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Bogomils, bugger

Bogomils was the name of a defunct Gnostic social-religious movement and doctrine which originated in Bulgaria in X century at the time of Peter I of Bulgaria (927-969) as a reaction of the state and clerical oppression. In spite of all measures of repression, it remained strong and popular until the fall of Bulgaria in the end of 14th century.

The name of the movement was bulgarus in Latin (meaning "Bulgarian") which included Cathars, Patarenes and Albigenses. It became boulgre, later bougre in Old French meaning "heretic, traitor". It entered German as Buger meaning "peasant, blockhead" (and went on to English as bugger) and the French term also entered old Italian as bugero in the meaning of "sodomite" since it was supposed that heretics would make sex (just like everything else) in an "inverse" way. The word went on towards Venetian Italian as buzerar, meaning "to do sodomy" (anal sex between men). This word entered German again as Buserant and went on to Hungarian as buzeráns, becoming buzi around the 1900s, which form is still in use as a sexual slur for male homosexuals. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogomils [Sept 2005]

See also: heresy - homosexuality - sodomy - slur - middle ages

Buggery Act 1533

The Buggery Act was adopted in England in 1533 during the reign of Henry VIII, and was the first legislation against homosexuals in the country. (See also sodomy law.) It was also one of the first anti-sodomy laws passed by any Germanic country. All Germanic codes up to this time ignored sexual acts except adultery and rape. The Buggery Act was piloted through Parliament by Thomas Cromwell. The Act made buggery with man or beast punishable by hanging, a penalty not finally lifted until 1861. Some have suggested that zoophilia was specifically included because of the fear of hybrid births.

It is sometimes suggested that the Act was introduced as a measure against the clergy, since the Act was introduced following the separation of the Church of England from Rome, though there seems to be no firm evidence for this. The Act itself only states that there was no "sufficient and condigne punyshment" for such acts.

Contravention of the Act, along with treason, led Walter Hungerford, 1st Baron Hungerford, to become the first person executed under the statute in July 1540, though it was probably the treason that cost him his life. Nicholas Udall, a cleric, playwright, and Headmaster of Eton College, was the first to be charged for violation of the Act alone - and probably in a politically-motivated case - in 1541. In his case the sentence was commuted to imprisonment, and he was released in less than a year. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buggery_Act [Jun 2005]

see also: homosexuality - hybrid - law - sodomy

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