Tuesday, May 4, 2004

Homosexuality and the Law, book by Chuck Stewart

I was surprised a day or two ago  in the Broadmoor (Shreveport LA) library to see on a desk a copy of the book, Homosexuality and the Law, a Dictionary, by Chuck Stewart, published in 2001 by ABC-CLIO, (Contemporary Legal Issues series) at 130 Cremona Ave, PO Box 1911, Santa Barbara CA  93116-1191.

It is a well done book, of about 430 pages, alphabetical on topics of homosexuality.  Obviously I feel that his short view of the history of the movement is slanted since he apparently never mentions Don Slater or the Homosexual Information Center and seems to list a few people but does not list such founders as Dale Jennings.

Here are a few of my thoughts and to show that he does find space for a comprehensive coverage, even though he seems to duplicate certain issues and people, such as marriage seems to be covered several places, but of course now this seems to be a good thing.

He covers Harry Hay 3 times, Jim Kepner once, and Dorr Legg once.  He mentions twice or more the ONE Inc. v. Oleson court case (over publishing material about homosexuality-ONE Magazine in this case) but never mentions Eric Julber who never seems to get credit for the successful work he did.

I know my notes are not good, but it is important to point out that he mentions ISHR dba ONE, Inc., which of course was not true. They were separate then, if not now.

He covers history such as Ulrich in Germany, Hirschfeld, the 1934 Roehm Brown Shirt issue, and that 50,000 homosexuals died in the Holocaust.

He starts the movement with Henry Gerber in 1924, and says there were 10,000 discharges for sex in World War II.  He gives credit to the Kinsey books (1948 men and 1950 women) and then to Cory’s book in 1951.

He mentions ONE about 5 times, as an organization, as he does Mattachine, and then goes from the main work, in Southern California, to cover Mattachine in New York, mentioning Tony Segura, The League, Sam Morford, and how they were conservative, as were people in L.A., then mentions Frank Kameny and the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), and how they picketed back East, as if we had not picketed in L.A and San Francisco and SIR had not done great work with/against the police etc.  I don't think he mentions Hal Call’s Mattachine work, or Don Lucas.  He does mention Dr. Evelyn Hooker.

He covers Stonewall in 1969, mentioning Michale Brown, and Dick Leitsch, only because of Dick's not liking the Stonewall coverage.  Then the founding of the GLF and GAA in 1960.  He then points out that by 1973 there were over 1,000 groups working for the cause, mentioning by 1984 the Project 10 work with young people.

If later it is listed, he does not give importance to the changing of the sodomy law in Illinois, yet covers Romer v Evans and 1998 Clinton issues.

He mentions work with young homosexual students and some education issues but in a list of court cases or legal issues does not mention the Donald Odorizzi case, but does mention 1969 Morrison v Board of Education case. I had never heard, although he credits Katz with it, that Harry Hay had met Champ Simmons who had been connected with Henry Gerber, and says Harry was at USC. BUT the most important problem I find is that he always refers to ONE Magazine as One Newsletter!  How could anyone make such a obvious mistake?  He also says that ONE “absorbed” Mattachine.

He covers  the HRC in 1980 and the Task Force in 1973. He spells Dorr’s name Door and confuses me on the issue of ONE and IGLA.  He apparently used Blumenfeld and Gay Almanac as his only resources for much on ONE.  I got the impression that he says Jim Kepner led mattachine.  He does mention Fred Snyder, the attorney.

He does cover a subject dear to Don Slater’s heart, the question of whether homosexual citizens are a “suspect class.”  And it seems a good coverage. One point he makes that I liked was that in the issue of homosexuality there is the question/problem of listening to the testimony of scientists versus the moralists.  He uses Walter Williams’s book, The Spirit and the Flesh.

He covers state and local laws.  (Sex, marriage, hate crimes, etc.)  He gives mention of the Tulane University Law publication, and resources such as www.gaylaw.email.unc.edu, nlgla@aol.com, queerlaw@abacus.oxy.edu, gjgl@law.Georgetown.edu, and, for instance, a contact in states, such as in Louisiana, the Civil Rights work at P O Box 3776, Baton Rouge  LA  70821, phone 504, now 225-342-2700—I didn’t test to see if that is still valid. I wonder how much coverage this book and others by the publisher get.  I was glad to see it in the library here. I find articles or mention of several people, as this man, that were or are connected with USC.  I just wonder if they all know each other, etc.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

HIC's Archival Material

Here are some items that appeared in our newsletters and newsheets, in the ’60s on. Many had book reviews, including those of Dorr legg, Jim Kepner, Vern Bullough, Charles Lucas, Jeanne Barney, Don Slater, Joe Hansen, Dale Jennings and other pioneers in our movement. (See web site www.tangentgroup.org)

Newsletter #49 (Spring 93) was book reviews, Lambda Gray (Adelman, Berger, etc from Newcastle) by Dorr Legg; J Edgar Hoover, by Dale Jennings Homosexuality and Society by Charles Lucas, and a play, Total Eclipse reviewed by Roger Rogers.

