The Daily Agenda for Wednesday, September 7
September 7th, 2011
Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival: Austin, TX. The festival actually kicked off last night with an opening night party, but the main events really get underway this weekend. aGLIFF is yet another opportunity to plug Morgan Fox’s This Is What Love In Action Looks Like, a documentary about the controversy surrounding sixteen-year-old Zach Stark’s committal to the Memphis-based ex-gay program known as “Love In Action” in 2005. Two years later, Love In Action shut down down the Refuge youth program that Zach was forced to attend, and LIA announced they were “suspending” their adult residential ex-gay program last week. You can read Daniel Gonzales’s film review here. I’ve seen various trailers for the film, but haven’t had a chance to see the finished product yet. I look forward to seeing it soon. Most of the events for aGLIFF take place at the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar. Schedule and showtimes are available here.
Also, What “Love Won Out” Looks Like: Houston, TX. Exodus International will bring its Love Won Out road show to the Houston suburb of Sugar Land this weekend. As part of a lineup of activities to counter the event, Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out will host an overview of ex-gay ministries tonight at Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, followed by a pastor’s panel and Q&A. Tonight’s activity begins at 7:00 p.m. And while you’re making plans, you might want to keep in mind that there will be a showing of Morgan Fox’s This Is What Love In Action Looks Like tomorrow night, also at Resurrection MCC. Fox and Brandon Tidwell, a former Love In Action client, will be on hand to answer questions after the movie. And on Friday, Ex-Gay Survivor and performance artist Peterson Toscano will reprise portions of his one-man play, “Doin’ Time In the Homo No Mo Halfway House,” along with excerpts from “The Re-Education of George W. Bush” and “Queer 101–Now I Know my gAy,B,Cs.” Resurrection MCC is located at 2025 West 11th Street in Houston.
AIDS Walk This Weekend: Bathurst/Chaleur, NB.
Also This Weekend: Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival, Austin, TX; Folsum Europe, Berlin, Germany; and OUT Film Festival, Nairobi, Kenya.
TODAY IN HISTORY:
McCarthy’s 145 “Deviates” In The State Department: 1952. Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s (R-WI) anti-Communist hearings are a dark, well-known chapter in American history. His campaign to root out suspected “subversives” from under every bed wasn’t limited to Communists; there was a very strong anti-gay subtext to his witch hunts as well. For the first time, gay men and women were actively rooted out of all levels of government employment. Gays were seen not only as morally suspect, but also a security risk and a dangerous influence in government offices. In 1952, McCarthy published a book titled McCarthyism: The Fight For America, in which he laid out his crusade to rid the country of “Communists and perverts.” As part of his book’s promotion, McCarthy answered several question from the editor of the Milwaukee Sentinel. McCarthy accused several State Department employees by name of harboring Communist sympathies and took credit for their ouster. He also took credit for the removal of 145 “deviates”:
QUESTION — How many sex deviates have been removed from the State Department?
ANSWER — Ninety-one were forced to resign from the State Department prior to 1950 and 54 since that time. The Senate Special Investigating Committee had this to say about those who were allowed to resign: “In most of those cases, these known homosexuals were allowed to resign for ‘personal reasons,’ and no information was placed in the regular personnel files of the state Department indicating the real reason for resignation nor was the Civil Service Commission informed of the true reason for the resignation … Die ot the manner in which these cases were mishandled, 23 of those 91 state Department employees found there way into other departments of government.”
QUESTION — Do you claim that the sex deviates removed from the State Department were all disloyal?
ANSWER — No, but all were considered security risks. One reason why sex deviates are considered by all intelligence agencies of the government to be security risks in that they are subject to blackmail. Is is a known fact that espionage agents often have been successful in extorting information from them by threatening to expose their abnormal habits.
The Special Senate Investigating Committee had this to say about the high percentage of sex deviates in government: “The homosexual has a tendency to gather other perverts around him. Eminent psychiatrists have informed the subcommittee that the homosexual is likely to seek his own kind because the pressures of society are such that he feels uncomfortable unless his is with his own kind. Due to this situation the homosexual tends to surround himself with other homosexuals, not only in his social but in his business life. Under these circumstances, if a homosexual attains a position in government where he can influence the hiring of personnel, it is almost inevitable that he will attempt to place other homosexuals in government jobs.”
The worst irony in all this is that throughout McCarthy’s witch hunts, a young lawyer by the name of Roy Cohn served as McCarthy’s right hand man. During one of McCarthy’s televised hearings into the supposed influence of communists in the U.S. Army, attorney Joseph Welch accused McCarthy of accepting a doctored photo as evidence. Referring to Cohn, Welch asked McCarthy whether the photo “came from a pixie.” When McCarthy asked what a pixie was, Welch replied “a close relative of a fairy.” Cohn would later become a regular fixture in gay conservative circles, and died of AIDS in 1986.