Gay rights movement started in 19th century Germany, says historian

Historians in the News

Our modern understanding of what it means to be homosexual and the earliest gay rights movement started in nineteenth-century Germany, says a historian.

According to Robert Beachy from Goucher College, modern conceptions of homosexuality began, ironically, with an anti-sodomy law.

When the German empire was unified in 1871, the Imperial Criminal Code included a law prohibiting sexual penetration of one man by another.

Questions about what types of activity should fall under the law spurred a sustained public inquiry into the nature of same-sex eroticism and sexuality in general....

comments powered by Disqus

More Comments:

Craig Michael Loftin - 3/2/2011

This is already well established in the academic literature, though Americans tend to ignore it.