Sodomy Law: Pennsylvania, 1693

Death for "buggery"?

While William Penn, temporarily in disfavor with William and Mary, was suspended from power for two years, the Royal governor appointed to replace him repealed most prior legislation, including the non-capital Pennsylvania sodomy law of 1682.(1)

No new sodomy law was passed during the Royal governor's less-than-two-year reign, and the English buggery law was perhaps considered in force. When William Penn returned to Royal favor, the governor he appointed ruled according to the non-capital sodomy statute of 1682.

The next revision of Pennsylvania sodomy law was in 1700.



  1. Jonathan Ned Katz, Gay/Lesbian Almanac (NY: Harper & Row, 1983), p. 121, citing Straughton, pp. 539-58; James T. Mitchell and Henry Flanders, eds., The Statutes at Large of Pennsylvania from 1682 to 1801 (Harrisburg: Clarence M. Busch, 1896), vol. 2, pp. 8, 79, 183-84; vol. 3, p. 202: Gail McKnight Beekman, ed., The Statutes at Large of Pennsylvania in the Time of William Penn (New York: 1976), vol. I, pp. 9, 176.