Tag Archives: Federal Government

Gay History – August 1965: Washington Post Reports Federal Workers Can Claim Disability For Being Gay

In July of 1950, Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina conducted a full-scale Congressional inquiry into homosexuals in the government. The content of the testimony heard by the committee was ambiguous about the dangers posed by homosexual individuals and provided no instances of homosexuals who had been blackmailed into revealing American secrets; however, as Johnson writes, “The Hoey Committee’s final report, issued in December 1950, ignored this ambiguity and stated emphatically that all of the intelligence agencies of the government that testified ‘are in complete agreement that sex perverts in the Government constitute security risks.’ It asserted that Russian intelligence agents had been given orders to find weaknesses in the private lives of American government workers. And, while acknowledging that other weaknesses might pose as much of a threat, it asserted that such comparisons were beyond the committee’s mandate. Through the Hoey Committee’s final report, the notion that homosexuals threatened national security received the imprimatur of the US Congress and became accepted as official fact.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower’s administration further expanded and routinized the hunt for homosexuals in the federal government. His Executive Order 10450, signed in April 1953, affirmed that “[a]n individual would be disqualified for employment for ‘any behavior which suggests the individual is not reliable or trustworthy.’” While proscriptions of “criminal” and “immoral” conduct were already written into civil service policies, and were already in use to bar homosexuals from federal employment, “the inclusion of the more specific reference to ‘sexual perversion’ was unprecedented.” The Executive Order “effectively expanded the security authority originally given to the State Department and a few military agencies at the start of the Cold War to the entire federal government.” Since “security risk” was, as Johnson argues, a term that applied almost exclusively to gay men and lesbians, Executive Order 10450 put even more emphasis on finding and expelling homosexual employees from federal service.

The changes in Civil Service Commission policies and Executive Order 10450 affected millions of American employees, whether or not they were federally employed. Johnson estimates that “as many as five thousand suspected gay or lesbian employees may have lost their jobs with the federal government during the early days of the Cold War.” The use of the term “security risk” to describe firings means that arriving at a precise figure is nearly impossible since, while this term was applied almost exclusively to gay men and lesbians, it also included other types of “undesirable” employees. Many employees preemptively resigned when news reached them about an investigation into their sexuality, and no figures were kept about how many of these apparently voluntary separations resulted from impending charges of homosexuality. Finally, the estimate of five thousand federal employees does not take into account the individuals who were never hired because their pre-employment background checks raised suspicions about their sexuality, or the number of individuals who did not even apply for federal jobs for fear of having their homosexuality discovered.

In 1965. Jerry Kluttz, writing for the Washington Post’s “Federal Diary” column, revealed that more than fifty alcoholic Federal employees, who would have normally been fired, were instead placed on retirement “for physical disability” which Kluttz described as “a more liberal approach to their problems.” He also noted that the program was also available for gay employees because of their “disability”.

At that time the Government policy to fire overt homosexuals remained unchanged under the policy that their conduct tends to discredit the Federal service. Known homosexuals would probably be ousted before the could be retired on either physical or mental disabilities.

Fired employees, Kluttz stated, had the year following their dismissal to file for disability retirement, and “several sex deviates have taken advantage of this provision”.

The civil service had previously ruled “unconventional sex behavior” as willful misconduct, and were thus ineligible for disability retirements under federal law. But with the commission’s new openness to extend disability retirement benefits for those suffering from mental illnesses, gay employees were increasingly falling under that category in accordance with the APA’s classification of homosexuality as a mental illness. But that would change in 1973, when the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder. The American Psychological Association Council of Representatives followed in 1975. Thereafter other major mental health organizations followed and it was finally declassified by the World Health Organization in 1990.

In 1975 the Civil Service Commission formally reversed its discriminatory hiring policy against gays and lesbians. In 1995, President Clinton issued an executive order forbidding the US government from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation in granting security clearances. Three years later, he banned anti-gay discrimination against all federal civilian employees.

Donald Trump: Liar in Chief

Donald Trump Bans ‘Anti-American’ Diversity Training in Federal Agencies

Donald Trump has ordered federal agencies to stop racial sensitivity training, labeling it “divisive, anti-American propaganda”.

In a memo sent to all government agencies Trump said it has come to his attention that millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money have funded such “trainings”.adding that these sessions only foster resentment in the workforce.

Friday’s two-page document from Donald Trump via the Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought stated:

All agencies are directed to begin to identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on ‘critical race theory,’ ‘white privilege,’ or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil.”

The memo also falsely states that “according to press reports, employees across the Executive Branch have been required to attend training where they are told that ‘virtually all White people contribute to racism’ or where they are required to say that they ‘benefit from racism’.”

Federal Highway Administration Tells Iowa City To Remove Rainbow Crosswalks, They Refuse

Federal Highway Administration Tells Iowa City To Remove Rainbow Crosswalks, They Refuse

In a letter dated September 5, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), a division of the US Department of Transportation, told the city of Ames, Iowa that they would have to remove the rainbow-colored crosswalks at a downtown intersection,d because they didn’t comply with federal traffic control standards.

The city has so far ignored the directive.

Ames, Iowa actually has three PRIDE crosswalks one feature the colors of the Pride flag, designed by Gilbert Baker in the 1970s. Another features the gender-nonbinary colors of purple, black, yellow and white, while yet another features the transgender pride colors of blue, white and pink.

Federal rules state that crosswalks can only use white paint.”Crosswalk art has a potential to compromise pedestrian and motorist safety by interfering with, detracting from, or obscuring official traffic control devices. The art can also encourage road users, especially bicycles and pedestrians, to directly participate in the design, loiter in the street, or give reason to not vacate the street in an expedient or predictable manner,” the FHWA wrote in a letter to Ames City Manager Steve Schainker.

City Attorney Mark O. Lambert sent a memo addressed to the Ames mayor and city council, outlining his own interpretation of the situation.The FHWA doesn’t appear to have jurisdiction over the roads where the crosswalk is since the streets are not part of a federal highway and receive no federal funding.

Members of the Ames City Council discussed the issue at a meeting last Tuesday, and ultimately came to a decision. They would do nothing and leave the crosswalks alone.