Sodomy

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Sodomy refers to anal or oral intercourse. As explained in this case from Georgia, “Sodomy is defined as any sexual act involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another.” 

Traditionally, sodomy has been referred to as a "crime against nature" by various courts and statutes. Under Common law, sodomy mainly consisted of anal sex. However, in the U.S., the term eventually included oral sex as well as anal sex. As recently as 1960, sodomy was considered illegal for everyone in the U.S., but the law banning sodomy was often enforced only against homosexuals. 

By the beginning of the 21st century, a majority of the states in the U.S. had repealed all sodomy laws. In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas, struck down Texas’ sodomy law as unconstitutional, and thereby, invalidated any remaining sodomy laws across the U.S. 

[Last updated in August of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]