In which We see a Historians Historian serves up some reality about Teh actual oppression of homos whom the defendants think are going to take our children force all good xtians to be gay married !!! (btw, the transcription is quoted from the source so all mispellings and abbreviations are the authors - whom I assume was trying to type really fast. I did a spell check for u guz. it's a good read.)
A Federal Court in San Francisco is reviewing the decision to uphold the infamous Proposition 8 in which Bush/Gore 2000 adversaries David Boies and Ted Olson team up to defeat California's ban on same-sex marriages. FDL is covering the trial. [Posted yesterday on FDL By: Teddy Partridge Tuesday January 12, 2010 2:16 pm]
We resume the trial this afternoon with the plaintiffs’ case. Another expert witness, a professor named George Chauncey, is scheduled to testify for the plaintiffs.
Walker: We’ll soon be ready for our next witness. In the meantime, with regard to the broadcasting proposal, ALL the responses have been stored in the jury room for counsel inspection. Except for the group responses which I won’t display because of their numerocity.
Boies says that the SF CIty Attorney, Assistant Attorney Teresa Stewart, will conduct the examination of Dr George Chauncey. (Being sworn, giving and spelling name) BA, MA, MF, and PhD One year professorships at Rutgers and NYU, and fourteen years at UChicgo, three years ago moved to Yale, teaches AmStudiesTwo Books: Gay New York; Why Marry; and contributor to collections. Also working on a book on post-war gay culture and politics More than a dozen articles and many conferences and papers at Am Studies Association, American Historical Assoc. Awards: Gay New York, best dissertation in American History, and best history dissertation. Best book in history, LA Times book prize.
Stewart: Tell us about your sources?
Chauncey: Rely on court records, police records, records of gay organizations and social service agencies, diaries and personal journals, films, ads, interviews with over 180 elderly gay men.
Stewart: Political records?
Chauncey: Congressional offices, debates, transcripts.
Stewart: Types of courses you teach?
C American history since 1919, urban history, social history since ww2, lesbian & gay history.
Stewart: Your honor, offer as an expert in social cultural and political history f lesbian/gay in America.
No objection, so ordered.
Stewart: Plz summarize your expert opinions you will offer today.
Chauncey: Widespread =discrimination throughout American history, criminalization, restrictions on employment, public accommodation, and association, stereotyping and demonization to reinforce existing pattern of hostility and prejudice.
Criminalization of homosexuality, sodomy laws, and early laws were focused on SOME people who had sex with others of the same sex. These laws came to represent the criminalize homosexual sex. SCOTUS Georgia law against sodomy criminalied all sodomy bbut only enforced it against gays.
Other ways besides laws?
Chauncey: In the 19th century end, stepped up policing against community as it became more public. Disorderly conduct statutes used against homosexuals, and actually called disorderly (degenerate) by police and then in the law. Soliciting a man for unnatural acts became a kind of disorderly. Used against all gatherings in NYC until 1966, 50,000 arrests until then: bars, private parties, parks. Of 100 men I interviewed for one book, half of them had been arrested, almost all for disorderly.
These laws were further defined to specific gay people and all their activity. The effect was to register society’s disapproval of their behavior, using sodomy laws only against gays. You couldn’t let openly gay soldiers serve alongside other soldiers because they were viewed at the time as predatory sodomists.
Stewart: Did it affect some people’s willingness to go out in public?
Chauncey: People had to be much more bold, when there were crackdowns in major cities and small towns. People had to be much more careful. The initial arrest opened up other worries: lawyers have told me that police would call their families to confirm their identity, call their landlord to confirm their home, call their employer to confirm their job. And this happened a lot of the time.
Stewart: Tell us about discrimination
Chauncey: In public accommodations, in 1933 with the repeal of prohibition, states issued regulations prohibited anyone with a liquor license to serve liquor to lesbians or gay men, or allow them the "congregate on the premises. This was difficult because l&G had to hide their identities, so places they could be more open were important. This criminalization meant that people had to be careful in a regular establishment, so places developed to serve this niche market, charging much higher prices that paid bribes to the police and/or were operated by organized crime. Being homosexual in public enmeshed people in a web of criminality.
