1928 – The New York Times reported that forty distinguished witnesses including T. S. Eliot, Arnold Bennett, Vera Brittain, Ethel Smyth. and Virginia Woolf, appeared in a London in support of Radclyffe Hall to testify in favor of the lesbian novel “The Well of Loneliness.” which was in the midst of an obscenity trail. The judge refused to hear any of them.
He would later go on to apply the Hicklin test of obscenity: a work was obscene if it tended to “deprave and corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences”. He held that the book’s literary merit was irrelevant because a well-written obscene book was even more harmful than a poorly written one. The topic in itself was not necessarily unacceptable; a book that depicted the “moral and physical degradation which indulgence in those vices must necessary involve” might be allowed, but no reasonable person could say that a plea for the recognition and toleration of inverts was not obscene. He ordered the book destroyed, with the defendants to pay court costs
1970 – The Stanford Gay Students Union was formed. It was the second Stanford organization for gay students-a previous organization, the Student Homophile League, was short lived.
1984 – Chris Smith came out and became the first openly gay member of UK Parliament.
1989 – Republican Lobbyist Craig Spence, commits suicide after it was discovered he gave secret tours of The White House to call boys and ran a male prostitution ring.
Spence’s name came to national prominence in the aftermath of a June 28, 1989 article in the Washington Times identifying Spence as a customer of a homosexual escort service being investigated by the Secret Service, the District of Columbia Police and the United States Attorney’s Office for suspected credit card fraud. The newspaper said he spent as much as $20,000 a month on the service. He had also been linked to a White House guard who has said he accepted an expensive watch from Mr. Spence and allowed him and friends to take late-night White House tours
Spence entered a downward spiral in the wake of the Washington Times exposé, increasingly involving himself with call boys and crack and culminating in his July 31, 1989 arrest at the Barbizon Hotel on East 63rd St in Manhattan for criminal possession of a firearm and criminal possession of cocaine.
Months after the scandal had died down he was asked who had given him the “key” to the White House. Michael Hedges and Jerry Seper of The Washington Times reported that “Mr. Spence hinted the tours were arranged by ‘top level’ persons”, including Donald Gregg, national security adviser to Vice President George H. W. Bush at the time the tours were given.
On November 10, 1989 Spence was found dead in Room 429 of the Boston Ritz Carlton, the city’s most expensive hotel. He was dressed in a tuxedo and had three dollars in his pocket. According to the police report, when found by hotel employees he was attired in the style he affected at his lavish dinner parties: “black Tux with white shirt, bow tie, white suspenders, black socks and shoes”, with a telephone cradled in his ear and a Walkman headset containing a cassette tape of Mozart’s “A Little Night Music”.
Found hidden in a false ceiling in the bathroom were seven small packets of Xanax, an anti-anxiety prescription drug, with one pill removed. In black felt-tip marker he had written on a mirror of his room:
Chief, consider this my resignation, effective immediately. As you always said, you can’t ask others to make a sacrifice if you are not ready to do the same. Life is duty. God bless America.
To the Ritz, please forgive this inconvenience.
A few months before his death, Spence alluded to more intricate involvements. “All this stuff you’ve uncovered (involving call boys, bribery and the White House tours), to be honest with you, is insignificant compared to other things I’ve done. But I’m not going to tell you those things, and somehow the world will carry on
1992 – On Roseanne, Sandra Bernhard plays the first recurring lesbian character on a sitcom
1992 – The Louisiana Baptist Convention voted 581-199 to exclude congregations which condone homosexuality. A similar resolution was approved the same day by the North Carolina State Baptist convention.