Today In Gay History – June 19th: King James Was A Queer, Republicans Are Evil and Jerry Falwell “AIDS is a Punishment From GOD!”

Jerry Fawell in Hell

JUNE 19th;

1312 – Piers Gaveston, French favorite (and probable lover) of Edward II of England, was murdered on this date.

1566King James I of England and Ireland and VI of Scotland was born on this date. Responsible for the version of the bible that bears his name, some of James’s biographers conclude that Esme Stewart (later Duke of Lennox), Robert Carr (later Earl of Somerset), and George Villiers (later Duke of Buckingham) were his lovers. Restoration of Apethorpe Hall, undertaken in 2004–2008, revealed a previously unknown passage linking the bedchambers of James and Villiers.

1900 – Birth date of American novelist Laura Z. Hobson. Her best known work is “Gentleman’s Agreement” (1947). A later novel, “Consenting Adult” (1975), about a mother dealing with her son’s homosexuality, was based on her experience with her son, Christopher.

1954 Senator Lester C. Hunt (D-Wyoming) committed suicide on this date following blackmailing attempts by two Republican Senators regarding the arrest of Sen. Hunt’s son for soliciting a cop in a park across from the White House. Sen. Styles Bridges and Sen. Herman Welker were the Republican hate-mongers who forced the D.C. police to prosecute Hunt’s 20-year-old son and namesake for a first-time offense usually left to the family to deal with quietly. Republican Sen. H. Styles Bridges, who orchestrated the blackmail attempt of Wyoming Sen. Lester Hunt was convicted of the crime.

1971 – The first gay pride week in Ann Arbor, Michigan began. It had been decreed by the city council.

1975 – The American Medical Association passed a resolution urging all states to repeal laws criminalizing homosexual acts between consenting adults. 1979 – A judge in Catskill, New York awarded permanent custody of a 13-year-old boy to his father, a gay minister. His reasoning was that the father does not abuse the child in any way, contrary to what he sees out of many “so-called straight people.”

1983 – In Lynchburg, Virginia, hate-monger Jerry Falwell told his followers that “AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals, it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.” and that no medication could halt the judgment of God.

Falwell founded Lynchburg Christian Academy (now Liberty Christian Academy) in 1967 and Liberty University in 1971 and co-founded the Moral Majority in 1979 which was the beginning of the LGBT hate groups of the day suck as the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and the American Family Association .

By 1975, the Internal Revenue Service moved to revoke the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University, which forbade interracial dating (blacks had been denied entry until 1971). The decisions infuriated Falwell. “In some states it’s easier to open a massage parlor than to open a Christian school”, Falwell complained.

The Moral Majority became one of the largest political lobby groups for evangelical Christians in the United States during the 1980s.  The Moral Majority was promoted as being “pro-life”, “pro-traditional family”, “pro-moral” and “pro-American” and was credited with delivering two thirds of the white, evangelical Christian vote to Ronald Reagan during the 1980 presidential election.

On his evangelist program The Old-Time Gospel Hour in the mid 1960s, Falwell regularly featured segregationist politicians like Lester Maddox and George Wallace. About Martin Luther King he said: “I do question the sincerity and nonviolent intentions of some civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mr. James Farmer, and others, who are known to have left wing associations.”

In speaking of the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling, he said, in 1958:

If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God’s word and had desired to do the Lord’s will, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never had been made. The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line.

In 1977, Falwell supported Anita Bryant’s “Save Our Children” campaign, to overturn an ordinance in Dade County, Florida prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In urging the repeal of the ordinance, Falwell told one crowd, “Gay folks would just as soon kill you as look at you. Falwell also  supported the similar Brigg’s Initiative that Harvey Milk helped defeat in California.[

Falwell also regularly linked the AIDS pandemic to LGBT issues and stated,  Amongst his many remarks over the years he is probably most known for statements attributed to him about a Teletubby being a homosexual role model for homosexual recruitment and stating that LGBT organizations angered God, thereby in part causing God to let the September 11 attacks happe .

In early 2005, Falwell was hospitalized with a viral infection, discharged, and then hospitalized again on May 30, 2005, in respiratory arrest. President George W. Bush contacted Falwell to “wish him well”.

On May 15, 2007, Falwell was found without pulse and unconscious in his office at about 10:45 a.m., after he missed a morning appointment, and was taken to Lynchburg General Hospital. “I had breakfast with him, and he was fine at breakfast…He went to his office, I went to mine and they found him unresponsive” said Ron Godwin, the executive vice president of Falwell’s Liberty University. His condition was initially reported as “gravely serious”; CPR was administered unsuccessfully.

Christopher Hitchens  described Falwell as aa “faith-based fraud.” Hitchens took special umbrage with declaration that 9/11 represented God’s judgment on America’s sinful behavior; deeming it “extraordinary that not even such a scandalous career is enough to shake our dumb addiction to the ‘faith-based.'”  Appearing on CNN a day after Falwell’s death, Hitchens said, “The empty life of this ugly little charlatan proves only one thing: that you can get away with the most extraordinary offenses to morality and to truth in this country if you will just get yourself called ‘reverend’.” On C-SPAN, Hitchens made the comment that “if Farwell had been given an enema before his death, he could have been buried in a matchbox.

1989 – The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force announced that executive director Jeff Levi would be leaving and Urvashi Vaid would replace him.

1995 – On this date the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of HURLEY V. IRISH-AMERICAN GAY, LESBIAN, AND BISEXUAL GROUP OF BOSTON unanimously voted to allow Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade organizers to ban Gay groups from marching in the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  Hurly is considered a landmark decision regarding the right to assemble and for groups to determine what message is actually conveyed to the public.

1998 – The Associated Press reported that Keith Goddard, leader of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe, was arrested on sodomy charges. A man who was blackmailing him turned him in to police.

1998 – Governor Tony Knowles of Alaska vetoed a bill that would have criminalized sex by anyone who was HIV positive, even if the virus was not transmitted.

1998 – A Superior Court judge in San Francisco ruled that a regulation that bars gays and lesbians from serving in the California National Guard was unconstitutional. Lt. Andrew Holmes had brought the suit.

Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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