The Daily Agenda for Friday, April 27

Jim Burroway

April 27th, 2012

By Way of Sorrow: Honor our Lost and Make it Better: Portland, OR. The Soulforce Equality Riders are on a nation wide tour this spring, and tonight they are in Portland to host “A night of poetry, performance, story-sharing and song to honor those who have taken their own lives as a result of bullying or spiritual violence against the LGBTQ community.” The event takes place this evening at Portland Metropolitan Community Church (2400 NE Broadway Street), from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Live-Audience edition of “Oklahoma: Inside Out” About Scott Lively’s Speaking Engagement: Oklahoma City, OK & Online. Scott J. Hamilton will host a live-audience edition of his weekly podcast this evening to discuss Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively’s appearance this weekend at Oklahoma City’s Draper Park Christian Church. Panelists for tonights podcast include Truth Wins Out’s Wayne Besen; Michael Kornblit, author of Until We Meet Again: A True Story of Love and Survival in the Holocaust; and Pastor Neill Spurgeon, an evangelical minister who suffered at the hands of the “ex-gay” industry and today suffers PTST as a result. The live-audience edition will take place tonight from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Church of the Open Arms, 3131 N Pennsylvania Ave.

Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Beaumaris, Wales, UK; Philadelphia, PA (Black Pride); Phuket, Thailand and Potsdam, Germany.

Celebrations This Weekend: International Bears Meeting, Sitges, Spain; Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Miami, FL; Splash South Padre, S. Padre Island, TX.

AIDS Walks This Weekend: Kansas City, KS and Utica, NY.

Holocaust Revisionist To Speak at Draper Park Christian Church: Oklahoma City, OK. At the invitation of pastor Jason Cameron, Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively will begin his three-day speaking engagement at Draper Park Christian Church. Lively, whose book The Pink Swastika blames Nazism and the Holocaust on gay people, will also preach at all three of Draper Park’s Sunday services. In 2009, when he gave a similar talk in Kampala which became known as his “Nuclear Bomb” against the gay agenda, he managed to blame the Rwandan Genocide on gays. There’s no telling what kind of atrocities he’ll try to pin on LGBT people in Oklahoma City. For those who have the stomach to listen, he will speak this evening from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. and tomorrow from 9:00 a.m. to noon. And if you still haven’t gotten your fill, he will preach again for Sunday services at 9:30 and 10:45 a.m., as well as during the youth services at 6:00 p.m. Draper Park is located at 8500 South Walker Avenue.

Pres. Dwight D. EisenhowerEisenhower Signs Executive Order Banning Gays from Federal Employment: 1953. By the time Dwight D. Eisenhower began his first term as president, an anti-gay witch hunt jad been going on steadily for three years. When Undersecretary of State John Peurifoy, testifying before the US Senate Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Department, revealed that 91 employees “in the shady category” had resigned since 1947 (see Feb 28). Republican Senators took that admission to allege that President Harry Truman’s administration’s employment of “sexual deviants with police records” was recklessly endangering the country’s national security. The Republican Party’s national chairman sent a warning to 7,000 party members that, “Perhaps as dangerous as the actual Communists are the sexual perverts who have infiltrated our government in recent years.” (See April 18).

So when Eisenhower took office, he was keen to demonstrate that he wouldn’t be soft on the pansies. Three months after taking office, he signed Executive Order 10450 mandating that all federal employees who were determined to be guilty of “sexual perversion” be fired.The Executive Order declared all homosexuals to be “security risks,” regardless of whether they were actually disloyal or not. It didn’t matter how low or innocuous their position was; their mere presence in a government office was deemed a threat. Following Eisenhower’s executive order, more than 640 federal employees would lose their job because of allegations of homosexuality over the next year and a half. Unknown numbers of others resigned quietly. State and local governments and government contractors followed suit, tossing countless more innocent Americans out of their jobs.

Unintended consequences are funny things though. In 1957, a young astronomer by the name of Dr. Franklin Kameny was fired from the Army Map service because of his homosexuality (see Dec 20). After all of his court appeals were denied, he founded the Washington, D.C. Mattachine Society. He and Daughters of Billitis founder Barbara Gittings organized the first gay rights demonstrations in front of the White House, State Department and Philadelphia’s Independence Hall (see July 4) in 1965 to demand an end to the federal employment ban . This demand remained a key component of the whole gay rights movement from the 1950’s through the 1970’s. Much of today’s modern gay rights movement has its roots buried deep in the anti-gay and anti-red hysteria of the 1950’s and Executive order 10450.

The Civil Service ban on gays and lesbians would continue for the next two decades. In 1973, a federal judge ruled that a person’s sexual orientation alone could not be the sole reason for termination from federal employment. But even with that ruling, it wasn’t until 1975 when the U.S. Civil Service Commission notified Kameny that they had changed their policies and were now allowing gay people to work in federal jobs (see July 3).

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?


April 27th, 2012

It is interesting you note the federal ban’s role, as horrible as it was, in helping to launch the more proactively political gay rights movement. Just like in WWII, when people were first excluded up front from the draft if they were known to be homosexual, the federal ban had an ironic result – confirmation of the existence of other gay men and lesbians. For someone in the 40s and 50s, with little to no information about their sexual orientation, the mere fact of the ban was a sign that there were not only others like them, but enough to be a threat.


April 27th, 2012

The AIDS Walk this weekend is in Kansas City, MO, not Kansas City, KS.

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