The Lavender Scare The History of th..., Charles River Editors
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The Lavender Scare: The History of the Federal Government's Persecution of the Gay Community in the 20th Century

Narrator: Colin Fluxman

Unabridged: 1 hr 41 min

Format: Digital Audiobook Download

Published: 02/20/2024


While the fight over gay marriage has been bitterly contested and debated for much of the 21st century, it’s still somewhat difficult to believe that just 50 years ago, homosexual activity was illegal in nearly every state in America. Homosexuals faced discrimination that surpassed that of even African-Americans or suspected Communists, and their lifestyles were so taboo that they were typically considered to be a security risk because it would be so easy for someone who wished to harm the country to blackmail them. In 1950, a Senate Subcommittee on Investigations reported, “In further considering the general suitability of perverts as Government employees, it is generally believed that those who engage in overt acts of perversion lack the emotional stability of normal persons. In addition there is an abundance of evidence to sustain the conclusion that indulgence in acts of sex perversion weakens the moral fiber of an individual to a degree that he is not suitable for a position of responsibility. Most of the authorities agree and our investigation has shown that the presence of a sex pervert in a Government agency tends to have a corrosive influence upon his fellow employees. These perverts will frequently attempt to entice normal individuals to engage in perverted practices. This is particularly true in the case of young and impressionable people who might come under the influence of a pervert. Government officials have the responsibility of keeping this type of corrosive influence out of the agencies under their control. It is particularly important that the thousands of young men and women who are brought into Federal jobs not be subjected to that type of influence while in the service of the Government. One homosexual can pollute a Government office.” Indeed, in the decades that followed, the FBI kept lists of known homosexuals, and law enforcement agencies regularly raided known gay bars and other similar establishments.