On this day in 1956, WRCA-TV (now WNBC) aired an award-winning weekly panel discussion program called “The Open Mind”. The program, hosted by Richard Heffner, was not only well ahead of its time when it first went on the air in May 1956, it is still an acclaimed syndicated program on American Public Television,
Heffner and The Open Mind hosted the first televised discussion on the East Coast on homosexuality. The Daughters of Bilitis’s magazine The Ladder featured a review of the program by Sten Russell (real name: Stella Rush).
“The moderator asked if the homosexual could accept himself if society didn’t accept him. The conclusion was that it was very difficult, indeed. The moderator asked if there were cultural factors in the present making for more homosexuality. Miss Kelley asked if homosexuality were [sic] growing or just being more talked about. She cited Kinsey’s books as examples. The moderator said that the matter of national “security” had focused attention on this problem. He mentioned blackmail potential as part of the “security problem”.
Laidlaw said that a homosexual was not necessarily neurotic or psychotic, but that he was more likely to be in certain ways, due mainly to the pressures of public opinion which caused him to have to hide and cover up his actions and desires. Dean Swift was concerned as to the shock children experienced when approached by adult males. Laidlaw said that that depended on the predisposition of the child. Miss Kelley said that she was not worried about the “predisposition of the child,” but that the American Law Institute wished to protect any child from the traumatic shock of any sexual attack.
Despite the misinformation and prejudices,the show was as eveven-handeds as it possibly could have been at the time which outraged the New York Archdioceses of the Catholic Church. Cardinal Francis Spellman started a war with the station and threatened to go to the FCC to have the NBC affiliate’s broadcasting license revoked.
That didn’t stop Heffner or WRCA. They scheduled another program on homosexuality just two months later which was followed by another in January. The episodes covered topics including whether homosexuality should be treated as a criminal or a medical matter, nature vs. nurture as the cause of homosexuality, and how society indoctrinates young people into gender roles
Unfortunately, no surviving tape of this episode still exists just this one still shot below.
Happy Hour is just a little earlier today. God I love day drinking.
Former president Donald Trump pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges that he plotted to overturn the 2020 election in the runup to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Trump appeared for his arraignment in a federal courthouse in Washington, just blocks away from where his supporters stormed the Capitol to try to keep him in power. A grand jury indicted Trump on four felony counts, including conspiracy to defraud the nation, brought by special counsel Jack Smith.
Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya asked former president Donald Trump to state his full name. Trump stood and started to head toward the podium, but the judge told him he just needed to be the microphone. “Donald J. Trump, John,” said Trump, and later added he is 77 years old. Upadhyaya asked if he had taken any medications that would make it difficult for him to understand today’s proceedings. “No, I have not,” Trump replied.
The World Professional Association for Transgender Health just lowered its recommended minimum age for starting gender transition hormone treatment to 14 and some surgeries to 15 or 17. But 12 is unheard of and basically shuts out all trans competitors.
FINA’s new 24-page policy also includes proposals for a new “open competition” category.
FINA members voted 71.5% in favor of the new policy.
Elsewhere British Rowing is reportedly set to dramatically abandon its contentious policy on transgender athletes on Thursday – in a move that will restrict the women’s category solely to those who were born female.
Florida is at the forefront of the outbreak, with nearly one-fifth of all leprosy cases in the US originating from the state, the CDC says.
The disease is caused by a bacteria calledMycobacterium leprae, which can attack the nerves, causing a loss of sensation in the affected areas. Untreated, leprosy can also cause blindness, ulcers, disfigurements, and more.
According to a report from dermatologists Aashni Bhukhan, DO, Charles Dunn, MD, and Rajiv Nathoo, MD, the number of reported leprosy cases across the country has doubled over the past decade.
The absence of traditional risk factors in many recent cases of leprosy in Florida, coupled with the high proportion of residents, like our patient, who spend a great deal of time outdoors, supports the investigation into environmental reservoirs as a potential source of transmission,” the CDC said.
