Sodomy

Sodomy is a term used in sodomy law for various forbidden sex acts. It is commonly used to describe the specific act of anal sex, but can also include non-coitus sexual acts such as oral sex, bestiality and paedophilia.

Etymology

The term sodomy derives from the name of the ancient city of Sodom, which according to the Bible was destroyed by God for its misdeeds (Sodom and Gomorrah). In today's common language it identifies the practice of anal intercourse, even if in the Bible Sodom was not explicitly and unambiguously the town of homosexuality. Traditionally, the misdeeds of Sodom have been understood to be male homosexual anal intercourse; but some people today interpret its misdeeds to be homosexual rape, not sex within the context of a homosexual relationship. Further, this interpretation seems to be contradicted by Ezekiel 16:49 which states: "Only this was the sin of your sister Sodom: arrogance! She and her daughters had plenty of bread and untroubled tranquillity; yet she did not support the poor and the needy." It is in the book of Jude (1.4, 7, 8) that an explicit recall to fornication is available: "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities." It was about A.D. 96 that Josephus first used (in his Antiquities) the term sodomy to mean homosexual acts.


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