Sodomy Law: Plymouth, November 13, 1636

In the earliest codification of laws in colonial America, Plymouth, founded sixteen years earlier, included eight offenses punishable by death:(1)

Treason or rebellion against the person of the King, State, or Common Wealth, either of England or these Colonies.
Willfull Murder.
Solemn compaction or conversing with the devil by way of witchcraft, conjuration or the like.
Willfull and purposed burning of ships houses.
Sodomy, rapes, buggery.
Adultery to be punished.

This Plymouth law was next revised in 1671.


  1. Jonathan Ned Katz, Gay/Lesbian Almanac (NY: Harper & Row, 1983), p. 74 citing David Pulsifer, ed.Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England, Laws. 1623-1628 (Boston: Wm. White, 1861), vol. II, p. 12.