In the 1950 report and resolution Employment of Homosexuals and Other Sex Perverts in Government, a Senate subcommittee charges the Civil Service Commission with stepping up investigations–and dismissals–of alleged “moral perverts” employed by the Federal government, arguing that homosexuals and “other sex perverts” are “generally unsuitable” for employment and “constitute security risks.”
Perverts and homosexuals, the authors argue, “lack emotional stability of normal persons,” incapable of taking on positions of responsibility. Homosexuals furthermore have a “corrosive influence upon his fellow employees,” because they “frequently attempt to entice normal individuals to engage in perverted practices.” Indeed, the presence of “one homosexual can pollute a Government office.” Continue reading
Rick Rosendall, a member of the original Mattachine Society of Washington D.C. and founding member of the present Mattachine Society, wrote this week in the Washington Blade about the leadership of Frank Kameny in the fight for LGBT civil equality, and the grim history of those persecuted by their own government.
Read the article
Memorandum from John W. Steele to O. Glenn Stahl (Nov. 17, 1964)
A “culture of animus” is brought to chilling life in our amicus brief to the Supreme Court, written by a fantastic team of attorneys at the international law firm McDermott Will & Emery. Our brief has links to the documents we have uncovered over the past three years, including the newly released “Homosexual” and “Suitability” files of the Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. Civil Service Commission–the predecessor to today’s Office of Personnel Management. Here is where the investigations, the interrogations and the firings were conducted for decades.
Read McDermott Will & Emery’s press release
Continue to Legal Documents
After two years of Freedom of Information Act requests and visits to the National Archives, at last we have uncovered the “suitability” files (“homosexuality”) of the Office of General Counsel (OGC) of the U.S. Civil Service Commission–the old Office of Personnel Management. These papers document decades of outrageous animus. We photocopied and have scanned more than 450 pages. We will be releasing them soon.
Rock Hudson with the Reagans, courtesy of the Reagan Library
Mattachine Society researchers discovered these Rock Hudson/Nancy Reagan documents at the Reagan Presidential Library, an illuminating 1985 time capsule from inside the Reagan White House. BuzzFeed did an amazing job reporting–worldwide–and providing the factual context. It is the Reagan White House nonchalance that galls us the most, in the midst of a raging epidemic. The Supreme Court should bear this kind of demonstrated animus in mind as they analyze the discrimination in same-sex marriage arguments.
When does a petition denied become a revolution? The answer is history’s judgment. Gay civil rights pioneer Frank Kameny, in 1961, was denied his day before the Supreme Court, and no one noticed. He read about his rejection in a one‐inch notice in the Washington Star. Kameny’s powerfully argued petition to the Court marked day one in a revolution of legal argumentation and law for a vast homosexual minority demanding equal citizenship. Read the document.
We discovered this gem of animus earlier this year at the Reagan Presidential Library: “I have opposed the notion that we should seek out a homosexual to be on your AIDS commission, for the following reasons…” (Memo, Bauer to Reagan, 1987, reprinted in Harper’s). So that no one forgets, we dedicate this message in a bottle from the Reagan White House to the coming World AIDS Day, December 1.