March 16 in LGBTQ History

1680: Legislators of New Hampshire pass the colony’s first capital laws, copied almost word for word from the Plymouth laws of 1671:

If any man lie with mankind as he lies with a woman; both of them have committed abomination; They both shall surely be put to death: unless one party were forced, or were under fourteen years of age. And all other Sodomitical filthiness shall be severely punished according to the nature of it.”

1954: The Army–McCarthy hearings convene to investigate conflicting charges made by the United States Army and Senator Joseph McCarthy about allegations of preferential treatment that McCarthy and his aide Roy Cohn had secured for Cohn’s friend David Schine. The hearings include inquiries into the supposed security risks posed by homosexuals employed by the federal government and include instances of gay-baiting by Special Counsel for the Army Joseph Welch. Notably, Welch defines a pixie as being “a close relative of a fairy”. “Fairy” is a slang term for “homosexual” and Welch’s remark is interpreted as a jibe at Cohn, a closeted homosexual.

 

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