Leprosy is a curable disease. The currently recommended treatment regimen consists of three drugs: dapsone, rifampicin and clofazimine. The combination is referred to as multi-drug therapy (MDT). The duration of treatment is six months for PB and 12 months for MB cases.
“It’s as if there was a reason for all this. Why, it’s almost like Biblical plagues.” – Seth Bogdanove
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, the federal judge assigned to the election fraud case against former President Donald Trump has stood out as one of the toughest punishers of rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attack fueled by Trump’s baseless claims of a stolen election
Following Tuesday’s indictment of Donald Trump, Washington, DC, metro police said they are working with federal law enforcement partners to plan for the former president’s initial court appearance on Thursday. “The Metropolitan Police Department is working closely with our federal law enforcement partners to monitor the situation and plan accordingly to ensure the safety of DC residents and visitors,” the department said.
“MPD encourages the public to remain vigilant, if you see something, say something. Please report suspicious activity by calling 911.” The federal courthouse, where Trump is scheduled to appear for his initial hearing Thursday — unless the hearing is held virtually — is several blocks from the US Capitol. Multiple law enforcement agencies operate in the area, including National Park Police, Capitol Police, DC police and the US Marshals Service.
On August 2, 1969, just a little over one month after the Stonewall Riots the newly formed Gay Liberation Front took to the streets of Midtown Manhattan and participated in a rally and march to demand the release of political prisoners and members of the Armed Forces who were being held in military stockades. The focus was on Fort Dix 38 who were 38 prisoners made up of AWOLs, Vietnam war resisters, and conscientious objectors who rose against deplorable and inhumane conditions at the Army Base stockade in New Jersey.
There were three short films that NYPD detectives shot. We have seen these loops and they are silent and last just over nine minutes altogether. The films were digitized by the city’s Department of Records and Information Services, which manages the Municipal Archives. They were posted on YouTube for some time but have been removed.
While the detectives did not name GLF in their report the font on the banners, including the interlocked female/ female and male/ male graphics that were GLF’s symbol, are readily recognizable.
Allen Young, who was working for the Liberation News Service in August 1969, recognized Dan Smith and Ralph Hall, two GLF members, in the film.
NYC’s Department of Records and Information Services, which manages the Municipal Archives shared the films with Gay City News, archivists said they knew only that the film was shot on August 2, 1969.
While we still have the still shot posted above that shows the GLF symbol on the protest sign we are attempting to locate the videos once again and when they are found they will be reposted for their historical significance.
Witnesses told investigators that the group of young Muslims had told Sibley and his group that their voguing dance was offensive to their religion.
A 28-year-old professional dancer was stabbed to death at a Brooklyn gas station Saturday night in an incident that police are investigating as a homophobic hate crime.
O’Shae Sibley, 28, a professional dancer who has performed at Lincoln Center as part of an all-queer dance group, was blasting music and dancing with his pals at the Midwood Mobil station on Coney Island Ave and Avenue P just after 11 p.m. when their antics drew homophobic protests from a group of men nearby, authorities and witnesses said.
Witnesses told investigators that the group of young Muslims had told Sibley and his group that their voguing dance was offensive to their religion.
Surveillance video footage the ensuing physical altercation is shown with the rapid departure of the suspect and his group. The NYPD said that NYFD medics rushed the dancer to Maimonides Medical Center with a stab wound to the chest, but he succumbed to his injuries enroute and was deceased upon arrival.
Perry wants to ensure that Josiah “Jonty” Robinson’s killer is caught.
Actor and filmmaker Tyler Perry best known for his “Madea” franchise is offering a reward of $100,000 to anyone who has information about the killing of a Black gay man in Grenada.
Perry posted earlier this week that Josiah “Jonty” Robinson, 24, was “like a son” to Perry’s friend Yvette Noel-Schure, the celebrity publicist.
