Little Bits of History

No Kissing

Posted in History by patriciahysell on July 16, 2011


July 16, 1439: Kissing is banned in England by proclamation of King Henry VI. The king hoped to curtail the spread of the current pestilence running rampant throughout the kingdom. The ban failed. It seems the citizens only gave it lip service.

While Henry was concerned with the spread of disease, others have been more concerned with morality or sexuality. In 2003, Moscow was considering a ban on kissing in public places. The law’s wording would have included even legally married couples. Fines and jail time were to be imposed. The citizenry was not happy with this proposed law. People were willing to go about on the streets and kiss casual acquaintances or even perfect strangers just to prove their point.

Also in 2003, a gay inmate in a Scotland prison sued because the prison guards banned him from kissing his boyfriend when he visited. The inmate pointed out that straight couples were permitted this level of intimacy. When straight couples groped each other, the inmate and his partner did the same and were immediately accosted and separated. The same happened when they kissed. The prison instituted meetings between the two men in a segregated place and with a dividing glass between them. The free partner was considering filing suit as well.

There are other weird sex laws, of course. In 1562 Naples, Italy made it a capital offense to kiss in public. In Minnesota, it is illegal to have intercourse with a live fish. There is no mention of dead fish or how one stay’s underwater long enough to keep the fish alive. Romboch, Virginia has a law on the books stating it is illegal to have sex with the lights on. Again, no mention of what happens during daylight hours. In Cleveland, Ohio it is illegal for women to wear patent leather shoes because someone might see a reflection of what is hidden by the woman’s skirt. No mention of what happens if she is wearing slacks.

“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.” – Albert Einstein

“The sick do not ask if the hand that smoothes their pillow is pure, nor the dying care if the lips that touch their brow have known the kiss of sin.” – Oscar Wilde

“Though I know he loves me, tonight my heart is sad; his kiss was not so wonderful as all the dreams I had.” – Sara Teasdale

“All the legislation in the world will not abolish kissing.” – Elinor Glyn

Also on this day:
Phony – In 1951, The Catcher in the Rye is published.
Calendars – In 622, the Islamic calendar began.

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