The Lavender Scare1950

  • In 1950, government officials who were gay, or suspected to be gay, were fired and persecuted.
  • It was thought that homosexuals were more threatening than Communists.
  • Over 5,000 government employees lost their jobs due to their sexuality.
  • Peurifoy went before the Senate saying there were 91 known homosexuals who were fired from their jobs for being "security risks."
  • When Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected president, he banned homosexuals from being Federal employees through Executive Order 10450.
  • Many relationships were destroyed, because of the fear of being investigated
  • Homosexuals would be interrogated about their families and social lives.
  • Even non-Governmental companies began firing homosexuals from their jobs.
  • Many people fired from their jobs committed suicide.
    • "The only thing I regret about my campaign to rid the State Department of (homosexuals) was when within minutes, or sometimes maybe a week, they would commit suicide. One guy, he barely left my office, and boom, right on the of 21st and Virginia." -- Peter Szluk, Interrogator for the Department of State, 1950s
  • Interrogations usually happened privately, unlike the Communist interrogations.
  • The Advise and Consent was explains how homosexuals were stereotyped and how government officials gained power by persecuting them. external image moz-screenshot.png
Advise and Consent

  • Franklin Kameny, an astronomer who worked for the U.S Army Map Service, was the first person to be fired from his job because of his sexual orientation to fight back.

    Franklin Kameny

  • Kameny organized the first gay rights protest in front of the White House.
  • The American Psychiatric Association declared that homosexuality was not a mental illness in 1973.
  • Same-sex partners of Federal employees were given the same benefits as their partners in 2009 by President Obama. Franklin Kameny was there as
    Franklin Kameny with President Obama

    a witness.

  • It has become known that J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the FBI, was a homosexual.
Homosexuals were referred to as "moral weaklings", "sexual misfits", "moral risks", "undesirables", and viewed as perverts and pedophiles.

Hoey Investigation:
  • Clyde Hoey investigated people who were thought to be gay, but kept the interrigations quiet.
  • Hoey was not very familiar with the consept of homosexuality.
  • Hoey appointed Francis Flanagan more interegation responsibility because of his discomfort with the subject.
  • Hoey didn't want anything to do with the investigation of gays and didn't like McCarthy's tactics.
  • The Hoey Investigation led to the widespread investigations of homosexual Americans.

  • Stonewall Inn was a gay bar where people went to hang out.
  • Police officers would often show up and harass the individuals there.
  • On June 27, 1969 the customers decided to fight back by throwing objects, such as beer bottles, at the officers.
  • Many people were beat and arrested by the police.
  • After the rebellion, more protests took place.
  • Since the incident at Stonewall, there has been a Gay Pride parade in Washington D.C.

Protest after Stonewall


Due to numerous protests over the years, homosexuals now have some of he rights they they deserve. Many groups and organizations were created to make sure these people recieve their rights.

Groups created:

  • Mattachine Society
  • LGTB
  • The Lavender Menace

Work Cited: Danielle Hastings

Johnson, David, K. The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and
Lesbians in the Federal Government. Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
2004. Print.

Howard, Josh. "The Lavender Scare." The Lavender Scare-A documentary film by Josh
Howard. HEROweb, 2011. Web. 26 Apr 2011.

"Kameny with Obama." Where is Frank Kameny's Presidential Medal of Freedom?.
Web. 29 Apr 2011. <

"Advise and Consent." Advise and Consent by Allen Drury. Web. 29 Apr 2011.

"Franklin Kameny." Google Images. Web. 29 Apr 2011.

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Wiley, Andrea, and Josh Burke. "The Lavender Scare." The Lavender Scare. N.p., 1
December 2008. Web. 2 May 2011.

"Boys Beware." Web. 2 May 2011.

"Stonewall Rebellion." New York Times (2009): n. pag. Web. 2 May

"Frank Kameny with President Obama." Web. 2 May

"Stonewall Rebellion." Google Images. Web. 2 May 2011.

"Lavender Scare Protest." Google Images. Web. 2 May 2011.

Balestrery, Jean. "Lesbian History." University of Michigan//. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 2 May 2011.