Tag Archives: McCarthyism

Hero of the Week Award: October 14, Frank Kameny

14 Oct

Hero of the Week

This past Tuesday, the LGBT community lost one of our fierce pioneers in the Gay Rights Movement.  Frank Kameny dedicated over 50 years of his life fighting for equality for the LGBT community.  He most certainly earns this week’s HWA, if not one of the Heroes of the 20th Century. The phrase Gay is Good was coined by our Frank Kameny.

Kameny suffered greatly during the homophobic McCarthy Era of the 1950s.  Kameny was a government astronomer with a Ph.D from Harvard. He was fired from his federal job in the 50s for being gay.  It was not until 2009 that the US government finally issued Kameny an apology for his being fired (kind of like the Pope offering Galileo an apology in 1985 for his whole whacky heliocentric theory). Unfortunately, there are still many states in the US where one can be fired for being gay. It was Kameny that took the American Psychiatric Association (AMA) to task in the 1960s for classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder.  Finally in 1973 when the AMA acknowledged their mistake and said homosexuality is not a mental disorder, Kameny sarcastically responded, “we were cured en masse by the psychiatrists.”

Then we move on to DADT and the irony that Kameny was a WWII Vet–I wonder how many Republicans would “BOO” him for serving his country in WWII?  Thank goodness DADT has finally been repealed.

What an amazing legacy Frank Kameny has left–a life committed to civil rights.  All of us in the LGBT community are in his debt.

Good Morning President Perry (A Not So Fairy Tale)

25 Sep

Pacifica: The Lavender Scare

This short story (fiction) I have started is my creative attempt at participating in Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. It is still a work in progress. I hope to have a new installment weekly. Please do let me know what you think. Copyright 2011, Michael Hulshof-Schmidt.  Feel free to share with attribution.

The morning after the 2012 Presidential Inauguration in the Oval Office

 President Rick Perry: Well, we did it, Michele. We showed them sons of bitches the law of the land and the path to righteousness.

Michele Bachmann: Mr. President, what are we going to do about the gay issue? We have to keep to our campaign promises.

Perry: You are the god damn Vice-President, Michele. What the hell do you want to do?

Chief of Staff: Um, Mr. President, I would suggest to both you and Madame Vice-President that you immediately re-instate Executive Order 10450 as well as find a way to overturn Lawrence v. Texas.  

Perry: By God, Rove, you are brilliant! This is why I have you as my Chief of Staff. But don’t think I don’t know all the god damn bullshit you said about me before the election. Let’s face it, Rove, we are both doing God’s work.

Karl Rove: Yes, well, at any rate Mr. President I would call Justice Scalia and see what he can do to help overturn Lawrence v. Texas.  

 Some days later at an undiclosed location

 Justice Scalia: Paul, Tony here.  I know you are starting your own firm since leaving King and Spalding.  How would like to land some government contracts?

Paul Clement: What do you have in mind?  Boehner still owes me $350,000 for billable hours just defending DOMA.

Scalia: I need you to figure out a way for us to overturn Lawrence v. Texas.  Dig up a case, or do what you need to do to bring this to the Supreme Court.

Clement: It will be tricky, but I think I can do it. After all, these evil decisions that voided all the sodomy laws have violated the religious freedoms of the Christian community. I think I have a very dear friend in Colorado who could get legal standing to petition a case.

Scalia (rubbing his paws together): Excellent…

The wheels of injustice turn quickly when greased with corruption and shared bigotry.

October 11, 2012: The New York Times runs the headline Supreme Court Overturns Lawrence v. Texas: 5 to 4.  Photos show an exultant Justice Scalia brandishing his majority opinion standing next to a frail James Dobson, weeping with joy.

October 31, 2012: White House Press Secretary Rick Santorum, frothing at the mouth, holds a press conference announcing the redrafting of Executive Order 10450.

Michael on the phone with his brother Brad: Did you see the NYT article about Lawrence v. Texas?  Is the American public really so stupid that they don’t know heterosexuals violate the sodomy laws all the time?  Brad, you need to get out of Georgia. Do you want to stay with us?

Brad: Michael it is happening all over the country.  Why would I be any safer in Oregon?

Michael: Brad its not just Lawrence v. Texas, Perry is reinstating 10450 and there is talk about having all Americans sign something called a LoyalTea Pledge to prove their patriotism.

Michael to his husband:  Brad just told me he was fired from his job with the state of Georgia for “unpatriotic behavior” under 10450.  He is refusing to sign the LoyalTea Pledge.  Shawn said he and Todd are moving back to California, but who knows how quickly all of the states will start to enforce 10450 and require us to sign the LoyalTea Pledge.

By November 15, all of the Southern States, Ohio, Missouri, South Dakota, and Kansas had agreed to enforce the LoyalTea contract. In a very back door way, LePage got Maine to also enforce the LoyalTea contract.  The Great Exodus of the LGBT community had now officially started.  What happens now to the over 35 million LGBT people? November 15, also marked the day when the states that quickly adopted the LoyalTea contract for America managed to overturn Roe v. Wade without exception. The country is experiencing a 21st century Manifest Destiny.  Rumors are flying that Governors Brown, Kitzhaber, and Gregoire are meeting to talk about secession and forming a new country called Pacifica.

Celebrating LGBTQ History Month: June 4, Harry Hay

4 Jun

Harry Hay

Today I would like to honor and pay tribute to Harry Hay.  Hay founded the Mattachine Society, a leftist gay liberation organization which worked for the civil rights of homosexuals during the 1950s.  The Mattachine Society was tied to the Community Party during the age of McCarthyism here in the United States, which made it difficult to secure consistent leadership.  Many members left the society in fear of the consequences being carried out by McCarthy’s henchmen.

Years later, Hay and his partner John Burnside would look to the Mattacine Society and Native American cultures that revered gays for inspiration to start the Radical Faeries in 1979. Today, I am aware of two Radical Faerie communes that still exist; one in Tennessee and one here in Oregon.  To learn more about Harry Hay, click here.

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