Legal, Moral, and Social Reasons for Decriminalizing Sodomy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This article traces the development of sodomy laws and the history of their piecemeal invalidation in the United States. It then presents several arguments for the decriminalization of sodomy laws still in existence, focusing on constitutional law and the inapplicability of the major philosophical justifications for criminal punishment. The article also presents moral and social arguments for decriminalization that are often left out of the debate about the continuing viability of sodomy laws, including their role in perpetuating stigma and discrimination against homosexuals, creating a class of “criminals,� and contributing to the psychological, emotional, and physical abuse of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-301
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Contemporary Criminal Justice
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Legal, Moral, and Social Reasons for Decriminalizing Sodomy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this