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Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Today in Queer History: October 5

Saint Galla of Rome, and her beloved Benedicta.

Today the Christian church honours the feast day of St Galla, a Roman nun of the turn of the 5th/ 6th century. What makes her of particular interest to queer people today, is her intimate friendship and devoted attention to her colleague Benedicta. This devotion was so intense, that according to legend, in answer to prayer, they were permitted to die together, so as to avoid being separated even for a moment of eternity.

Their story (or myth) is an important reminder that for all the modern Church's opposition to homosexuality, the record shows that same-sex couples and queer saints, nuns, priests, bishops, and popes have always been present, throughout Church history.

Sodomy in History, October 5

1659 — Richard Berry is banished from Plymouth Colony, after his third arrest on various Gay-related sex charges.
1915 — The Montana Supreme Court rules that fellatio is a violation of the "crime against nature" law.
1964 — The U.S. District Court in North Carolina questions the soundness of the North Carolina sodomy law and says that the State Supreme Court was erroneous in deciding that fellatio was embraced in the term "crime against nature," but does not decide its constitutionality.
1976 — The District of Columbia Court of Appeals upholds the District of Columbia sodomy law.

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