January 1, 1962

Illinois becomes the first state to decriminalize homosexuality by repealing their sodomy law.  The repeal was part of the state’s adoption of the Model Penal Code, and so it slipped through as part of the larger law reform package.  The code also abrogated common-law crimes and established an age of consent of 18. However, the code also made it a crime to commit a “lewd fondling or caress of the body of another person of the same sex” in a public place.  In 1963, the legislature passed a new law that changed the words “the same sex” to “either sex

Illinois voters made it more difficult ever to reinstate a sodomy law when they adopted a constitutional amendment in 1970 granting people the right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and other possessions against unreasonable searches and seizures, invasions of privacy or interceptions of communications.