a number of crimes, but not for sodomy. It specified that "every other felony, misdemeanor, or offence not provided for by this act, may and shall be punished as heretofore[.]" At the time, Maryland and Virginia had a penalty of 1–10 years for committing sodomy. It went into effect in March 2, 1831.[9]

In 1892, Congress passed a law for the District of Columbia that states that "for the preservation of the public peace and the protection of property within the District of Columbia." Labeled in the law as vagrants were "all public prostitutes, and all such persons who lead a notoriously lewd or lascivious course of life[.]" All offenders had to post bond of up to $200 for good behavior for a period of six months. The law went into effect on July 29, 1892.[9]

In 1898, Congress deleted the word "notoriously" from the provision concerning a lewd or lascivious course of life, thereby allowing prosecution of those without notoriety. The bond for good behavior was raised to $500, and the law was made clearly gender-neutral. The law went into effect on July 8, 1898.[9]

In 1901, Congress adopting a new code for the District of Columbia that expressly recognized common-law crimes, with a penalty for them of up to five years and/or a $1,000 fine. The law went into effect on March 3, 1901.[9]

In 1935, Congress passed a law for the District of Columbia that made it a crime for "any person to invite, entice, persuade, or to address for the purpose of inviting, enticing, or persuading any person or persons...to accompany, to go with, to follow him or her to his or her residence, or to any other house or building, inclosure, or other place, for the purpose of prostitution, or any other immoral or lewd purpose." It imposed a fine of up to $100, up to 90 days in jail, and courts were permitted to "impose conditions" on anyone convicted under this law, including "medical and mental examination, diagnosis and treatment by proper public health and welfare authorities, and such other terms and conditions as the court may deem best for the protection of the community and the punishment, control, and rehabilitation of the defendant." The law went into effect on August 14, 1935.[9]

In 1948, Congress enacted the first sodomy law in the District of Columbia, which established a penalty of up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $1,000 for sodomy. Also included with this sodomy law was a psychopathic offender law and a law "to provide for the treatment of sexual psychopaths in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes." The law went into effect on June 9, 1948.[9]

In 1981, after the District of Columbia regained home rule from Congress, it enacted a law that repealed the sodomy law, as well as other consensual acts, and made the sexual assault laws gender-neutral. However, the U.S. House exercised the power that it retained to veto laws passed by the District of Columbia Council. On October 1, 1981, the House voted 281-119 to disallow the new law.[10][11][12][13][14][15] In 1983, one of the House vetoes by Congress were declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha, but the law was repealed by an act of Congress in a revision to the home-rule law required by the Supreme Court decision.[9]

Military[edit]

On March 1, 1917, the Articles of War of 1916 are implemented. This included a revision of the Articles of War of 1806, the new regulations detail statutes governing U.S. military discipline and justice. Under the category Miscellaneous Crimes and Offences, Article 93 states that any person subject to military law who commits "assault with intent to commit sodomy" shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.[16]

On June 4, 1920, Congress modified Article 93 of the Articles of War of 1916. It was changed to make the act of sodomy itself a crime, separate from the offense of assault with intent to commit sodomy.[16] It went into effect on February 4, 1921.[17]

On May 5, 1950, the UCMJ was passed by Congress and was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman, and became effective on May 31, 1951. Article 125 forbids sodomy among all military personnel, defining it as "any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offence."[16]

On December 1, 2011, the US Senate voted 93-7 in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, which contained in it a provision repealing Article 125 of the UCMJ. The bill died in Congress.[18]

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 enacted in December 2013 repealed the ban on consensual sodomy found in Article 125 and added a specific provision in Article 125 of the UCMJ that specifically bans bestiality:[19]

(b) Bestiality.— Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with an animal is guilty of bestiality and shall be punished as a court-martial may direct. (c) Scope of Offenses.— Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete an offense under subsection (a) or (b).