Stewart: How did this work in practice?
Chauncey: Bartenders could 86 people if they thought a person was gay. The L&G bars bar owners put a sign over the bar itself, ‘if you are gay stay away’ or ‘it is illegal to serve homosexuals’ — that way the bar could say it was being vigilant.
Stewart: How did the authorities enforce these laws?
Chauncey: It’s the beauty of liquor licensing: the bar owner always risks losing his license if he doesn’t enforce the law. Also local patrolmen would step in to see what was up. Also undercover cops would go in to ensure all regs were followed.
Stewart: Did other authorities get involved?
Chauncey: Yes, bars near military base were under surveillance by military/police, to be sure soldiers and sailors couldn’t be going in there.
Stewart: How did authorities know bars were serving gay people?
Chauncey: Take note of an act of one man picking up another man. That was a sure sign homos were there. Plainclothes policemen entrapped people, when an invite was issued, the handcuffs came out. Bargoer arrested and proceedings against owner, bartender as well.
Chauncey: When bars tried to challenge people, authorities would use stereotypical behavior as evidence of homosexuality: women in pants, women dancing together, men whose clothing was too colorful, had too long hair, touched each other in effeminate ways, two men overheard talking about the opera — something no non-homo would ever do in the 1950s.
Chauncey: It’s kind of striking thing, the policing of homosexual has bee used to enforce gender norms, people who acted in cross-gender ways would get kicked out before the bar got in trouble.
Stewart: did bars fight or resist?
Chauncey: Most just closed quietly. Many tried, went to court: they said they didn’t know, they had the signs up, how could they tell. Then, periodically, there were actual challenges: in both NY and CA, there were rulings by the state’s highest court that such discrimination was illegal. Then, peace and quiet in the early fifties, but the police cracked down in SF. Then the CA leg prohibited establishments that were "resorts for sex perverts." 1959 Mayors race, the incumbent was charged with making SF a Mecca for gay men. After re-election, he cracked down, getting the police to arrest 40-50 men every week for two years.
Stewart: How long did this go on?
Chauncey: Even when courts said unconstitutional, police continued. Stonewall is a great example, the NY courts had ruled against raids. Last summer, in Ft Worth TX, a gay bar was raided by the liquor authorities and the police. Just last summer! Drastically reduced, of course, but here we see it still goes on.
Chauncey: This was one more way homos were told they were despised and needed to keep secret who they were. The public at large associated gay life with criminality: campaigns talked about the police corruption caused by gay bars! Part of a ‘violent criminal underworld.’
Stewart: Tell us about employment?
Chauncey: In the military, first of all, during the second world war, facing mobilization of many people, instituted screening procedures to keep homos out. Not surprisingly, not many were ferreted out: most were deeply concerned about their country having been attacked after Pearl Harbor so wanted to serve. People in small towns didn’t want their families and neighbors to know; in big cities, the need for personnel was great anyway.
when manpower needs are not so pressing after ww2, the law was ramped up.
Stewart: What about after the war?
Chauncey: IF you were a man not serving, people had questions about your not having served. If you served and discharged, you were denied GI Bill benefits, an incredibly important social engineering to give access to college, jobs, new homes. GI Bill had profound consequences and it meant homos either not in military or discharged, were not eligible.
Stewart: What about those found out? Did it affect their ability to participate as Americans in our society?
Chauncey: Yes, when people wanted to hire, they wanted to see your discharge papers. If they saw you’d been a homo, you didn’t get the job. It was a way of conveying to the whole country that these people were excluded from this incredibly inclusive experience: think of WW2 movies where’s there one of everything, but not gays.
Stewart: Can you tell what DADT did?
C; Clinton had promised to repeal prohibition, but such a firestorm afterwards that he retreated from his promise, DADT was a compromise that said if gays didn’t tell they were gay the military wouldn’t ask. It wasn’t really implemented that way, something like 9500 people were discharged in the first decade of DADT.
Stewart: What were the effects on the country?
Chauncey: The country lost the services of patriotic Americans who wanted to serve in the country’s defense, Arabic translators especially we have learned. Large groups, financial cost, recruit/train to replace them.
