Executive Order 10450, signed on April 27, 1953 by President Eisenhower, authorized broad categories of American citizens identified as threats to national security–including those with criminal records, alcoholics, and “sex perverts”–to be excluded or terminated from federal employment.
Sixty-three years after President Eisenhower signed the Executive Order, MSDC and legal partner McDermott Will & Emery filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice to unseal those records related to EO 10450. The suit accuses the government of conducting an inadequate search for materials, and of groundlessly withholding records on the basis of national security after three years of Freedom of Information Act requests.
Suspicions of homosexuality led to between 7,000 and 10,000 workers losing their jobs in the 1950s alone. “We want to know, and history needs to know, how this thing was administered and how it was enforced, and what was the dynamic inside the Justice Department and the FBI driving it,” said Charles Francis, MSDC President.
“This is an issue of public importance–how your government treats people who work for it, how your government has historically targeted people based on their LGBT status and destroyed their lives,” said Paul Thompson, a partner at McDermott Will & Emery. “People are paying attention to this right now.”
Read the full complaint and the supporting documents below.