Buggery Law: North Carolina and South Carolina, March, 1663

death for "buggery"

From the first major settlement, in the 1660s, of the area which later became North and South Carolina, the English "buggery" law was apparently regarded as in force, although neither colony's law made explicit reference to this crime.(1)

South Carolina first passed its own "buggery" law by enacting the text of the English statute in (see Buggery law: South Carolina, 1712).

North Carolina's first explicit statutory reference to "buggery" was its law of 1792.

The death penalty for the crime was abolished in North Carolina in 1869.



  1. Jonathan Ned Katz, Gay/Lesbian Almanac (NY: Harper & Row, 1983), p. 104, citing Francois Xavier Martin, ed., A Collection of the Statutes of the Parliament of England in Force in North Carolina (New Been, N. C.: The Editor's Press, 1792), p. 208, where the English statute of 1533 is cited as in effect as of 1792, suggesting it was in force during the early colonial period.