— 10 U.S. Code § 925 - Art 125. Forcible sodomy; bestiality, [20]

State, territorial, and local laws against zoophilia[edit]

State or territory Year of law(s) being enacted Statute Punishment
Misdemeanor Felony
Alabama 2014 Alabama legislature passed a law on bestiality, without a Governors signature in 2014.[21] No Maximum of 1 year in prison
Alaska 1884 - 1980 (Jan. 1, 1980)
2010[22]
Sec. 11.61.140 Cruelty to animals.
(a) A person commits cruelty to animals if the person
(6) knowingly
(A) engages in sexual conduct with an animal; or
(B) under circumstances not proscribed under AS 11.41.455,
(i) photographs or films, for purposes of sexual gratification, a person engaged in sexual conduct with an animal; or
(ii) causes, induces, aids, or encourages another person to engage in sexual conduct with an animal; or[23]
No Maximum of 1 year in prison[24] No Maximum of 5 years in prison (only if previously convicted under 10 years ago)[25]
Arizona 1863 - 2001 (May 8, 2001)
2006[26]
§ 13-1411. Bestiality; classification; definition
A. A person commits bestiality by knowingly doing either of the following:
1. Engaging in oral sexual contact, sexual contact or sexual intercourse with an animal.
2. Causing another person to engage in oral sexual contact, sexual contact or sexual intercourse with an animal.[27]
No Maximum of 1 year
Maximum of 3 and half years in prison (only applies to those who violate subsection A, paragraph 2)[28]
Arkansas 1819[29] § 5-14-122. Bestiality
(a) As used in this section, "animal" means any dead or alive nonhuman vertebrate.
(b) A person commits bestiality if he or she performs or submits to any act of sexual gratification with an animal involving his or her or the animal's sex organs and the mouth, anus, penis, or vagina of the other.[30]
No Maximum of 1 year in prison[31]
California 1850[32] § 286.5
Any person who sexually assaults any animal protected by Section 597f for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of the person is guilty of a misdemeanor.[30]
No Maximum of 6 months in jail and $1,000 fine[33]
Colorado 1860 - 1861
1861 - 1972 (July 1, 1972)
2007[34]
§ 18-9-202. Cruelty to animals—aggravated cruelty to animals—cruelty to a service animal—restitution
(1)(a) A person commits cruelty to animals if he or she knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence overdrives, overloads, overworks, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, unnecessarily or cruelly beats, allows to be housed in a manner that results in chronic or repeated serious physical harm, carries or confines in or upon any vehicles in a cruel or reckless manner, engages in a sexual act with an animal, or otherwise mistreats or neglects any animal, or causes or procures it to be done, or, having the charge or custody of any animal, fails to provide it with proper food, drink, or protection from the weather consistent with the species, breed, and type of animal involved, or abandons an animal.[35]
No Maximum of 1 and half years in prison and $5,000 fine[36]
Connecticut 1639 - 1971 (Oct. 1, 1971)
2005[37]
Sec. 53a-73a. Sexual assault in the fourth degree: Class A misdemeanor or class D felony.
(3) such person engages in sexual contact with an animal or dead body; or[38]
No Maximum of 1 year in prison and $2,000 fine (16 years old and over) No Maximum of 5 years in prison and $5,000 fine (under 16 years old)[39]
Delaware 1664 - ????
1719[40]
1993
§ 775. Bestiality (formerly § 777)
A person is guilty of bestiality when the person intentionally engages in any sexual act involving sexual contact, penetration or intercourse with the genitalia of an animal or intentionally causes another person to engage in any such sexual act with an animal for purposes of sexual gratification.[41]
No Maximum of 8 years in prison[42]
Florida 1848 - 1917
2011 (October 1, 2011)[43]
828.126 Sexual activities involving animals.—
(2) A person may not:
(a) Knowingly engage in any sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal;
(b) Knowingly cause, aid, or abet another person to engage in any sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal;
