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Phelps then told Eisenhower, "Sir, you're right, there are lesbians in the WACs – and if you want to replace all the file clerks, section commanders, drivers, every woman in the WAC detachment, I will be happy to make that list.
Under New York law, however, Bushel was not a trier of fact; he could only remand the case to the New York Court of Special Sessions for judgment.
In the 19th century, lesbians were only accepted if they hid their sexual orientation and were presumed to be merely friends with their partners.
For example, the term "Boston marriage" was used to describe a committed relationship between two unmarried women who were usually financially independent and often shared a house; The earliest published studies of lesbian activity were written in the early 20th century, and many were based on observations of, and data gathered from, incarcerated women.
It would have read, "Unnatural filthiness, to be punished with death, whether sodomy, which is carnal fellowship of man with man, or woman with woman, or buggery, which is carnal fellowship of man or woman with beasts or fowls." In 1779, Thomas Jefferson proposed a law stating that, "Whosoever shall be guilty of rape, polygamy, or sodomy with man or woman shall be punished, if a man, by castration, if a woman, by cutting thro' the cartilage of her nose a hole of one half inch diameter at the least, " but this also did not become law.
However, in 1649 in Plymouth Colony, Sarah White Norman and Mary Vincent Hammon were prosecuted for "lewd behavior with each other upon a bed"; their trial documents are the only known record of sex between female English colonists in North America in the 17th century.