When two or more consenting adults consent one sexual activity or another, it's usually none of the state's business. But there are some sexual acts that are considered crimes, particularly when they are done within public view. These laws have changed, and continue to change, along with shifting social mores. For instance, sodomy laws prohibiting non-procreative sexual acts were used to criminalize homosexuality as recently as 2003, when the U.S. Supreme Court found such laws unconstitutional.
Overview of Oregon Laws Prohibiting Certain Consensual Sexual Acts
While Oregon still has anti-sodomy laws on the books, only cases involving children or nonconsensual acts are prosecuted as crimes. Still, Oregon statute defines "deviate sexual intercourse" as sexual conduct involving the "sex organs" of one person and the "mouth or anus" of another.
Oregon has both "public indecency" and "private indecency" laws that generally prohibit public display of sexual acts or private parts, or the act of "flashing" another person with one's genitals with the intent or arousing the other person. Both offenses are charged as Class A misdemeanors, which can result in a prison sentence of up to one year.
Additional provisions of Oregon laws prohibiting certain kinds of consensual sexual activities are listed in the following table.
|Sodomy Laws Applicable to
||Ruled unconstitutional when applied to consenting adults
|Penalty for Sodomy
|HIV Exposure and Compelled Testing for Offenders
||135.139 Upon request of victim of crime involving transmission of bodily fluids, court shall order HIV testing of convicted offender or person charged with such offense after a probable cause determination by the court
|Other Crimes Relating to Consensual Sex Acts
163.465 Public indecency: Class A misdemeanor
163.467 Private indecency: Class A misdemeanor
Note: State laws are always subject to change, often through the passage of new legislation or the issuance of appellate court decisions. Be sure to contact an Oregon attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Compelled HIV Testing
When someone has been charged with a crime and the nature of the crime indicates bodily fluids may have been exchanged, the victim may request an HIV test. This test, if approved and ordered by the judge, is mandatory.
Research the Law
Oregon Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws: Related Resources