(c) Knowingly permit any sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal to be conducted on any premises under his or her charge or control; or
(d) Knowingly organize, promote, conduct, advertise, aid, abet, participate in as an observer, or perform any service in the furtherance of an act involving any sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal for a commercial or recreational purpose.[44]
No Maximum of 1 year in prison and a $1,000 fine[45]
Georgia 1816[46] § 16-6-6. Bestiality
(a) A person commits the offense of bestiality when he performs or submits to any sexual act with an animal involving the sex organs of the one and the mouth, anus, penis, or vagina of the other.[47]
No Maximum of 5 years in prison
Hawaii No law[48]
Idaho 1864[49] § 18-6605. CRIME AGAINST NATURE—PUNISHMENT
Every person who is guilty of the infamous crime against nature, committed with mankind or with any animal, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not less than five years.[50]
No Minimum of 5 years in prison; maximum of life in prison[7]
Illinois 1795;[51] 2002 5/12-35. Sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal
(a) A person may not knowingly engage in any sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal.
(b) A person may not knowingly cause, aid, or abet another person to engage in any sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal.
(c) A person may not knowingly permit any sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal to be conducted on any premises under his or her charge or control.
(d) A person may not knowingly engage in, promote, aid, or abet any activity involving any sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal for a commercial or recreational purpose.[52]
No Maximum of 3 years in prison and $25,000 fine (18 years old and over)
Maximum of 50 years in prison and $50,000 fine (under 18 years old)
Maximum of 5 years in prison and $25,000 fine (under 18 years old)[53]
Indiana 1795 - ????
1807 - 1977 (July 1, 1977)
2007[54]
35-46-3-14 Bestiality
Sec. 14. A person who knowingly or intentionally performs an act involving:
(1) a sex organ of a person and the mouth or anus of an animal;
(2) a sex organ of an animal and the mouth or anus of a person;
(3) any penetration of the human female sex organ by an animal's sex organ; or
(4) any penetration of an animal's sex organ by the human male sex organ;
commits bestiality, a Class D felony.[55]
No Maximum of 3 years in prison and $10,000 fine[56]
Iowa 1838 - 1843
1892 - 1978 (Jan. 1, 1978)
2001[54]
717C.1. Bestiality
1. For purposes of this section:
2. A person who performs a sex act with an animal is guilty of an aggravated misdemeanor.[57]
No Maximum of 2 years in prison or 1 year in jail and $6,250 fine[58]
Kansas 1855[59] 21-5504. Criminal sodomy; aggravated criminal sodomy
(a) Criminal sodomy is:
(2) sodomy between a person and an animal;[60]
No Maximum of 6 years in prison and a $1,000 fine[61]
Kentucky No law;[48] 2017 bill would ban it[3]
Louisiana 1805[62] §89. Crime against nature
A. Crime against nature is the unnatural carnal copulation by a human being with another of the same sex or opposite sex or with an animal, except that anal sexual intercourse between two human beings shall not be deemed as a crime against nature when done under any of the circumstances described in R.S. 14:41, 14:42, 14:42.1 or 14:43. Emission is not necessary; and, when committed by a human being with another, the use of the genital organ of one of the offenders of whatever sex is sufficient to constitute the crime.[63]
No Maximum of 5 years in prison and $2,000 fine (18 years old and over)
Maximum of 50 years in prison and $50,000 fine (under 18 years old)
Maximum of 50 years in prison and $75,000 fine (under 14 years old)
Maine 1677 - 1976 (May 1, 1976)
2001[64]
§ 1031. Cruelty to animals
I. Commits bestiality on an animal. For purposes of this paragraph, "commits bestiality" means that a person:
(1) Engages in a sexual act with an animal for the purpose of that person's sexual gratification;
