Executive Order 10450

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.

Mattachine FOIA Complaint

Exhibit 01 Executive Order Number 10450

Exhibit 02 Johnson-Irons Memo January 8, 1965

Exhibit 03 Sexual Orientation and the Federal Workplace p. 16

Exhibit 04 Executive Order Number 9835

Exhibit 05 Memo from J. Edgar Hoover dated September 7 1951

Exhibit 06 Haswell and Tufty Vandenberg Articles

Exhibit 07 Letter from Dwight D. Eisenhower October 11 1952

Exhibit 08 Russell Porter Vandenberg Jr NY Times Nov 27 1952

Exhibit 09 Letter from L.B. Nichols to Clyde Tolson (Dec. 9, 1952)

Exhibit 10 Mem. from J. Edgar Hoover to Clyde Tolson et al. 2 (Jan. 5, 1…

Exhibit 11 Letter from Arthur Vandenberg, Jr. to Dwight D. Eisenhower (J…

Exhibit 12 Letter from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Arthur Vandenberg, Jr. (J…

Exhibit 13 Letter from Arthur Vandenberg, Jr. to Dwight D. Eisenhower (F…

Exhibit 14 Vandenberg Forgoes US Post NY Times April 14 1953

Exhibit 15 New US Jobs Went to Half of State Department _Risks_ NY Times…

Exhibit 16 Steele Memo November 17, 1964

Exhibit 17 Revulsion letter from John Macy to Mattachine Society Februar…

Exhibit 18 FOIA Request

Exhibit 19 FBI Letter from D. Hardy, dated April 17, 2015

Exhibit 20 DOJ Letter from K. Tieman, dated May 5, 2015

Exhibit 21 The Appeal, Dated June 12, 2015

Exhibit 22 Second FBI Letter, dated June 22, 2015

Exhibit 23 Second Appeal, dated August 13, 2015

Exhibit 24 DOJ Appeal Denial Letter, dated February 25, 2016