“My soul ached as she shared that he was a young, gifted singer who was murdered because he was gay,” Perry wrote in the post, which included several images of Robinson. “My mind immediately went to Mathew Shepard, and all the other victims of racist, homophobic, antisemitic, xenophobic, senseless violence. – ” Perry wrote in his Instagram post. “So with that said, Yvette and I are offering a $100,000 dollar reward to anyone who brings forth information that leads to the conviction of the murderer of Josiah ‘Jonty’ Robinson.”
Robinson’s body was found on a beach in St. George’s, Grenada, on June 18, according to the local newspaper The New Today Grenada. It reported that an autopsy found that Robinson had been strangled before he was thrown into the sea. It said police have questioned several people but have not had any breakthroughs.
Where it is a nice thing that Tyler Perry is doing. If only every murdered LGBT person had a connection to someone with money.
1905: Dag Hammarskjold, the second Secretary-General of the United Nations (1953-1961), is born in Jonkoping, Sweden. Hammarskjold will die in a plane crash in what was then the Belgian Congo under mysterious circumstances in 1961. Secretary General Hammarskjold is the first SG to die while holding office. President John F Kennedy referred to him as “The greatest statesman of our century,” and he was posthumously awarded the 1961 Nobel Peace Prize. While it is rumored that Hammarskjold was homosexual, it never seems to have been proven in any consequential way. Still, we honor his birthday here for the amazing leaps he made toward world peace as the Secretary-General.
1967: Ian Campbell Dunn writes to Antony Grey, secretary of the Homosexual Law Reform Society in London, about establishing a chapter in Scotland. Grey refuses because of problems with another branch.
1975: The Annual Conference of the Metropolitan Community Church is held in Dallas, Texas. Among the speakers was Elaine Noble, who was the first person to be elected to public office while running openly as a lesbian. Noble was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives for two terms starting in January 1975. She was the first openly lesbian or gay candidate elected to a state legislature
1981: Tennis player Martina Navratilova is outed by reporter Steve Goldstein of the New York Daily News. But comes out publicly through a column written by Skip Bayless. After all is said and done very few are surprised she’s a lesbian. And very few care.
1984: John O’Connell is brutally murdered by five men who drove to San Francisco looking for “some fags to beat up.” The assailants were convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to prison terms of 15 years to life.
A 9 p.m. in the Polk Street district, a favorite area of homosexuals, two men walking along the street were accosted by four of the Vallejo group, one of them shouting anti-homosexual epithets.
John O’Connell, 42, suffered two blows and fell to the pavement. The medical evidence was that it was the fall, not the blows, that produced the cerebral trauma that caused death.
The defendants left the scene laughing
In 1989 a California Court of Appeal, in a 2-1 decision, reduced the convictions to involuntary manslaughter, ruling that the two bare-handed blows struck by the assailants in a 1984 sidewalk attack were not sufficiently life-threatening.
“The appeal court said correctly that a slap and a punch do not make a murder,” said Maureen R. Kallins, a San Francisco lawyer. “This was a classic example of a hysterical jury verdict . . . and a classic example of being tried by the press.”
1986: Chicago’s city council defeats a gay rights bill by a vote of 30-18.
1987: U.S. President Ronald Reagan nominates homophobic judge Robert Bork to the US Supreme Court. He would be rejected by the Senate 58-42.
1987: The International Lesbian and Gay Association’s 9th annual conference begins in Cologne, West Germany.
1993: Seven years after legalizing gay sex, New Zealand’s parliament amends the Human Rights Commission Amendment Act, outlawing discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation (“heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or lesbian”) or HIV, passing Parliament after only 1 1/2 days of debate but intensive lobbying. It exempted the Government until December 31, 1999.
1998: Famed choreographer and director Jerome Robbins (pictured above), dies at age 79, four days after suffering a stroke. Among the numerous stage productions he worked on during his career were On the Town, Peter Pan, High Button Shoes, The King And I, The Pajama Game, Bells Are Ringing, West Side Story, Gypsy: A Musical Fable, and Fiddler on the Roof. Robbins was a five-time Tony Award winner and a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. Robbins also received two Academy Awards, including the 1961 Academy Award for Best Director with Robert Wise for West Side Story.
