Richard Nixon | Unknown photographer | 14423
President Nixon was probably gay and involved in an affair with a shady Cuban businessman with criminal links, claims Don Fulson, an American journalist. Nixon was openly homophobic.
In interviews with eyewitnesses, including FBI agents, and by using newly released documents, Mr Fulson alleges that President Nixon was involved in a homosexual love affair with Bebe Rebozo. While President Nixon was estranged from his wife Pat for most of their 53-year marriage, he stayed close to Mr Rebozo, who even got to fly on Air Force One and had his own special outfit with the President’s seal affixed. Reporters have also revealed incidents of hand holding under tables and cuddling after drinking.
John G. Lawrence (l) | Unknown photographer | Public Domain | 14224
John G. Lawrence (pictured left), the man behind the 2003 US Supreme Court case decriminalizing “gay sex” and sodomy, died from complications of a heart condition on Nov. 30th 2011.
In 1998, Lawrence and another man were arrested for having sex in Lawrence’s apartment. Authorities argued the men violated a Texas law prohibiting “deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex.” Lawrence eventually brought his case before the Supreme Court in Lawrence vs Texas, in which a 6-3 decision reversed a 17-year-old precedent which had ruled that there was nothing in the Constitution to stop states from making it a crime for gay men to have consensual sex at home. Justice Anthony Kennedy famously wrote in the 2003 ruling that gay people “are entitled to respect for their private lives,” adding that “the state cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime.”
“He had not been active in the gay rights movement or even out as a gay man to all of his co-workers and family,” said Suzanne B. Goldberg, who represented Lawrence as a part of Lambda Legal. “Instead, this was something that happened to him. The police came into his bedroom and put him into the middle of one of the most significant gay rights cases in our time.”
Vito Russo | Unknown photographer | 14425
Reuters remember film fanatic Vito Russo, who was also a pioneering gay activist as well as the compiler of the excellent Celluloid Closet documentary film.
“Russo was a founding member of three pivotal gay rights groups, starting with the Gay Activists Alliance in the early 1970s. He died of AIDS in 1990, age 44.”… “The documentary has been playing festivals in recent months before it airs on HBO in June 2012. A Hollywood Reporter review called it “an emotionally powerful documentary portrait with an impassioned voice that befits its subject.”
Among the many protests he helped stage that made headlines was one in which Russo and a group of activists descended on New York City officials for a mass marriage, complete with cakes topped by figures of same-sex couples — decades before gay marriage became a national issue and, in some states, legal.
“He was a true visionary,” said his brother, Charles. “Same sex marriage, anti-bullying — these were things he talked about 40 years ago, and they’re on the front pages today.””
Updated 22 November 2014: Photograph replaced.
The Independent reports that among the artifacts discovered in the UK’s National Archives at Kew, is
“a red pyjama suit believed to have been worn by a man arrested in 1932 at a private ballroom and charged with conspiring to corrupt public morals by dancing and being intimate with 32 other men whilst wearing women’s clothing and make-up.”
Well, it is important that such items are preserved for posterity.
Caridad | 14426
“Cuban gays, who have suffered greatly, particularly during the first thirty years of the revolutionary period. For reasons that will be elucidated later on, the Cuban government forced gays out of the closet and politicized their situation to significantly increase their oppression. As part of this process, the revolutionary leadership created a climate of opinion that not only dismissed gay oppression as a legitimate issue but also portrayed gay life as a symptom of social decay,”
writes Samuel Farber in the Havana Times.
“When in 1967 the British House of Lords accepted the Wolfenden Report and abolished the UK’s laws against sodomy, the Cuban press portrayed the event as a further example of the decline of the British empire. Bohemia, Cuba’s most influential magazine, marked the beginning of the gay liberation movement in the United States with a cartoon portraying, in a derogatory manner, two men getting married in a church ceremony….The pronouncements of Castro and other revolutionary spokespeople were followed by mass shavings of long-haired men and the sending of miniskirted girls accused of sexual looseness to do forced labor in the countryside.”