August 6 in LGBTQ History

1637: The Plymouth, Massachusetts court finds John Allexander and Thomas Roberts guilty of “often spending their seed one upon the other.”  The Plymouth crime of “sodomy” was not mentioned in connection with the case, for “sodomy,” then, required “penetration,” not mere emission, even if this emission was mutual, and “often.”  The class difference of the parties was also suggested; Allexander, presented as the instigator, was apparently a free man, Roberts was an indentured servant. Whether this intermingling of social orders, as well  as of seed, lent gravity to the crime in the eyes of the judges was not disclosed.

1942: In France, the Vichy government raises the age of consent for both male and female same-sex acts to 21 and prescribes penalties of between six months’ and three years’ imprisonment.

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