Newsletter #48 (3-93)i s a discussion by Don Slater,on privacy, and the issue of orientation versus preference, and the idea of choice, caused by the Colorado Amendment

Newletter#47 (12/92) was books. Queer Edward, by Dale, Making History reviewed by Don, and among other things he again says what he always did, homosexuality leaves no trace. And Charles' review of The Dreyfus Affair, which I think is still being thought of for a movie. A take off as I understand it, on the French Dreyfus thing.

Jump to some early ones,

Oct 65) ( I gather this is Volume 1, No. 1) Discusses some about the ONE split. Saying that there had been an attempt to separate the library from ONE long before Don moved. And also a generic discussion of some libraries beng censored about pornography. Also a discussion of the bibliography and ISHR giving $10,000 to support it which was instead spent on the ONE dispute. Also an ACLU statement on homosexuality, and Vern and (my notes are as usual no good) apparently they or we discussed the fact that some laws are based on religion and connected our privacy etc to the Griswold v CT decision. And an editorial in The Nation Magazine of 11-8-65. I can’t believe that all of this is in this one issue, but then it discussed the fact that the DOB withdrew support of the picketing of Independence Hall, not sure if this is same as the Motocade time or before, but was (I think) with Frank Kameny, Barbara Gittings, Jack Nichols, etc

There is just a page with our statement on the issue of the draft, that Don put out for the Committee (to Fight Exclusion of Homosexuals From The Armed Forces).

Then there is also a discussion of the play The Geese, at the Coronet Theater, at which we helped get guests to speak to the audience after the play, such as Joe Hansen, Irene Kassorla, Gale Whittington, Fred goldstein, Don Slater, Morris Kight and Herb Selwyn.

Newsletter #44 (9-91) was Dale Jennings thoughtson Simon LeVay and the Salk thing about the cause of homosexuality.

Back to 1965,

Oct 65, Mentions Harlan Antler, as a speaker at our monthly meetings, from the Young Democrats. Also we had Laurence Anderson, of psychodrama, Herb Selwyn, Bob Cleaves had us sponsor the play by Martin Duberman, In White America, and the report of Joe Hansen speaking on KPFK. So the play is just more evidence that our movement worked on other issues, such as racial civil rights.

Nov 65, Covers the ACLU on teachers' rights, based on the Donald Odorizzi case that Jim (Schneider) and Herb Selwyn worked on. Also some legal work done by Burton Marks and Stuart Simke, I guess on the case. We issued a press release.

Dec 65 About the post office snooping on pronography and our Vennen case, and we got Roger Hunting and Harriet Pilpel of the law firm of Greenbaum, Wolff and Ernst (in New York) to work on it some. The DOB had a conference in S. F., with Bishop Pike, Joel Fort there. I gather we had ads in the New York Times, The Nation.

A newsletter with no date I can find: We had an income tax consultant available for those who wanted to have hlep and would make a donation. We had a 24 hour answering service-advertised in the Los Angeles Free Press, and this is when I think the Black Cat or some bar raids took place. Don Slaterwas on ABC TV answering the police on police brutality, Carl George show I guess. I spoke to Paul Bentler’s UCLA psychology class. Jim Schneider worked on a Whittier legal case. I don't remember it, but I was chair of a West Coast section. We had 30 people at a monthly meeting, and 100 at the Tavern Guild, which we helped start. Tangents was mentioned in the Village Voice. World Journal Tribune. Don was on Joe Pyne’s show, I was on Regis Philbin's (on the draft, and he was unfriendly). LOOK Magazine did the article on homosexuality. The Frontier Club did something. Pride also mentioned our Vennen case. And Frank Patton was the New York attorney, mentioned above, handling the Vennen case. Also there was a letter in Playboy that mentioned us. I gather our ONE case was 3-14 in L.A. Sup Court. NACHO met in Washington 8-17 to 19. Still not sure of month and year of this newsletter.

Anyway, I think it is important to remember just how active we really were. And reading the newsletters reminds us of that. And it should be evidence that people and groups working in the this century need to keep records and not think they will remember what happened or was said.