Tag Archives: October 4

Gay History - November 4, 1986: California's Prop 64 To Quarantine People With AIDS Defeated

Gay History – November 4, 1986: California’s Prop 64 To Quarantine People With AIDS Defeated

The AIDS Plague years is the darkest chapter in gay history. The moments of pain, horror, and degradation that gay men suffered is all but forgotten today except by those who lived through it and survived.  

One of those dark moments happened in California in 1986 when paranoid perennial Presidential candidate and nutjob Lyndon LaRouche at the height of the hysterical anti-gay backlash that had sprung up against the growing AIDS epidemic, founded his Prevent AIDS Now Initiative Committee (PANIC), which gathered enough signatures to place Proposition 64 onto the ballot. Prop 64, also known as the LaRouche Initiative, would have placed AIDS onto California’s list of communicable diseases under the state’s public health law, and that would have effectively forced anyone who was HIV-positive out of their jobs and schools and into a quarantine.

LaRouche and his followers claimed that such measures were required because AIDS was “worse than the Black Death” and was “more deadly to mankind than a full-scale thermonuclear war.”  “A person with AIDS running around is like a person with a machine gun shooting up a neighborhood,” LaRouche told a San Francisco radio program. He also  charged that “AIDS is the first known epidemic which could potentially wipe out the entire human race” and that his detractors were “guilty of one of the most evil cover-ups in medical history.”

Luckily despite support by Congressman William E. Dannemeyer, Prop 64 lost in a landslide, 71% to 29%. LaRouche brought it back again in 1988 as Prop 69, and lost by an even wider margin. He also made that AIDS quarantine the centerpiece of his 1988 presidential campaign, which again he lost.

In October 1986, federal and state agents raided LaRouche’s heavily guarded compound in Loudon County, Virginia and offices in Massachusetts. A federal grand jury indicted LaRouche with credit card fraud and obstruction of justice. In 1988, he was convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, 11 counts of actual mail fraud and a count of conspiring to defraud the IRS.

LaRouche served six years in prison. At one time, he shared his cell with disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker, who recalled, “to say LaRouche was a little paranoid would be like saying that the Titanic had a little leak.”

LaRouche who finally died on February 19, 20019 never stopped his insanity until the very end. He is responsible for the graphic of President Barack Obama as Hitler that began appearing at Tea Party and Town Hall meetings.  In 2009, he helped to popularize the fiction that Obama’s health care reform included so-called “death panels.” with Sarah Palin and would amount to the same thing as the Nazis‘ Action T4 euthanasia program and urged Americans to “quickly and suddenly change the behavior of this president … for no lesser reason than that your sister might not end up in somebody’s gas oven.”

Gay History Month – October 5: Truman Capote, Miss Peggy Lee, and Robert Mapplethorpe Banned In Cincinnati

Gay/LGBT History Month - October 5th: Truman Capote, Peggy Lee and Robert Mapplethorpe Banned In Cincinnati

The Moment by Robert Mapplethorpe

On October 5th…..

1726 – Diplomat, spy and solider Chevalier d’Eon who lived his first 49 years as, and her last 33 years as a women is born in born in Tonnerre Brugandy, France.   From 1777, d’Éon claimed to be anatomically a woman, and dressed as such.  It was not until doctors examined the body after d’Éon’s death discovered that he was anatomically male.

1840 – John Addington Symonds, one of the earliest scholars of gay and lesbian issues is born. Symonds assisted Havelock Ellis in the writing of “Sexual Inversion”.  Although he married and had a family, Symonds was an early advocate of “male love”and referred to it as l’amour de l’impossible (love of the impossible).

1961 – The movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s written by Truman Capote and adapted for the screen by George Axelrod opens in theaters.

Capote’s unorthodox views on sex and gender, modern critics have excavated the original novella and movies subtle references to the alternative sexual identities and practices of the text’s male characters, suggesting that Capote intended Breakfast at Tiffany’s as an exploration of the powerful and loving relationships that often exist between straight women and gay men.

1967 – Ethel Merman makes a guest appearance as “Lola Lasagne” on Batman. One of the worst villains ever to appear in the  television series.

1969 – Peggy Lee’s camp classic Is That All There Is? enters the top-40 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and gay men have been singing it ever since.

1969 The Washington Blade publishes its first issue. At that time it was called The Gay Blade and actually wrote articles that contained hard hitting journalism and gay activism unlike today.

1987 – The city commission of Traverse City, Michigan voted unanimously to repeal a law banning the sale of condoms in city limits.

1990 – Dennis Barrie, director of the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, was acquitted of obscenity charges after displaying a Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit.

 This was the first criminal trial of an art museum arising from the contents of an exhibition.  The group Citizens for Community Values an affiliate of the anti-gay hate group the American Family Associated who also has ties to the Family Research Council organized the protest against Mapplethorpe’s exhibit. The CCV is still active in the Cincinnati area today and boasts itself as being a proud affiliate of the the Family Research Council and the American Family Association. 

Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis who arrested Barrie declared the photos to be “smut.” “This was beyond pornography,” Leis told the Enquirer in March 2015. “When you put a fist up a person’s rectum, what do you call that? That is not art.

Oh yes. Yes it is.

1998 – The US Congress killed an amendment by Rep Frank Riggs (R-CA) which would have barred San Francisco from spending federal housing money to implement its domestic partner ordinance.