Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-03-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  TODAY'S BUZZ

Gay Civil Rights History at Library of Congress
From a News Release
2011-05-11

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gay Civil Rights History on Display at Library of Congress Infamous 1966 "Revulsion" Letter and 1961 Kameny Supreme Court Petition Installed in Exhibit on "Creating the United States"

Washington, D.C. May 9, 2011 -- Two original documents of major historical significance to the movement for lesbian and gay civil equality in the United States are now on public display in the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Gay civil rights pioneer Frank Kameny's Petition to the U.S. Supreme Court (1961), and a letter to The Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C. (1966) from U.S. Civil Service Chairman John W. Macy, Jr., have been added to the Library's popular exhibition on the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, "Creating the United States." "Creating the United States" has been seen by more than 1.5 million people since it was first opened in 2008, and according to the Library, the exhibition "demonstrates that the Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are living instruments that are central to the evolution of the United States."

The two artifacts were donated to the Library of Congress in 2006 on behalf of the Kameny Papers Project ( www.kamenypapers.org ).

"The history of gay and lesbian Americans, for the first time, is included by the Library of Congress in the story of the Constitution and its evolution as a living instrument of freedom," said Charles Francis, a founder of the Kameny Papers Project. Bob Witeck, a co-founder of Kameny Papers Project, said, "Telling America's story and creating a more perfect union are impossible without sharing these testaments to our nation's gay civil rights story." The two documents on gay and lesbian history are displayed accompanying the first rendition of the Constitution for blind readers; a suffragist's scrapbook with material about Susan B. Anthony; and a drawing of African-Americans registering to vote on the steps of the Selma, Alabama courthouse.

The Library of Congress exhibition states, "Frank Kameny, a founder of the American gay rights movement, was the first person to file a petition to the Supreme Court for a violation of his civil rights based on sexual orientation after being fired by the Army Map Service in 1957. Although Kameny argued that the government's actions toward gays were an "affront to human dignity," his petition was denied by the Supreme Court."

The Library's curator describes the 1966 letter from federal official John W. Macy, Jr. to The Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C.: "In the letter, Macy justified the Civil Service's discrimination by citing 'the revulsion of other employees by homosexual conduct'. In January, 2010, this letter was introduced into evidence in Perry v Schwarzenegger, an action to overturn the California referendum on same-sex marriages," the Library of Congress also explains.

John W. Macy, Jr. was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to head the Sixties-era predecessor of the Office of Personnel Management, and then known as the U.S. Civil Service Commission. Macy reported directly to President Johnson, though often through Johnson's Special Assistant Bill Moyers. Macy's so-called "revulsion" letter to the Mattachine Society (Washington, D.C.'s first gay civil rights organization formed by Frank Kameny) is "steeped in a special animus toward gays and lesbians as a class, while denying they are one," writes Charles Francis in an article published by "The Gay & Lesbian Review" (January, 2011). "For years, this letter, carefully crafted by Macy and his Commission Counsel Lou Pellerzi, was the "landmark policy statement on homosexuals" (Macy personal papers, LBJ Library), the policy basis for all federal employment discrimination against gays and lesbians, declaring homosexuals 'unsuitable' for federal employment," Francis said.

The two gay and lesbian history documents are now publicly exhibited in "Creating the United States," displayed at the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress until October, 2011, according to the Library curatorial staff. For details on the exhibit itself as well as visiting information, please see: myloc.gov/Exhibitions/creatingtheus/Pages/Default.aspx


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

San Francisco's Harvey Milk Plaza may become LGBT, civil rights memorial 2017-03-22 - ( SAN FRANCISCO, CA ) MARCH 22, 2017 - When San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk took his bullhorn and rallied crowds at the ...


Gay News

LGBTQ military and veteran monument backers gather at Sidetrack 2017-03-22 - Supporters of a new monument to honor the service of LGBTQ military members and veterans gathered at Lake View spot Sidetrack on March ...


Gay News

Nominations open for 2017 class of the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame 2017-03-19 - Nominations are now being taken for the 2017 class of the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame. Inductees to the Hall of Fame are ...


Gay News

LGBTQ veterans plan Halsted St. monument honoring LGBTQ military service, seek support 2017-03-15 - The Chicago Chapter of the American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER) is inviting donations in support of a new monument to honor the ...


Gay News

'Out at the CHM' event examines art, AIDS and activism 2017-03-12 - Art, AIDS and activism in Chicago were the foci of the second of three talks during this year's OUT at the CHM March ...


Gay News

Annual commemoration of Clarence Darrow to take place Monday, March 13 2017-03-12 - CHICAGO—Famed attorney Clarence Darrow, inspired by his defense of Patrick Prendergast in Chicago in the 1890s, became attracted to a burgeoning populist movement. ...


Gay News

VIEWS Black History Month is every month 2017-03-08 - "How do we aim to reverse these alarming trends and support the Black community? By uplifting Black liberation through my team's policy and ...


Gay News

History project seeks stories 2017-03-08 - Chicago writer Owen Keehnen is currently working on a Chicago LGBT history project on the lives of Wanda Lust, Roby Landers, Tillie the ...


Gay News

March for transgender rights and liberation makes history in Chicago 2017-03-04 - In what organizers called "one of the largest and most diverse mobilizations for trans equality and equity to ever take place in the ...


Gay News

Chicagoan looks back on concentration camps for Japanese-Americans 2017-03-01 - "Do not rely on following the degree of understanding that you have discovered, but simply think, 'This is not enough.'" —Yamamoto Tsunemoto, Hagakure ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.