- The Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885, whose Labouchère Amendment (Clause 11) outlawed sexual relations between men (but not women), is given Royal Assent by Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
A popular legend claims that Queen Victoria struck references to lesbianism from the Act because of her refusal to believe that women "did such things": in reality, they had simply never been mentioned in the act. Clause 11 reads: "Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or is a party to the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and being convicted thereof shall be liable at the discretion of the court to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding two years, with or without hard labor." It has been suggested that the amendment, in its intent to treat male homosexual acts in the same way as prostitution, was meant as a gesture towards women's rights. The law was quickly dubbed the "blackmailer's charter".
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