Posts Tagged As: Magnus Hirschfeld
May 14th, 2008
Today is the 140th anniversary of the birth of Magnus Hirschfeld, the famous German gay rights advocate and founder of the Institut fÃ¼r Sexualwissenschaft (Institute for Sexual Research) in Berlin. He was born on May 14, 1868.
Hirschfeld founded the Scientific Humanitarian Committee in 1897. The Committee was established to perform sexual research in support efforts to repeal Paragraph 175, Germany’s anti-sodomy law. Over time, tthe committee was able to gather more than 5,000 signatures on a petition to the Reichstag calling for Paragraph 175’s repeal. The bill was first brought before the Reichstag in 1898, and for more than two decades it continued to garner more support until the Nazi takeover in 1933 obliterated all hopes for its repeal.
After the first World War, Hirschfield founded the Institute for Sexual Research in 1919. The goal of the institute was similar to the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, but its scope was more ambitious. Hirschfield’s institute was intended to conduct research in four major areas: sexual biology, sexual pathology (medicine), sexual sociology, and sexual ethnology. In addition to publicly lobbying for the repeal of Paragraph 175, the Institute also performed premarital counseling, held public lectures on sexological subjects and offered expert testimony in criminal cases.
To support its activities, the Institute established what would become the world’s largest library and archives dedicated to sex research. That library eventually grew to include more than 20,000 volumes, 35,000 photographs and a large art collection. It also maintained some 40,000 biographical letters with names and addresses.
All that changed when the Nazi’s came to power in 1933. On May 6, of that year, a crowd of students and stormtroopers stormed the Institutes’s offices while Hirschfeld was away on a speaking tour of the U.S. The raiders carted off all the contents of the priceless library and burned it in a public bonfire. They destroyed more than 10,000 books, articles, magazines, and other research material. After the Institute’s sacking, Hirschfeld remained in exile, where he tried to re-establish the Institute in Paris. He was unsuccessful however, and he died in 1935 on his 67th birthday in Nice.
Paragraph 175 remained in effect, and was expanded in 1935 by the Nazi regime to include “lewdness”, which could include kissing or fondling. It was also elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony. It is estimated that a quarter of a million gay men and women were swept up in Nazi raids, with tens of thousands dying in concentration camps. After the war when the camps were emptied, several hundred gay men were re-arrested by allied authorities to serve out their sentences under Paragraph 175 because the law was regarded as a legitimate criminal law rather than a political one. In fact, between 1945 and 1969 about 100,000 men were indicted and about 50,000 men sentenced to prison. Paragraph 175 wasn’t repealed until March 10, 1994.
On May 6, 2008, the city of Berlin renamed a stretch of the Spree river for Magnus Hirschfeld in commemoration for the Nazi’s distruction of the Institute 75 years earlier. The riverbank is located near the site of the former Institute.
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.