Gay Guide

Massachusetts
Pink Star Rating

5

Capital

Boston

Other Main Cities/Resorts

Worcester, Springfield, Lowell, Cambridge

Gay Age of Consent

Illegal

Lesbian Age of Consent

Illegal

Straight Age of Consent

16/18

Legal Notes

Massachusetts has anti-sodomy laws that criminalises oral or anal sex, between both heterosexual and homosexual adults including in the privacy of their homes. The penalty is 20 years imprisonment. Direct criminal enforcement of these laws against private activity between consenting adults is rare. They also have a felony which covers “unnatural and lascivious acts.” encompassing oral and anal intercourse and use of sex toys. However, privacy and consent is a defence. Curiously, in 1989, Massachusetts became the second state in the country to pass anti-discrimination laws protecting lesbian and gays. 13 US states now have such laws. The legislation covers public and private employment, public and private housing, education, credit and union practices. In 2001 a complaint was filed (Goodridge v Department of Public Health) regarding the denial of civil marriage by 7 same-sex couple alleging a violation of the state’s laws and constitution. However, conservatives have introduced anti-family legislation that would not only not recognise marriage between same-sex couples, but also bar civil unions and domestic partnerships. Massachusetts also has a "Hate Crimes Penalties Act" which provides stiff penalties for those who commit an assault and battery; or cause damage to a person's real or personal property with the entent to intimidate a person because of amongst other things their sexual orientation.

Population

6.35 million

Climate

The best time to visit the eastern USA is during the summer months from May to September though if you find heat a problem visit in May or September. In summer, sea fog can be a problem around the coasts, and there can be excessive heat and humidity in the cities. Average daily temperatures can reach 28 °c . In the Autumn, average daily maximum temperatures fall rapidly during this period, ranging from 24 °c in September, to 12 °c in November. The autumn is also a spectacular month. The climate and variety of hardwood trees produce vibrant colours, attracting visitors worldwide. The winter months are cold and the snowfall accumulation reaches its maximum in February. The Eastern seaboard is capable of receiving some exceptional snowfalls at this time of year. Daily average maximum temperatures only reach about 4 - 6 °C.

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