Today In Gay – June 4th: Anti-Gay Life Insurance, Henry Gerber, Congressional Gay Caucus and Oprah Denies Being A Lesbian
1906 – Dr. William Lee Howard presented a paper to the American Association of Medical Examiners in Boston warning of the dangers of providing life insurance to male or female homosexuals. He said they are prone to disease, abuse drugs and alcohol, and males especially detest any form of physical exercise.
1925 – Henry Gerber, founder of Chicago’s earliest gay organization The Society for Human Rights, and three other members of the organization, were arrested without a warrant after the wife of a member complained about the organization’s newsletter. The charges were dismissed, but as a result of the arrest Gerber lost his job and the organization folded since he could no longer financially support it.
1952 – Birth date of ex-Hardy Boy heartthrob Parker Stevenson, who was once the husband of Scientoligist/Actress Kristy Alley. Was it a beard arrangement set up by the Xitan cult? And if so for which one? Stevenson would later leave the cult after divorcing Ally with a massive 6 million dollar divorce settlement. Question answered!
1979 – In Toronto, the Gay Liberation Union establishes the first gay self-defense course in Canada. The program grew out of increasing anti-gay violence on streets. Now 34 years later New York City is offering self defense courses to the LGBT community due to the high spike in anti-LGBT violence in the once gay-safe city.
1997 – “I am not in the closet. I am not coming out of the closet. I am not gay.” So said Oprah Winfrey, star of the U.S.’ top-rated TV talk show, in a prepared statement. Winfrey’s guest role in the coming out episode of the ABC sitcom “Ellen,” and host role in the public coming out process of its star Ellen DeGeneres, combined with a rumor started by gossip columnist Liz Smith about the impending coming out of a very much bigger star — nay, “role model to millions” — had led to so many questions that Winfrey felt she had to respond. The jury is still out on the statement.
1999 – Gay philanthropist James Hormel was appointed Ambassador to Luxembourg by President Bill Clinton. Concerns about Hormel’s reception in Luxembourg were “blunted when officials of the country, which has laws against discrimination based on sexual orientation, indicated that he would be welcome.”[ Senator Alfonse D’Amato of New York found the obstruction of the nomination an embarrassment and urged that Trent Lott bring the issue up for a vote. When Lott continued to stall, Clinton employed a recess appointment. Hormel was sworn in as ambassador in June 1999. His partner at the time, Timothy Wu, held the Bible during the ceremony. Also in attendance were Hormel’s former wife, his five children, and several of his grandchildren.
2003 – Former stockbroker and “Walker” (non-sexual male companion to wealthy socialites, NOT Walking Dead zombie) Peter Bacanovic was indicted in New York along with Martha Stewart in an insider trading scandal. Bacanovic, 41, who is openly gay, and Stewart, 61, faced charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice in the nine-count federal indictment. The former was also charged with perjury in testimony to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and creating false documents to explain away Stewart’s trade of ImClone stock.
2005 – President George Bush meets with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican. Following the meeting the Pope issued a statement declaring that same-sex marriage represents nothing more than “self-centered demands” erroneously depicted as human rights.
2008 – The Congressional Gay Caucus (now the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus) is founded. And they’ve done so much for us. Haven’t they?