We uncover the evidence. Evidence of animus at the state and federal level. Evidence of historic lesbian and gay powerlessness in the face of full-out federal and state persecution.
Original documents are discovered and analyzed by professional researchers, including former investigative reporters, working with our pro bono partner McDermott Will & Emery, one of the largest law firms in the United States. MSDC collects information from public sources including Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and appeals to ensure that LGBT-related documents are identified and placed in their proper historical context.
MSDC began by researching J. Edgar Hoover’s “Sex Deviate” program. The LGBT document category did not exist prior to the 1970’s, except for “deviate” or “immoral” or “disgraceful conduct” investigations by the FBI, the U.S. Civil Service Commission and the Department of Defense. Records discuss “suitability,” not homosexuality. We work with National Archives researchers and other librarians to decipher the filing systems and uncover the documents for educational purposes.