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Thursday, 28 July 2011

July 28th:Illinois Rescinds Sodomy Law: 1961

"On this date in history, the state of Illinois led the nation in becoming the first state in the land to enact a repeal of it’s law criminalizing homosexuality. The repeal became effective on January 1, 1962. Illinois would remain the only state in the union to legalize consensual adult same-sex relationships until 1971, when Connecticut would finally rescind its sodomy law, followed by Colorado and Oregon (1972), Hawaii and North Dakota (1973), Ohio (1974), New Hampshire and New Mexico (1975). The big year was 1976, when California, Indiana, Maine, Washington and West Virginia stopped criminalizing homosexuality. By the time Lawrence v. Texas struck down all sodomy laws nationwide in 2003, thirty-six states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico had eliminated their anti-homosexuality laws, either by legislative action or by state court decisions. But it all began exactly fifty years ago today with that first step in the Land of Lincoln — and, come to think of it, the land of LaBarbera, too. He must be so proud."

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