(2) Coerces anyone to engage in a sexual act with an animal;
(3) Engages in a sexual act with an animal in the presence of a minor;
(4) Uses any part of the person's body or an object to sexually stimulate an animal;
(5) Videotapes a person engaging in a sexual act with an animal; or
(6) For the purpose of that person's sexual gratification, kills or physically abuses an animal.[65]
No Maximum of 1 year in prison and $2,000 fine No Felony (only for second offense)[66]
Maryland 1632 (De facto)
1776 (De jure)[67]
§ 3-322. Unnatural or perverted sexual practice
Prohibited
(a) A person may not:
(1) take the sexual organ of another or of an animal in the person's mouth;
(2) place the person's sexual organ in the mouth of another or of an animal; or[68]
No Maximum of 10 years in prison and $1,000 fine
Massachusetts 1636[69] § 34. Crime against nature
Whoever commits the abominable and detestable crime against nature, either with mankind or with a beast, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than twenty years.[70]
No Maximum of 20 years in prison; judge can order lesser sentence
Michigan 1795 - ????
1810[71]
750.158 - Crime against nature or sodomy; penalty
Sec. 158. Any person who shall commit the abominable and detestable crime against nature either with mankind or with any animal shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 15 years, or if such person was at the time of the said offense a sexually delinquent person, may be punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for an indeterminate term, the minimum of which shall be 1 day and the maximum of which shall be life.[72]
No Maximum of 15 years in prison; for a repeat offender, maximum of life in prison
Minnesota 1849[73] 609.294. Bestiality
Whoever carnally knows a dead body or an animal or bird is guilty of bestiality, which is a misdemeanor. If knowingly done in the presence of another the person may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than one year or to payment of a fine of not more than $3,000 or both.[74]
No Maximum of 1 year in prison and $3,000 fine
Mississippi 1802[75] § 97-29-59. Sodomy
Every person who shall be convicted of the detestable and abominable crime against nature committed with mankind or with a beast, shall be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for a term of not more than ten years.[76]
No Maximum of 10 years in prison
Missouri 1812[77] 566.111. Unlawful sex with an animal, crime, penalty
1. A person commits the crime of unlawful sex with an animal if that person engages in sexual conduct with an animal or engages in sexual conduct with an animal for commercial or recreational purposes.[78]
No Maximum of 1 year in prison and $1,000 fine[79]
Montana 1865[80] 45-8-218. Deviate sexual conduct. (1) A person who knowingly engages in deviate sexual relations or who causes another to engage in deviate sexual relations commits the offense of deviate sexual conduct.
(2) A person convicted of the offense of deviate sexual conduct shall be imprisoned in the state prison for any term not to exceed 10 years or be fined an amount not to exceed $50,000, or both.
45-2-101. General definitions. Unless otherwise specified in the statute, all words must be taken in the objective standard rather than in the subjective, and unless a different meaning plainly is required, the following definitions apply in this title:
(21) "Deviate sexual relations" means any form of sexual intercourse with an animal.
[81][82]
No Maximum of 10 years in prison and a $50,000 fine
Nebraska 1855[83] 28-1010. Indecency with an animal; penalty
A person commits indecency with an animal when such person subjects an animal to sexual penetration as defined in section 28-318. Indecency with an animal is a Class III misdemeanor.[84]
No Maximum of 3 months in prison and $500 fine[85]
Nevada No law;[48] 2017 bill would ban it[6]
New Hampshire June 24, 2016; Effective January 1, 2017[86] Sex with animals criminalized in New Hampshire on June 24, 2016; all photography of sex with animals was also banned; those caught must go on New Hampshire sex offender registry. Text:

