October 12th, 2011
Jim has posted a lovely tribute to Frank Kameny below. I’d like to add a note of my own.
With presidential hopefuls saying our struggle has nothing in common with the civil rights movement, with lawyers from the House of Representatives — paid for with our tax dollars — claiming gays don’t face a significant history of discrimination, this is a good time to look at the huge, official, morally-sanctioned, seemingly-unbreachable wall of bigotry, ignorance, and hate that Kameny helped knock down.
Start with this letter to Kameny from the US Department of Commerce, explaining why it’s just good sense to fire homosexuals (click to enlarge):
Here’s one from the State Department, saying that if an open homosexual is to be hired, then at the very least the homosexual would have to admit to being sick:
This is the battle Kameny faced. You can find more in the Kameny Papers Archive.
I’ll tell you, sometimes I feel moral exhaustion just from monitoring the extreme, fringe, anti-gay views of Tony Perkins, Bryan Fischer, and the folks at NOM. I’m awestruck by Kameny’s courage and fortitude in fighting this sort of bigotry when it was the official policy of the federal government.
The company I work for doesn’t discriminate against gays. I owe Kameny for that. The Board of Directors doesn’t see my orientation as bringing hatred, ridicule, and contempt to the firm. The HR department will never brand me as sick or emotionally disturbed for being gay. I owe Kameny for that.
I owe Frank Kameny a lot.
The battle’s not done. Perkins, Fischer, and the rest of them are working to bring back the bad old days. We still have to fight. We have to ensure Kameny’s legacy of dignity and respect isn’t ground into the mud of bigotry and hate. But thanks to Frank Kameny, many of us — not all, perhaps not even most — but at least many of us can take up the cause without fear of losing our jobs, our homes, our very means of survival.
Rest in peace, Frank Kameny. You’ve earned it.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.