But not all were success and high points for Robbins. In the 1950s, Robbins found himself swept into the whirlwind of the McCarthy era and, as a former Communist, pressured by the FBI to name the names of party associates at hearings held by The House Committee on Un-American Activities. (HUAC). For three years he resisted. But threatened by exposure of his homosexuality, he at length agreed to testify before HUAC and named eight people. Robbins himself never spoke of his testimony publicly; in his journal, he wrote, “Maybe I will never find a satisfying release from the guilt of it all.”
1998: The U.S. House of Representatives votes 214-212 in favor of a bill to withhold federal housing money to San Francisco because of the city’s policy of welcoming private companies contracting with the city that offer domestic partner benefits equal to those offered to married employees.
2002: The federal government of Canada decides to appeal an Ontario Superior Court ruling which supported gay marriages. Less than a year later the government loses the appeal and introduces legislation legalizing gay marriage.
2003: Bishop Fred Henry of the Catholic Diocese of Calgary, Alberta, in Canada, warns Canada’s (straight) catholic Prime Minister that the PM risks jeopardizing his “eternal salvation” by introducing legislation legalizing gay marriage. Prime Minister Jean Chretien ignores the warning and introduces the legislation anyway.
2006: The first World Outgames opens in Montreal, Quebec, with about 18,600 participants from 111 countries as conference delegates, athletes, volunteers, or participants. About a half million spectators attended the Outgames, an athletic event set up after a quarrel with the long-established Gay Games.
In 1955, the Illinois General Assembly inaugurated the gargantuan task of overhauling its criminal code. Since its last major revision in 1874, the code had accumulated a patchwork of conflicting and confusing statues, some of which made no sense in the 20th century. Horse thieves, for example, were punished with a minimum penalty of three years in prison, but the maximum penalty for auto theft was only one year.
Over the ensuing six years, an eighteen-member joint committee of the Chicago and Illinois Bar Associations combed through the 148 chapters and 832 sections of the old statute books, using the American Law Institute’s 1956 Model Penal Code as a guide. The ALI had put together its Model Penal Code because a number of states were planning to revise their criminal codes over the next decade, and the 1956 Model Code recommended the elimination of all prohibitions against consensual sexual activity between consenting adults, including those which criminalized homosexual activity and relationships. Because the Model Penal Code also touched on a plethora of other criminal statues, it’s likely that most Illinois lawmakers didn’t realize that they were repealing their anti-sodomy law by adopting the omnibus legislation. Nevertheless, the code was adopted and signed into law by Gov. Otto Kerner on July 28th, 1961, and the anti-sodomy law’s repeal became effective on January 1, 1962.
That didn’t mean however that eliminating the state’s anti-sodomy law was entirely by mistake. A booklet describing the new code prepared for Chicago Police by Claude R. Sowele, assistant professor at Northwestern University’s law school, commented, “The Law should not be cluttered with matters of morality so long as they do not endanger the community. Morality should be left to the church, community and the individual’s own conscience.” While Illinois became the first state to legalize consensual adult same-sex relationships, the change in the state’s criminal code had few practical benefits for the state’s LGBT population, as police raids and harassment on other pretexts (or no pretext) would continue without letup for another two decades.
Illinois would remain the only state in the union to legalize consensual adult same-sex relationships until 1971, when Connecticut would finally rescind its sodomy law, followed by Colorado and Oregon (1972), Hawaii and North Dakota (1973), Ohio (1974), New Hampshire and New Mexico (1975). The big year was 1976, when California, Indiana, Maine, Washington and West Virginia stopped criminalizing homosexuality. By the time Lawrence v. Texas struck down all sodomy laws nationwide in 2003, thirty-six states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico had eliminated their anti-homosexuality laws, either by legislative action or by state court decisions.