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Condemnation of homosexual acts (and other nonprocreative sexual behavior) as "unnatural," which received official expression in the writings of Thomas Aquinas and others, became widespread and has continued through the present day (Boswell, 1980).[Bibliographic references are on a different web page] Religious teachings soon were incorporated into legal sanctions.It is a great injustice to persecute homosexuality as a crime, and cruelty too....
This procedure compromises the validity of the psychoanalytic conclusions in at least two important ways.
Many of the early American colonies, for example, enacted stiff criminal penalties for sodomy, an umbrella term that encompassed a wide variety of sexual acts that were nonprocreative (including homosexual behavior), occurred outside of marriage (e.g., sex between a man and woman who were not married), or violated traditions (e.g., sex between husband and wife with the woman on top).
The statutes often described such conduct only in Latin or with oblique phrases such as "wickedness not to be named").
In a now-famous letter to an American mother in 1935, Freud wrote: "Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation, it cannot be classified as an illness; we consider it to be a variation of the sexual function produced by a certain arrest of sexual development.
Many highly respectable individuals of ancient and modern times have been homosexuals, several of the greatest men among them (Plato, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, etc.).