These people have no problems with tax refunds for the rich – but saving our democracy and carrying out their oath to the constitution, not so much! —Amy Siskind
Learning our history IS resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!
Today in LGBT History – August 3
1916, UK – Sir Roger Casement (September 1, 1864 – August 3, 1916) was hanged for treason, specifically for a German/Irish plot during World War I to bring an uprising to Dublin. The evidence against him had been so weak that there were pleas from all over the world asking for clemency, including from U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. To stop the demands, the British government released entries from Casement’s diary showing that he was a homosexual. As a result, calls for a reprieve came to an abrupt halt, and he was executed. In 1965 Casement’s remains were returned to Dublin and afforded a state funeral; they were then re-interred in Dublin.
1954 – The body of William T. Simpson, 27, an Eastern Airlines flight attendant, was found in North Miami, Florida. Four days later two suspects were arrested (and charged with first-degree murder) and told police they shot him in self-defense after he made a pass at them. This caused a homophobic panic that led to police harassment of gay men and lesbians in the city for the following month. The murderers were eventually convicted of a lesser charge of manslaughter and sentenced to 20 years in prison. WTVJ ran a documentary warning people of the dangers of gay people in the mid-1960s.In response to this panic, the state of Florida set up the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee (commonly known as the Johns Committee). This committee was responsible for distributing literature throughout the state warning citizens of gay activity. The committee also targeted, interrogated and stripped teachers of their credentials whom members suspected of being gay.
1973, Canada – The first issue of Gay Tideis published by GATE in Vancouver.
1982 – Twenty-eight-year-old gay Atlantan Michael Hardwick is arrested on sodomy charges after police show up, enter his home, and find him in bed performing fellatio on a male companion. The police were trying to serve a warrant for a minor traffic violation. The case set up the federal sodomy laws (Bowers v. Hardwick) which were repealed in 2003.
1988 – After ignoring the first six years of the AIDS epidemic, and with a recommendation of a 13-member President’s Commission on the HIV Epidemic, President Ronald Reagan reluctantly bans discrimination in the workplace. Vice President George Bush fully endorses the commission’s recommendations.
2003 – The Episcopal Church’s House of Deputies further paved the way for the Rev. V. Gene Robinson (born May 29, 1947) to become the church’s first openly gay elected bishop, approving him on a 2-1 vote. Robinson was elected bishop coadjutor in 2003 and succeeded as diocesan bishop in March 2004. Before becoming bishop, he served as Canon to the Ordinary to the VIII Bishop of New Hampshire.
2007 – A ruling striking down as unconstitutional Oklahoma’s refusal to recognize adoptions by same-sex couples was upheld by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
2011, France – Rudolf Brazda (26 June 1913 – 3 August 2011) dies at the age of 98. He was the last known homosexual holocaust survivor, having spent nearly three years in Buchenwald concentration camp where he was branded with the distinct pink triangle that the Nazis used to mark gay men. After the liberation of Buchenwald, Brazda settled in Alsace, northeastern France, in May, 1945, and lived there for the rest of his life. Although other gay men who survived the Holocaust are still alive, they were not known to the Nazis as homosexuals and were not deported as pink triangle internees. At least two gay men who were interned as Jews, for instance, have spoken publicly of their experiences.
Stand up, speak out, share your story!
(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at facebook.com/quistapp, Back2Stonewall.com, Lavender Effect, DataLounge.com, Arron’s Gay Info, All Things Queer, RS Levinson, Amara Das Wilhelm, out.com, Safe Schools Coalition, and/or Wikipedia. If you wish to edit an item or add an item, please send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!)