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The Daily Agenda for Monday, August 13

Jim Burroway

August 13th, 2012

TODAY IN HISTORY:
Thirty-Five Arrested in Miami Beach Raid as Governor Threatens to Replace Sheriff: 1954. The wave of anti-gay hysteria in Miami continued apace (see Aug 3Aug 11, Aug 12), with Florida’s acting governor, Charley E. Johns, getting in on the act. The Miami News reported that Johns was looking for an excuse to replace Dade County sheriff Thomas J. Kelly for allegedly permitting “wide open” gambling in the county and for  “failing to prevent the concentration of sex perverts in the county which had become emphasized recently.” The News reported: “Public indignation over two recent sex murders and police revelations that Miami is host to a colony of some 5,000 homosexuals might be used to accuse the sheriff of lax law enforcement.”

(Johns became acting governor when Gov. Dan McCarty died in 1953. He would later return to the State Senate where he would head up the infamous Johns Committee which revived a statewide Red Scare and Lavender scare with its investigations of alleged communists, homosexuals, and civil rights advocates among the students and faculty of Florida’s schools and university system.)

Meanwhile, The Miami News that same day also reported that Miami Beach Police conducted a raid on a section of the beach the day before:

Two of six suspected homosexuals arrested by Miami Beach police in a raid on the 22nd Street bathing area were convicted of disorderly conduct today and ordered to pay $10 fines.

Beach police arrested 35 men yesterday afternoon in a raid planned by Police Chief Shepard. All but six were released after questioning at headquarters. The six kept in custody were charged with disorderly conduct by reason of failure to give a good account of their actions.

City Judge Lawrence Hoffman dismissed cases against four of the six today but warned them to stay away from the 22nd Street bathing area.

“Chief Shepard intends to make good his plan to make Miami Beach undesirable to homosexuals,” Judge Hoffman told the suspects.

A Disease Worse than Alcohol: 1954. I bet you thought I was finished talking about Miami in 1954, didn’t you? Well, you’re wrong. On the same day that The Miami News printed the front-page article about acting Gov. Charley Johns’s threat to remove the Dade County sheriff because he let too many queers settle in Miami, and the same day that the same newspaper reported on the nineteen such queers who had been arrested in Miami Beach, The Miami News still wasn’t finished. Across the bottom of the front page was the third of a series of three articles purporting to inform the general public about the “condition” of homosexuality. Titled “Psychiatrist Looks At Deviates: A Disease ‘Worse Than Alcohol’,” the article featured Dr. Paul Kells, a “noted Miami psychiatrist, whom The Miami Daily News asked to supply answers to questions regarding sexual deviates.” The News introduces the subject this way:

In the past few days Miamians have learned that this community has become infected by a large colony of sexual deviates. The word “infected” is used advisedly, since homosexuality is a social disease. It can be worse than drug addiction or alcoholism. There is little hope for returning the established homosexual to a socially acceptable pattern.

Most of the article follows a Q&A format, with the first tquestion appearing to draw some sort of a line between homosexuals and “sexual psychopaths.” What line exactly is drawn however is anybody’s guess:

Q Are all homosexuals potential child molesters, sadists (those who enjoy causing others pain) and masochists (those who enjoy pain and humiliation for themselves?)

A. No. The sexual psychopath, of which homosexuality is only one form, is the extreme sex deviate classification from which emerges the child molester and sadist. The sexual psychopath has no feeling of social responsibility, much in the manner of the hardened criminal who has no understanding or regard for the law, the psychiatrist explained.

The sexual psychopath preys on both sexes. He or she might consort with homosexuals as a means of getting money or any other objective. The psychopathic personality frequently has a feeling of great superiority over others, disregarding at all times the need of conforming to social laws.

As for whether homosexuals were born that way:

No. …”It is usually a matter of experience which makes a person a homosexual,” the doctor stated. “It’s ‘possible’ for anyone to become a homosexual, but people are not born to be such.”

It is in this statement that Miamians can clearly see their problem. In a community where there are only a few homosexuals, the chance for exposure to such practices are negligible.

Not all homosexuals want to gain converts, but those who do can be extremely aggressive, the doctor explained. The most aggressive is the psychopathic personality, who also lacks understanding of social responsibility.

“The shy homosexual has a sense of social responsibility and will go to great extremes to conceal his plight,” said the psychiatrist. “This type lives in constant fear of being exposed and will marry and have families to conceal its sexual behavior.”

… Dr. Kells pointed out that “normal” homosexuals are acceptable to society when their sex behavior is not known. “The sexual psychopath is never acceptable,” he said. “And there is the important question involved in creating laws. The ‘normal’ homosexual should be separated from the sexual psychopath.”

