Buggery Law: New Jersey, 1702

Death for buggery

East and West New Jersey were united as one royal colony, and their proprietors surrendered to the crown all claims to govern.(1) Since New Jersey was a royal colony, the English, buggery act was formally in effect.

No sodomy law was passed before the revolution. In 1796, the state of New Jersey removed the death penalty for sodomy, punishing the crime with a fine and imprisonment for up to twenty-one years.




  1. Jonathan Ned Katz, Gay/Lesbian Almanac (NY: Harper & Row, 1983), p. 124-25 citing Andrews,Colonial, pp. 177-78; Crompton, "Homosexuals," pp. 283-84, 287. For the law of 1796 see Wm. Patterson, Laws of the State of New-Jersey; Revised and Published Under the Authority of the Legislature(Newark: Mathias Day, 1800, p. 209.