321:1 New Section; Breaches of the Peace; Bestiality. Amend RSA 644 by inserting after section 8-f the following new section:

644:8-g Bestiality.

I. A person commits bestiality by knowingly committing any of the following acts:

  • (a) Engaging in sexual contact or sexual penetration with an animal for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.
  • (b) Offering or accepting the offer of an animal for consideration with the intent that it be subject to sexual contact or sexual penetration by a human.
  • (c) Photographing or filming or distributing such photographs or films, for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification, of a person engaged in sexual contact or sexual penetration with an animal.

II. Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a class B felony for a second or subsequent offense.

III. In addition to any other penalty imposed for a violation of this section, the court shall order that the convicted person:

  • (a) Submit to a psychological assessment and participate in appropriate counseling at the convicted person's own expense.
  • (b) Reimburse an animal shelter for any reasonable costs incurred for the care and maintenance of any animal that was taken to the animal shelter as a result of conduct proscribed by this section.
  • (c) Shall not own, harbor, exercise control over, or reside in the same household with any animal for a period of time deemed reasonable by the court.

IV. This section shall not apply to:

  • (a) Accepted veterinary medical practices.
  • (b) Insemination of animals for the purpose of procreation.
  • (c) Accepted animal husbandry practices that provide care for animals.

V. In this section:

  • (a) "Animal" means a nonhuman mammal, bird, reptile, or amphibian, either dead or alive.
  • (b) "Sexual contact" means any act between a person or an animal involving direct physical contact between the genitals or anus of one and the mouth, anus, or other part of the body of the other, or direct physical contact between the genitals of one and the genitals of the other, where such contact can be reasonably construed for the purpose of the person's sexual arousal or gratification.
  • (c) "Sexual penetration" means any intrusion, however, slight, of any part of the person's or animal's body into the body of the other, or any object manipulated by the person into the body of the animal, where such penetration can be reasonably construed for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.
  • 321:2 Registration of Criminal Offenders; Definitions. Amend RSA 651-B:1,[86]
No Class A misdemeanor (first offense) (Up to 12 months in jail and a $2,000 fine).[87] No Class B felony (second offense) (Minimum prison sentence of 3 years and six months to 7 years imprisonment. Fine of no less than $4000).[88]
New Jersey November 9, 2015[89] Criminalized in New Jersey on November 9, 2015. Text:

An Act concerning bestiality and amending R.S.4:22-17.

Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

1. R.S.4:22-17 is amended to read as follows: [..]

(4) Use, or cause or procure the use of, an animal or creature in any kind of sexual manner or initiate any kind of sexual contact with the animal or creature, including, but not limited to, sodomizing the animal or creature. As used in this paragraph, "sexual contact" means any contact between a person and an animal by penetration of the penis or a foreign object into the vagina or anus, contact between the mouth and genitalia, or by contact between the genitalia of one and the genitalia or anus of the other. This term does not include any medical procedure performed by a licensed veterinarian practicing veterinary medicine or an accepted animal husbandry practice.

Under the [law], bestiality [is] be a crime of the fourth degree except that the person [is] guilty of a crime of the third degree if the animal or creature dies as a result of the violation; the animal or creature suffers serious bodily injury as a result of the violation; or the person has a prior conviction for an offense that would constitute animal cruelty under the statute. A crime of the fourth degree is punishable by up to 18 months imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. A crime of the third degree is punishable by three to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.[89]

No Misdemeanor (Up to 18 months imprisonment, fine up to $10,000, or both)[89]
New Mexico No law[48]
New York 1613 (De facto)
1665 (De jure)[90]
§ 130.20 Sexual misconduct
A person is guilty of sexual misconduct when:
3. He or she engages in sexual conduct with an animal or a dead human body.[91]

Sexual misconduct is a New York state sex offender registry offense.[92]

No Class A Misdemeanor- Maximum of 1 year in jail and $1,000 fine[93][94]
North Carolina 1715[95] § 14-177. Crime against nature.
If any person shall commit the crime against nature, with mankind or beast, he shall be punished as a Class I felon.[96]
No No typical sentence; each case is different.[97]
North Dakota 1862[98] 12.1-20-12.
Deviate sexual act.
A person who performs a deviate sexual act with the intent to arouse or gratify his sexual

desire is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.[99]

No Class A Misdemeanor - $2,000 fine and up to 1 year in jail[100]
Ohio December 19, 2016[101] An anti-zoosexual bill was signed into law by John Kasich on December 19, 2016.

No person shall knowingly engage in sexual conduct with an animal or knowingly possess, sell, or purchase an animal with the intent that it be subjected to sexual conduct.

No person shall knowingly organize, promote, aid, or abet in the conduct of an act involving any sexual conduct with an animal.

