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The Lavender Scare 2017
7.8 of 5

The Lavender Scare

SD 7.60 77 min
In 1953, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered that the federal government not knowingly hire any homosexual and fire anyone suspected to be homosexual from federal government jobs, the rationale, in this era of the cold war, that anyone who partook in such sexually perverse behavior would be easily blackmailed or coerced by enemy forces. This order was despite no such case of blackmail or coercion due to homosexual orientation ever having been identified. The specific policy of denying or revoking national security clearance to any homosexual remained on the books as late as 1995. Most federal government employees quietly complied in risking being outed otherwise in homosexuals still being largely persecuted socially in society. Beyond the largely negative effects of the policy on a number of specific homosexuals and their lives and livelihoods, the history of being homosexual in US society the preceding twenty-five years - with the WWII era being an especially liberating time with those entering military service, especially from small towns, meeting other like minded people for the first time - and the forces that led to the implementation of the policy are presented. Milestones that led to that 1995 revocation of the policy are also presented, two of those specific to the individuals presented. One is Franklin Kameny, a Harvard educated astronomer, who, unlike those before him, refused to go away quietly when fired in 1957, he turning his life to activism - he seen as *the* pioneer of LGBT activism in the US. The other is the case of Jamie Shoemaker who, with Kameny's help, was the first person in the early 1980s successfully to fight the revocation of his national security clearance solely because he was identified as gay.

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