Most people who hear about this old law are totally shocked, and who can blame them. But when I looked further into it, I came across something very surprising. The ban on oral sex was actually just a by-product of what lawmakers at the time really wanted to accomplish…
LET’S LOOK DEEPER
In 1892, sex between men was illegal (the “Sodomy Law”). Then they added the umbrella law of “Gross Indecency”. The homophobic law makers included oral sex within this pile of restrictions. They didn’t care if a husband or wife lubed each other up with motor oil and stuck battery cables up each other’s butts. But they would come down hard if two men kissed each other or dancing together.
For the longest time it only applied to men, but women fell under the heavy hammer in 1953.
Next, we move on to the importance of Everett George Klippert’s arrest in 1960
He was originally brought in fro questioning about arson, which he was cleared. Howver, during questioning, he admitted to being with other men. His alibi ended up bringing a worse prison sentence and he was labeled a dangerous sexual offender.
His first appeal bombed, but the second one with the supreme court what sparked something new. Yes, he lost again, but it was the vote that turned so many heads – 3 to 2.
Just one day later, the democratic party leader said ot the House of Commons of Canada, “homosexuality is a social and psychiatric problem rather than a criminal one”,
He wanted gay people to study to find a way to “fix” them. It wasn’t the victory anyone had wanted, and it was still a vile mindset, but it WAS on step that would eventually lead in the right direction.
THE SUMMER OF LOVE
Fast forward to 1969.
And yes, everyone is already well aware of the significance of the number. Wink*
What most headlines or viral article titles say is that “oral sex was made legal” – but this isn’t exactly true. That’s because they were “removes and exceptions”. The law wasn’t actually thrown in the trash, it was just tweaked.
- (1) Sections 147 and 149 do not apply to any act committed in private between
- (a) a husband and his wife, or
- (b) any two persons, each of whom is twenty-one years or more of age, both of whom consent to the commission of the act.
- (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), (a) an act shall be deemed not to have been committed in private if it is committed in a public place, or if more than two persons take part or are present.”
Basically gay sex was decriminalized as long as it was over 21 and consensual.
What’s the issue with this?
Sex in a private home or hotel was incredibly difficult for men at that time. Gay porn theaters were raided, unexpected visitors (or family) could show up at home, and a plethora of other obstacles (. Most often, the easiest way was in the back of a car in some remote, safe areas. This lead to huge arrests.
The anniversary of gay freedom (and the myth of “oral sex liberation”) didn’t exactly happen in 1969. It was just another step. Since then, more laws have been introduced, old ones ignored, and many amendments made or Supreme Court cases won.
Still, it’s crazy how the act of oral sex got woven up in such a whirlwind of discrimination.
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