If a court has reason to believe that a person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation of section 959.131 suffers from a mental or emotional disorder that contributed to the violation, the court may impose as a community control sanction or as a condition of probation a requirement that the offender undergo psychological evaluation or counseling. The court shall order the offender to pay the costs of the evaluation or counseling.[1]

No Misdemeanor of the second degree (not more than 90 days imprisonment)[101][102]
Oklahoma 1890[103] Section 886 - Crime Against Nature - Penalty
Every person who is guilty of the detestable and abominable crime against nature, committed with mankind or with a beast, is punishable by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections not exceeding ten (10) years. Except for persons sentenced to life or life without parole, any person sentenced to imprisonment for two (2) years or more for a violation of this section shall be required to serve a term of post-imprisonment supervision pursuant to subparagraph f of paragraph 1 of subsection A of Section 991a of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes under conditions determined by the Department of Corrections. The jury shall be advised that the mandatory post-imprisonment supervision shall be in addition to the actual imprisonment.[104]
No Maximum of 10 years in prison
Oregon 1843 - 1850 (De facto)
1853 (De jure) - 1972 (January 1, 1972)
2001;[105] January 1, 2016[106]
On January 1, 2016, Oregon's anti-zoosexual law (which previously had been made a misdemeanor in 2001) was changed to a felony; photography of sex with animals was banned, and Oregon became the first state to ban simple possession of zoosexual photographic material. It is also now the state with the highest possible fine ($125,000).[106] The law bans encouraging sex with animals. The text of the new law reads as follows:

Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon: SECTION 1. Section 2 of this 2015 Act is added to and made a part of ORS 167.310 to 167.351. SECTION 2.

  • (1) A person commits the crime of encouraging sexual assault of an animal if the person:
  • (a) Knowingly possesses or controls, for the purpose of arousing or satisfying the sexual desires of the person or another person, a visual recording of a person engaged in sexual conduct with an animal; and
  • (b) Knows or is aware of and consciously disregards the fact that the creation of the visual recording involved the sexual assault of an animal as described in ORS 167.333.
  • (2) Encouraging sexual assault of an animal is a Class A misdemeanor.
  • (3) As used in this section:
  • (a) "Sexual conduct" means touching or contacting the mouth, anus or sex organs of an animal or animal carcass, or causing an animal or animal carcass to touch or contact the mouth, anus or sex organs of a person, for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of a person.
  • (b) "Visual recording" includes, but is not limited to, photographs, films, videotapes and computer and other digital pictures, regardless of the manner in which the recording is stored.

SECTION 3. ORS 167.333 is amended to read: 167.333. (1) A person commits the crime of sexual assault of an animal if the person:

  • (a) Touches or contacts, or causes an object or another person to touch or contact, the mouth, anus or sex organs of an animal or animal carcass for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of a person; or
  • (b) Causes an animal or animal carcass to touch or contact the mouth, anus or sex organs of a person for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of a person.
  • (2) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to the use of products derived from animals.
  • (3) Sexual assault of an animal is a Class C felony.[106]

Sex with an animal in Oregon is a sex offender registry offense in that state.[107]

No Maximum of 5 years in prison and a maximum $125,000 fine[106][108]
Pennsylvania 1676 - 1995 (Mar. 29, 1995)
1999 (August 17, 1999)[109]
§ 3129. Sexual intercourse with animal
A person who engages in any form of sexual intercourse with an animal commits a misdemeanor of the second degree.[110]
No Maximum of 2 years in prison and a $5,000 fine[111]
Puerto Rico 1493[112] Article 145.- Bestiality.- Any person who performs, or incites, coerces or assists another person to perform any type of sexual penetration with an animal shall incur a fourth degree felony.[113] No Maximum of 6 months in prison and a $25,000 fine[114]
Rhode Island 1647[115] 1998 § 11-10-1. Abominable and detestable crime against nature
Every person who shall be convicted of the abominable and detestable crime against nature, with any beast, shall be imprisoned not exceeding twenty (20) years nor less than seven (7) years.[116]
No Maximum of 20 years in prison
South Carolina 1712[117] § 16-15-120. Buggery.
Whoever shall commit the abominable crime of buggery, whether with mankind or with beast, shall, on conviction, be guilty of felony and shall be imprisoned in the Penitentiary for five years or shall pay a fine of not less than five hundred dollars, or both, at the discretion of the court.[118]
No Maximum of 5 years in prison and a $500 fine
South Dakota 1862 - 1977 (Apr. 1, 1977)
2003[119]
22-22-42. Bestiality—Acts constituting—Commission a felony
No person, for the purpose of that person's sexual gratification, may:
(1) Engage in a sexual act with an animal; or
(4) Videotape a person engaging in a sexual act with an animal; or[120]
No Maximum of 2 years in prison and a $4,000 fine[120]
Tennessee 1790 - 1989 (Nov. 1, 1989)
2007[121]
39-14-214. Criminal offenses against animals.
(a) A person commits an offense who knowingly:
(1) Engages in any sexual activity with an animal;
(2) Causes, aids, or abets another person to engage in any sexual activity with an animal;
(3) Permits any sexual activity with an animal to be conducted on any premises under the person's charge or control;
(4) Engages in, organizes, promotes, conducts, advertises, aids, abets, participates in as an observer, or performs any service in the furtherance of an act involving any sexual activity with an animal for a commercial or recreational purpose; or
(5) Photographs or films, for purposes of sexual gratification, a person engaged in a sexual activity with an animal.
[122]
No Maximum of 6 years in prison and a $3,000 fine[123]
Texas Legal; 2017 bill would ban it[2]