Q. Do perverts tend to congregate in the same area or town?

A. Yes, but only certain types.

Good news for a change

“No Obits”: 1996. For the first time in more than seventeen years, the San Fransisco weekly Bay Area Reporter made the news because of a lack of news: there were no obituaries of AIDS victims in the August 13, 1996 edition. The rate of obituaries had been declining for the previous two years following the introduction of the so-called “AIDS cocktail,” which surprised scientists and AIDS advocates alike for its effectiveness in halting and even reversing the health declines of those on medications. According to an AP article at the time, “The few days leading up to Monday’s deadline for submitting obits were tense at the newspaper. In the previous two weeks, none had been delivered until the last minute. ‘It was like watching a no-hitter in baseball unfolding,’ (news editor Mike) Salinas said. “We didn’t really want to discuss it until it became obvious that it was going to happen. We held our breath waiting.'” But the obit never came by the time the deadline arrived, and the paper celebrated with a front-page headline proclaiming “No Obits.”

Australia Amends Marriage Law Banning Same-Sex Marriage: 2004. The opposition Labor party joined the governing right-of-center Liberal Party to pass an amendment to Australia’s marriage law to ban same-sex marriage. Critics of the law challenged the government’s priorities, asking why there was a such a rush to ban same-sex marriage when the proposed anti-terrorism law hadn’t been voted on yet. Government and Labor responded by switching the schedule for the two bills and passed the anti-terrorism law first. Then both parties joined to cut off debate in the Senate. Democrat leader Sen. Andrew Bartlett condemned the move: “This is just an absolute disgrace … (you are saying) we have to do it now, otherwise society will crumble and the world will end. You are saying, ‘It is urgent that we take away as many freedoms and rights from people as possible and do it really quickly before they notice and get a chance to be upset about it’.” But that is exactly what they did, and the measure passed the Senate by a vote of 38-6.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY:
Gluck: 1895. The British painter was born Hannah Gluckstein, but she insisted on being known only as Gluck” — “No prefix, suffix, or quotes.” She resigned as vice president of an art society when her name appeared on the letterhead as “Miss Gluck.” And just as she kept her identification simple, her style of painting was also not part of any particular artistic school. Gluck established herself as a painter of floral arrangements which became popular among interior decorators, including floral designer Constance Spry, who would be Gluck’s lover from 1932 to 1936.

Gluck's Medallion, 1937

But it was Gluck’s portraits that would establish her reputation, beginning with her own 1925 self portrait, where she depicted herself smoking a cigarette while wearing a shirt, tie, suspenders and beret. Her best known painting, Medallion, is a dual portrait of Gluck and Nesta Obermer, who became Gluck’s partner after her relationship with Spry ended. She painted it in 1936 to commemorate what she called her marriage to Obermer on May 25. Gluck referred to it as the “YouWe” painting, and it was later used as the cover of the Virago Press edition of The Well of Loneliness.

In 1944, Obermer decided to end her relationship with Gluck, complaining that Gluck had become too demanding and possessive. Gluck then entered a tumultuous thirty-year relationship with Edith Shakelton Head, the first female reporter in Britain’s House of Lords. Gluck’s emotional health deteriorated as she descended into depression, and her painting suffered because of it. But she managed to reviver herself in the 1950s when she became alarmed at the declining quality of paints and canvases. With the backing of two important museums and the Arts Council of Great Britain, she embarked on a decade-long campaign to raise the quality of art supplies. She finally won when the British Standards Institution agreed to establish new standards for cold-pressed linseed oil, canvases, and the naming and defining of pigments.

With that success behind her, Gluck returned to the easel using special handmade paints supplied by a manufacturer who agreed to meet her exacting standards. She painted several more paintings, including one of a decomposing fish head on the beach titled, Rage, Rage against the Dying of Light. She mounted a successful solo show in 1973, her first since 1937. It would be her last; she died in 1978,

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?

Comments

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CPT_Doom
August 13th, 2012 | LINK

I am not surprised that the community was shocked @ the success of the drug “cocktail.” I was working @ a health care consulting firm in the early 90s & some of those drug manufacturers were our clients. We had advanced access to their clinical data & quite frankly didn’t believe it. Having been burned by some unscrupulous clients who had manipulated their data and nearly fooled the FDA, we kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. Turns out the clinical data were too conservative & the drugs worked better than predicted.

Pacal
August 13th, 2012 | LINK

I note that in 1954 Gay people were sometimes considered things. As in Gay people getting married “…to conceal its sexual behavior”.

Jim Burroway
August 13th, 2012 | LINK

Pascal. I noticed that as well. I actually double-checked as I transcribed that article to make sure I had it correctly. Newspapers back then had far more typos than today — there was no such thing as software to help writers and editors along. I would probably chalk it up to just another typo at the Miami News. But it does make you wonder…

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