Buggery Law: South Carolina, 1712

Death for "buggery"

South Carolina legislators included the text of the English "buggery" law and its death penalty in a South Carolina statute, an explicit incorporation rare in the Southern-colonies. Usually the English buggery law was simply assumed to be operative.(1)

This South Carolina buggery law of 1712 remained in effect for one hundred and sixty-one years, until 1873, when the death penalty was repealed.



  1. Jonathan Ned Katz, Gay/Lesbian Almanac (NY: Harper & Row, 1983), p. 128, citing Thomas Cooper, ed., The Statutes at Large of South Carolina . . . (Columbia, S. C.: Johnston, 1873), vol. 2, p. 465. For the S. C. law of 1873 see Crompton, "Homosexuals," p. 28.