Public Lewdness (Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.)[124]Public Lewdness-Penal code Sec. 21.07. Public Lewdness (a) A person commits an offense if he knowingly engages in any of the following acts in a public place, if not in a public place, he is reckless about whether another is present who will be offended or alarmed by his acts: (1) an act of sexual intercourses; (2) an act of deviant sexual intercourses; (3)an act of sexual contact; (4) an act involving contact between the persons mouth or genitals and the anus or genitals of an animal or fowl. (b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Utah 1876[125] § 76-9-301.8. Bestiality—Definitions—Penalty
(1) A person commits the crime of bestiality if the actor engages in any sexual activity with an animal with the intent of sexual gratification of the actor.[126]
No Maximum of 6 months in prison and a $1,000 fine[127]
Virgin Islands 1754 - 1985 (Jan. 16, 1985)
????[128]
§ 2062. Bestiality
Whoever shall carnally copulate with a beast shall be imprisoned not more than 5 years.[129]
No Maximum of 5 years in prison
Vermont No law;[48] 2017 bill would ban it[5]
Virginia 1610 - 1618
1661[130] 2014
§ 18.2-361. A. If any person carnally knows in any manner any brute animal or voluntarily submits to such carnal knowledge, he is guilty of a Class 6 felony.
[122]
No Maximum of 5 years in prison and a $2,500 fine[131]
West Virginia No law;[48] 2017 bill would ban it[4]
Washington 1881 - 1976 (July 1, 1976)[132]
2006 (June 7, 2006)
16.52.205. Animal cruelty in the first degree
(3) A person is guilty of animal cruelty in the first degree when he or she:
(a) Knowingly engages in any sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal;
(e) Knowingly photographs or films, for purposes of sexual gratification, a person engaged in a sexual act or sexual contact with an animal.[133]
No Maximum of 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine[134]
Wisconsin 1836[135] 944.17. Sexual gratification
(2) Whoever does any of the following is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor:
(c) Commits an act of sexual gratification involving his or her sex organ and the sex organ, mouth or anus of an animal.
(d) Commits an act of sexual gratification involving his or her sex organ, mouth or anus and the sex organ of an animal.[136]
No Maximum of 9 months in prison and a $10,000 fine $10,000; for a repeat offender, maximum of 2 years in prison[137]
Wyoming No law[48]

State, territorial, and local governments that have repealed sodomy laws[edit]

State, territory, or district Year of repeal or strikedown Invalidated by
Alabama 1980 (Jan. 1, 1980)[138][not in citation given]
  • Legislative repeal
American Samoa 1980 (Jan. 1, 1980)[139][not in citation given]
  • Legislative repeal
District of Columbia 1995 (May 23, 1995)[140][not in citation given]
  • Legislative repeal
Guam 1979 (Aug. 31, 1979)[141][not in citation given]
  • Legislative repeal
Hawaii 1973 (Jan. 1, 1973)[142][not in citation given]
  • Legislative repeal

