immorality, noun

Forms:
Also with initial capital.
Origin:
EnglishShow more Special senses of general English, from Immorality Act the short title of Act 5 of 1927 (see quotation 1927).
historical
1. In the phrase Immorality Act, the law which prohibited sexual relations between a white person and a member of any of the other officially-defined racial groups; Immo Act, see Immo sense 1. Also attributive.
Note:
The 1927 Immorality Act was exclusively concerned with inter-racial sexual relations. The 1957 Immorality Act repealed the earlier Act, but included most of its provisions, re-worded, in Section 16. This section was repealed in its entirety in 1985. Although the 1957 Act deals with sexual relations in general (e.g. prostitution), most references to it allude to the provisions of Section 16.
1927 Act 5 in Stat. of Union 15Act to prohibit illicit carnal intercourse between Europeans and natives and other acts in relation thereto...This Act may be cited as the Immorality Act, 1927, and shall come into operation on the thirtieth day of September, 1927.
1949 W.H. Stuart in Hansard 19 May 6201In getting that Immorality Act placed on to the Statute Book, I had saved perhaps half-a-dozen decent European women by that legislation but I also had saved..over 2,000 Native women per annum.
1950 Act 21 in Stat. of Union 217Sections one, two and three of the Immorality Act, 1927..is [sic] hereby amended by the substitution for the word ‘native’, wherever it occurs, of the word ‘non-European’.
1954 Drum Dec. 29Regina B—, a European woman, and Richard K—, an African, were charged under the Immorality Act with living together in a house at Orlando.
1956 A. Sampson Drum 214The Immorality Act of 1927 (amended in 1950 to include Coloureds), and the Mixed Marriages Act of 1949, forbade relations between Europeans and non-Europeans, with a maximum penalty, nearly always applied, of six months’ hard labour, without the option of a fine.
1963 B. Modisane Blame Me on Hist. (1986) 215‘The Immorality Act’ prohibits all sex between black and white, labelling such acts as sinful, immoral and unlawful.
1971 Personality 5 Mar. 54The Immorality Act was introduced primarily to safeguard White South Africans from ‘mongrelisation’.
1971 Sunday Times 28 Mar. 12Mr. O—..shot himself in the bedroom of his Bloemfontein home on the eve of his court appearance on an Immorality Act charge.
1978 Sunday Post 9 Feb. 4A Motion calling for the repeal of the Mixed Marriages Act and the section of the Immorality Act prohibiting sex across the colour line will be introduced next month.
1985 Act 72 in Govt Gaz. Vol.240 No.9804, 2Section 16 of the Immorality Act, 1957, is hereby repealed.
1987 S. Afr. Digest 10 July 2A major step in removing discriminatory legislation from the Statute Book was taken in 1985 with the repeal of Article 16 of the Immorality Act.
1990 P. Fenster in Sunday Times 22 July 6Forty years on, especially for anyone under 30, the Immorality Act seems so absurd that even mentioning it seems immoral.
1993 L. Holmes in Sunday Times 16 May 19What about those who suffered under the Immorality Act? Our scars run deep. We were treated worse than lepers.
2. Sexual intercourse between a white person and one of another race; Immo sense 2. Also attributive.
1962 New African Apr. 8The Ontug Act (..this law should be known by its Afrikaans appellation, since it has nothing to do with the accepted meaning of the word ‘immorality’ in other languages).
1970 Post 25 Jan. 12We were patrolling that well-known Immorality rendezvous, Doornfontein.
1973 Cape Times 13 Jan. (Weekend Mag.) 3They made love, the woman turned out to be Coloured and they were each sentenced to nine months’ jail suspended, for immorality.
1976 A.P. Brink Mapmakers (1983) 129A white South African marries a Vietnamese girl abroad...Should he bring his wife home with him, both of them can be jailed for ‘immorality’ because they do not belong to the same race.
1977 Drum Oct. 20Hand in hand, a white man and his black wife stroll into the Holiday Inn. There is no furtive looking over the shoulder to see if big brother from the Immorality Squad is following.
1978 Survey of Race Rel. (S.A.I.R.R.) 53Immorality and Mixed Marriages...417 cases of suspected contravention of Section 16 of the Immorality Act (dealing with intercourse across the white-black colour line) were investigated during the year ended 30 June 1976.
1980 E. Patel They Came at Dawn 48Can’t you see that blerry whitey, met a black bokkie?..See them kissing. Quick, take a picture...That’s the evidence for an act of immorality.
the law which prohibited sexual relations between a white person and a member of any of the other officially-defined racial groups; Immo Act, see Immo1. Also attributive.
Sexual intercourse between a white person and one of another race; Immo2. Also attributive.
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19271993