Stewart: Plaintiffs exhibit 872, GAO report to Congress about the costs of DADT.
Chauncey: Over the first ten years it cost the Defense Dept 94 million in 1994 dollars to discharge and about 85 million to replace them.
Stewart: Was there other employment discrimination?
Chauncey: Employment of homos on civilian employment of the government; McCarthy and his list of communists and sex perverts. Several Congressional committees: one issued a report about employing ’sex perverts in government.’ In two years, 1,700 people were kept from employment in the late 40s. Procedures were thought too law or uneven, one of Ike’s first EOs create a civilian homo ban as well as military, as well as fed contractors required to ferret out their homos and fire them.
Stewart: How did the McCarthy Senate treatment compare with their treatment of communists?
Chauncey: Concerned about communists, but historian found State Dept alone dismissed more suspected homos than suspected communalists.
Stewart: Exhibit PX 2337 "Sex perverts in government" Let’s turn to Ike’s EO: would homos be discharged or not hired. When did that policy end?
Chauncey: 1975, President Carter rescinded it except for security clearance jobs. [Carter wasn't Prez until 1977] Then Clinton said agencies could not discriminate.
Stewart: Was this limited to the federal govt?
Chauncey: State govts took it up in a variety of ways, to institutionalize L&G prohibitions. CA fired more than a dozen after interviewing 300 over several years. NYC welfare departments fired several workers discovered to be gay.
Stewart: Did mandated disc affect job seeking in the private sector?
Chauncey: Ike’ rule affected all fed contractors, but more broadly gay people faced a broad range of discrimination by all employers. Individual companies and job sectors differed, but everyone knew they had to be very careful.
Stewart: Were people thus funneled into certain jobs?
Chauncey: Some tried to ‘pass’ but many simply took on jobs in niches in the private sector: low paying working class jobs, waiter, hairdresser, florist.
Stewart: How did that affect lives?
Chauncey: Pushed gay life out to the margins, underground. There was lots of gay life, private parties, people had a gay social life, but they had to hid sew their lives. Most people did not want to take risks, it had its own codes so people could talk without being detected.
Chauncey: Best example is simply the word GAY that was appropriated so people could say, oh I found a GAY place or oh I had a GAY time last night, to one another without being detected if overheard. People had to hide or risk humiliation and disgrace.
Stewart: How did gays operate in the public arena?
Chauncey: Laws passes at state and local level outlawing discriminating; still, 20 states don’t prohibit disc in public employment, another 28 don’t’ prohibit disc in private employment.
Stewart: Can you talk about censorship>
Chauncey: In the early 30s, in the movies, the League of Decency rallied to protest immorality in the film industry. They pressured Hollywood to issue a code, so as to forestall federal regulation. The "Code" as it was called, imposed certain rules about touchy issues: crime, adultery. Some were prohibited: homosexuality, interracial relationships. For a generation, Hollywood films (dominant medium for the 20th century) until it fell away in the sixties, these things simple did not appear.
Chauncey: Studios had to submit their films for approval, negotiation.
Stewart:Did the Hayes Code affect TV?
Chauncey: Not formally, but their was even more concern since it was actually going into people’s homes. Very few gay characters. There was some, it increased in the 1980s. As recently as 1989, 20 years ago, 30Something had a scene with two men in bed, various religious organizations boycotted, sponsors withdrew. By the mid90s, portrayals increased. In 1996 Ellen came out as a character and a PERSON, and was on the cover of TIME. It seems UNPOSSIBLE to young people nowadays, I’m sure.
Stewart:How did this censorship affect actual people?
Chauncey: Well, young gay people thought they were alone, they never saw they portrayed. Older were reminded they were excluded and despised. Some directors and writers used code so sophisticated people might guess what was up. They never really saw themselves.
Stewart: Tell us about demonization and stigma.
Chauncey: A range of groups has served to develop stereotypical images o gay people: church with its campaign against SIN. Doctors began to pay attention to questions of ’sex perversion’ in the late nineteenth century, assumed this to be pathology. These poeple were thought to be sick, with gender non-conformity at its center. Homo was one sign of a more general sense of really being unwell. This, even in the 20th century, women who wanted to smoke, vote, or work were thought to be hurting their reproductive capacity and therefore likely ‘inverts.’