Kentucky

1975 (Jan. 1, 1975)[143][not in citation given]
  • Legislative repeal
Nevada 1993 (June 16, 1993)[144][not in citation given]
  • Legislative repeal
New Mexico 1975 (June 20, 1975)[145][not in citation given]
  • Legislative repeal
Northern Mariana Islands 1983 (Sep. 1, 1983)[146][not in citation given]
  • Legislative repeal
Ohio 1974 (Jan. 1, 1974)[147][not in citation given]
  • Legislative repeal
Texas 1974 (Jan. 1, 1974)[148][not in citation given]
  • Legislative repeal
Vermont 1977 (July 1, 1977)[149][not in citation given]
  • Legislative repeal
West Virginia 1976 (June 11, 1976)[150][not in citation given]
  • Legislative repeal
Wyoming 1977 (July 1, 1977)[151][not in citation given]
  • Legislative repeal

Zoophilic pornography in the U.S.[edit]

Federal law[edit]

The only federal law prohibiting zoophilic pornography, is 18 USC 2256, which prohibits distribution in interstate commerce and on federal property of child pornography of a minor under 18 years old engaging in "sexually explicit conduct" of bestiality.[152]

The Constitutional definition of Obscenity was narrowed by the US Supreme Court in the 1985 case Brockett v. Spokane Arcades, Inc., which the court endorsed the Model Penal Code of obscenity. The Model Penal Code prohibition against deviate sexual intercourse includes "sexual intercourse per os or per anum between human beings who are not husband and wife, and any form of sexual intercourse with an animal." Federal law does not ban obscenity outright; it leaves this to state and local law. Federal statutes prohibit, among other things, the transmission of obscene matter as defined by state law, in interstate commerce and on federal land.[153]

Private Internet connections in the United States are not subject to censorship imposed by the government. However, private businesses, schools, libraries, and government offices may use filtering software at their discretion, and in such cases courts have ruled the use of such software does not violate the First Amendment.[154]

State, territorial, and local law[edit]

State, territory, or district Production Sale and interstate commerce Private ownership
Alabama No Illegal (banned in 2014) No Illegal (banned in 2014) Yes Legal
Alaska No Illegal (banned in 2010) No Illegal (banned in 2010) Yes Legal
American Samoa Yes Legal Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Arizona No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Arkansas No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Illegal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography[155]
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
California Yes Legal Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Colorado No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Connecticut No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Delaware No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
District of Columbia Yes Legal Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Florida No Illegal Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Georgia No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Guam Yes Legal Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Hawaii Yes Legal Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Idaho No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Illinois No Illegal Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Indiana No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Iowa No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Kansas No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Kentucky Yes Legal Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Louisiana No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Maine No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Maryland No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Massachusetts No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Yes Legal[156] Yes Legal
Michigan No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Minnesota No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Mississippi No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Missouri No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Montana No Illegal; Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Nebraska No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Nevada Yes Legal Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
New Hampshire No Illegal; Zoophilia (new law in June 2016)[86]

No Illegal - Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography (new law in June 2016)[86]

No Illegal (new law in June 2016)[86] Yes Legal
New Jersey Yes Legal Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
New Mexico Yes Legal Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
New York No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
North Carolina No Illegal[157][158] No Illegal[157][158] Yes Legal
North Dakota No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Northern Marianas Islands Yes Legal Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Ohio Yes Legal Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Oklahoma No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Oregon No Illegal; Zoophilia
No Illegal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography[106]
No Illegal (New law, January 1, 2016)[106] No Illegal (New law, January 1, 2016)[106]
Pennsylvania No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
No Illegal[159] Yes Legal
Puerto Rico No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Rhode Island No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
South Carolina No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
South Dakota No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Tennessee No Illegal (banned in 2007) No Illegal (banned in 2007) Yes Legal
Texas no Legal No Illegal[160][161] Yes Legal
Utah No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Vermont Yes Legal Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Virgin Islands No Illegal No Illegal No Illegal[129]
Washington No Illegal Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
West Virginia Yes Legal Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Wisconsin No Illegal; Zoophilia
Yes Legal; Videotaping/photographing zoophilic pornography
Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal
Wyoming Yes Legal Emblem-question.svg Yes Legal

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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