From tomorrow's Washington Blade:
"...the group’s mission to conduct archival research to uncover long forgotten government documents that show in chilling detail how federal policies were put into place to ban gays from the federal workforce.
“We believe the importance of these documents is the enormous evidentiary and educational value that they have,” Mattachine president Charles Francis told the Blade.
“The evidentiary and educational value of the original archival documents show the persecution of gay people without regard to any valid government purpose,” he said. “Only malicious persecution over and over, and we see that beginning in 1953.”
"Francis was referring to what Kameny and other veteran gay leaders called the infamous Executive Order 10450 issued by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953 – possibly at the request of then FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.
"The order, among other things, barred from the federal workforce individuals found to be involved with “any criminal, infamous, dishonest, immoral, or notoriously disgraceful conduct, habitual use of intoxicants to excess, drug addiction, or sexual perversion.”
"Although the order didn’t specifically mention homosexuality or homosexuals, it was interpreted by the U.S. Civil Service Commission to mean homosexuals were barred and should be summarily dismissed from any federal government job.
"The order for the first time “equated gays and lesbians with disloyalty,” Francis said. “And that was a catastrophe for gay and lesbian Americans” that “much too little has been written about and much too little is actually known about it,” Francis said.
"One expert who does know about it, gay rights advocate and University of South Florida professor David K. Johnson, author of The Lavender Scare, is scheduled to be one of two featured speakers at a Mattachine Society of Washington forum scheduled for May 21.
"Joining Johnson as a speaker at the event, to be held at the offices of the D.C. law firm McDermott Will & Emery, will be David S. Ferriero, who serves as Archivist of the United States and director of the National Archives and Records Administration."
Read the full story here.