1. disgusted american says

    this country has sooooo Much it SHOULD be embarrassed about…..and ASHAMED!!!!! …what a lying bullcrap POS this country is..Liberty and Justice for ALL??? wha a Crock!!!!!

  2. ratbastard says

    It certainly wasn’t only the U.S., disgusted American. These things were common practice pretty much everywhere. The British went on their own gay witch-hunt after it turned out many if not most Soviet spies and turncoats were indeed gay. Being gay up until very recently was grounds for easy blackmail, and many gay and bi in influential positions, including government positions, were routinely blackmailed or felt the threat breathing down their necks. The same with gay and bi celebrities and other public personalities.

    What we take for granted today as regards our personal levels of freedoms and security as gay people really only came to fruition over the past 25-30 odd years or so. The 1960s was the epicenter of truly radical social change, but that really didn’t include homosexuals. We gays were still pretty much despised, even by the ‘progressives’ and activists of that period.

  3. woody says

    I’m looking forward to seeing this, as the NSA did a very similar thing to me four years later in 1984. It was bad. Very bad.

  4. Tom says

    The filmmakers might put on a more sympathetic case if they didn’t highlight a crotch grab in their promo trailer. Sure sign of an amateurish, poorly executed film.

  5. Will says

    And then the Christians and NOM and 10 moms will have their 2 cents about how this never happened and its just another move by ‘the gays’ to push the ‘gay agenda’

  6. db says

    Thanks, I really want to see this–I just have to figure out how much I can contribute.

  7. Lars says

    This is a tragic and important story that needs to be told. It also is a testament to the power of being OUT in large numbers.

    The ‘lavender scare’ was of course motivated by anti-gay animus, to be sure. But it was also premised on the reality at that time that gay Americans were mostly only SECRETLY gay. Security agencies like the NSA explicitly exclude people with ‘secrets’ because it makes those individuals susceptible to blackmail. Ergo, gay people were too much of a security risk, and had to be rooted out.

    None of this is meant as justification, only a bit of context. The bottom line is that the phenomenon of living openly and out — in large numbers — changed the calculus, and thereby made our jobs and our lives more secure.

  8. simon says

    There is also a book if you want more details:
    The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government
    By David K. Johnson

  9. Voet says

    We owe those brave souls who fought against this oppression a debt of gratitude.

  10. RC says

    Very interesting in that I had clearances at the same time, in the late 70’s and 1980s. Never could get a clear answer as to where I stood as far as being gay went. This is very chilling knowing how close I was to losing my job(s) and being blacklisted.

    Actually, getting blacklisted came later in the late 90s when I no longer had a clearance and the right wing management of a company I was working for discovered I was gay. They let me know that unless I changed, they would make it impossible for me to get another job – and that’s what happened.

  11. candideinnc says

    As recently as ten or twelve years ago, I approached an officer of the ACLU here in North Carolina and asked what the organization would try to do about getting rid of the crimes against nature laws in the state. He acted like that wasn’t a civil rights issue, and seemed baffled that gays would bring that up. We haven’t had a lot of allies for a very long time.

  12. says

    This documentary looks fascinating. It shows just how far we have come. Young people like me, in spite of existing discrimination, don’t realize how conservative society used to be.

  13. DeaconMac says

    To ratbastard: You said “many gay and bi in influential positions, including government positions, were routinely blackmailed…”

    Fact is that, until at least the last 10 years or so (I haven’t followed this since then), there was never a case in the US of an LGBT person compromising their security clearance. There were a few cases of attempted blackmail, but in each of the known cases, the LGBT person cooperated in apprehending the blackmailer and protecting the nation’s security interest, even at great personal cost.

    There are, however, numerous cases of heterosexuals being compromised due to their sexual indiscretions.

    In Europe, I am aware of only a single case involving 2 gay lovers since WWII, and their sexual orientation played no direct role in their betrayal.

    Loved seeing Jamie’s interview. I’m proud to know you, Jamie!