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The Nuntius, Vol. 2, No. 6, June 1971
File 016
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The Nuntius, Vol. 2, No. 6, June 1971 - File 016. 1971-06. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. January 22, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/3587/show/3577.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1971-06). The Nuntius, Vol. 2, No. 6, June 1971 - File 016. Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/3587/show/3577

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

The Nuntius, Vol. 2, No. 6, June 1971 - File 016, 1971-06, Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive, University of Houston Libraries, accessed January 22, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/3587/show/3577.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title The Nuntius, Vol. 2, No. 6, June 1971
Contributor
  • Frank, Phil
Date June 1971
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 28911959
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive
Rights No Copyright - United States
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 016
Transcript ORIGINS, EFFECTS, PROSPECTS: The Sodomy Laws Must Go By George Schatzki At present, every state except Illinois has some law which prohibits so-oaJJed "unnatural sex acts," usually called "sodomy" or "the abominable (or "unspeakable") crime against nature," Typically the laws prohibit one or more-of the following: bestiality (intercourse with animals), buggery (anal intercourse) and oral-genital contacts. Almost all of these laws do not distinguish between consensual and non-consensual acts, nor between public and private conduct, nor between homosexual and heterosexual relations. Most of them do not exempt sexual acts committed in the marriage relationship, and there actual ly have been isolated instances in which married persons were prosecuted for these acts. My comments are intended to set out very broadly the history of sodomy and of its most feared manifestation, homosexuality; its present status in our society; and some of the legal ramifications. Hebrews While it is not entirely clear when the first so-called "secular" laws against homosexuality or sodomy emerged, most historians agree that taboos on this bype of "unnatural" sex were legislated by the Hebrew tribes; these prohibitions found their way into the Old Testament. It is generally believed that homosexual practices - especially anal intercourse - were common among the Canaanites and the Egyptian s. Moreover, not only was homosexuality common in the "cradle of civilization" (the Nile Valley and Mediterranean Basin), but it was practiced in Scandinavia, through the land of the Galls and the Celts, as well as in the Far East. And, of course, in Greece, the zenith of ancient civilization, homosexuality blossomed and was considered highly desirable. With the possible exception of Persia, in no ancient civi lization were homosexuality and bestiality treated with such fierce opposition as by the Hebrews, who were of the view that persons practicing such "horrible" acts should be put to death. Still, early in their history, the Hebrews had practiced homosexuality through male prostitutes who were employed at the temples; it was then believed that intercourse with these men produced some sort of supernatural blessing or power. Even today this sort of belief about homosexual relations is fairly common among primitive tribes. While it is true that the early Roman Empire contained in its laws a prohibition on homosexual behavior, the prohibition appears to have been ignored. Indeed, at least one emperor of Rome, Heliogabalus, was believed to have been raised as a priest in a homosexual temple. Abstinence Ideal When the Roman Empire became Christian, several new laws aimed at "unnatural" sex acts were passed. The Christians proscribed all sexual acts which were not procreo- tive. (Indeed, the Christians urged total sexual abstinence as the ideal but permitted sex within marriage if it was reproductive.) In Middle Age England sodomists were thought to be heretics. Indeed, the term "bugger" derives its meaning from the common belief that heretics were also sodomists, and heretics were known as buggers. Over the years the chur Over the years the church lost the power to impose sanctions such as death or imprisonment on offenders of religious laws. Apparently as a result, in 1533, the first secular statute in England was passed to deal with sodomites. Over the years, the substance of that law has become enseconced in our tradition. The Christian taboo on all sex activities which do not have the potential till GALLEON 2720 RICHMOND AVENUE HOUSTON of reproduction has resulted in many laws prohibiting not only anal intercourse and bestiality, but also oral intercourse. Usually it is homosexual behavior rather than "devian*" heterosexual behavior, that incurs the wrath of the government and the society in general. Kinsey Exact statistics as to the frequency of homosexual practices in our society are not available. The Kinsey reports of the late 1940's and early 1950's are considered the best sources we have. They indicate that more than one-third of the white male population over the age of 16 has had at least one orgasm due to homosexual relations, and that approximately one-half of that same population has at least recognized some strong homosexual instincts or yearnings. About 10 per cent were exclusively homosexual for a period of at least three years in their adult lives, while four per cent remain homosexual throughout their adult lives. Kinsey and many others have noted that homosexual behavior is not limited to the stereotype, that is, to the intellectual, the artist, the effete and the effeminate. Persons in all walks of life (truck drivers and interior decorators, athletes and professors, doctors and candlestick makers), per sons with all personality traits, engage in some homosexual acts. Many are married and have children but seek other sexual or emotional outlets, perhaps only from time to time. Most "homosexuals" at one time or another if not regularly, engage in heterosexual relations also. Thus, the word homosexual" may be misleading. It may have reference to those who are exclusively homosexual; it may refer to those who preferhomosexuality; or it may refer to anyone who has engaged in any homosexual acts, or has even recognized homosexual instincts within himself. (If the definition is the last, approximately one- half of the white male population is homosexual.) Activism However defined, homosexuality is much more in our society's eye today than in the past. This seems true not only because of the increasing academic interest in the subject, but also because of the increasing activism of a number of homosexuals and their organizations. These institutions have taken many roles for themselves. Some are attempting to make society more tolerant and to change laws which repress sexual "deviants." Some homophile organizations are attempting to give homosexuals a sense of identity and a self- image of which they are not ashamed. This is accomplished through meetings and discussions of mutual problems and experiences- These organizations may take on a somewhat "militant" facade, such as Gay Liberation, which proclaims that "gay is good." Or they may be more passive. But all try to be unashamed. There are, for example, homophile churches springing up in different parts of the country. These churches provide all the usual church ceremonies and counselling, including performing marriages for their parishioners. (While there are no statistics on thesubject, apparently homosexual marriages are not so stable as heterosexual marriages. But in all likelihood, one of the major factors for this apparent difference is the lack of legal sanctions for the homosexual marriage — there is no divorce procedure to inhibit permanent and legal separation. Nor i s there any children to hold together a couple who otherwise would part.) The sense of strength and determination of the homophile movement in our country is best illustrated, perhaps, by the newspaper reports that homosexuals intend to "take over" some small towns in the hope of finding peace from harassment due to their sexual preferences. PAGE 15
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