Chauncey: Chiuld’s inability to identify with the ;right’ parent, homos were immature therefore. Most dangerous stereotypes were between the 30s and 50s, a series of police and press campaigns IDd homos as child molesters, hyper-men unconstrained by women who threatened the nation’s children. Usually sparked by some awful attack, usually by a man on a girl, but these attacks got twisted against gays.
Stewart:How did gays go from being pathetic to being scary?
Chauncey: Cultural process drove it, press campaigns against assaults on children, homos emerged as quintessential sex deviants. National magazines chimed in, governments started commissions to investigate the offense of sex psychopathy, committed for observation for indeterminate sentence to a prison/ mental institution. Hard to overstate the extent the fear inculcated in America of homos as monsters.
Stewart:Was their any foundation to this charge?
Chauncey: No, most of the actual stories are about men attacking girls.
Stewart:Look at PX 851, please, at an article you wrote. You were mentioning the press statements about perpetuating this idea.
Chauncey: Article from Coronet, 1950: "New Moral Menace to Our Youth. Once a man assumes the role of homosexual, they descend to other forms of depravity such as sex sadism, drug abuse, and even murder and affect their innocent partners." This shows how homos were depicted as evidence of complete moral decay, go on to infect other people.
Stewart:Same exhibit, page 107
Chauncey: Statement by AG of CA: The sex pervert is too frequently regarded as a queer individual who never hurts others. But we overlook that the sex pervert if always seeking out innocent victims." Many magazines repeated this quote, newspapers picked up, you saw it throughout the culture.
Stewart:Addressed to adults?
Chauncey: Yes, to adults who were being told their children were threatened and needed protection from homos. It bred fear of homos, went into schools in CA, seeking to tell boys to be wary: BOYS BE AWARE, homos were sick and out to infect them.
[see where this is going, with the emphasis on PROTECTING THE CHILDREN?]
Stewart: Please find another example from your work of this.
Stewart:Government report: "Immaturity, instability, subject to blackmail, dangerous to young people, corrosive influence by enticing normal people to engage in perverse practices. Government managers have a responsibility to ensure young people are protected from this corrosive influence. Government service must not coincide with young people being subject to this." It is the imprimatur of senior government officials for the attitude that gay people are deviants or perverts. Federal and state policies reinforced.
Stewart: When people discovered to be perverts, did they end up in jail?
Chauncey: well they could. This is one element of a wide range of things, the laws against assembling in public, in response to the national press campaigns. Tremendous escalation after WW2 and into the early 50s. Police needed to show they were dealing with these problems.
G; By having to avoid going out in public, people were really affected. One man I interviews worked at the NY Public Library, was arrested and in jail for two days, his employers discovered, marched him down the hall and publicly fired him in front of his peers and collect his belongings and escorted out of the building. This sane story happened many times.
Stewart: What is the most enduring legacy of this demonization?
Chauncey: There are two. One is that the growing police/military crackdowns led to the start of the early homophile movement in the 402 and 50s: small private groups. It was the origin of the gay rights movement. On the other hand, I see a creation and reinforcement of a series of demonic representations of homos even today: child molesters, people children need protection from: teachers, married couples, child care workers all suffer for this stigma.
Chauncey: People were harassed and stigmatized, they were attacked. More recently, the FBI now collects gay crime stats, about 1500 against G&L people nationally. CA school system showed that 200,000 students in CA jr and high schools are harassed for perception of being gay.
Chauncey: Most famous examples; Mathew Shepard in Laramie by a couple of guys who drove him out to the country, left him to die tied to a post. Couple years ago, Lawrence King shot and killed in his schools computer lab by a boy who later said that Larry had said he was attracted to him. More than the official policing of gay life, there is the editing they do. People aren’t afraid of the police when they walk down the street holding hands, they are afraid of being bashed.
Stewart: Plaintiffs exhibit (873)
Chauncey: These are Hate Crime stats from the FBI, dated 1998.
Stewart: Also look at PX 874, A Safe Place to LEARN: Making Schools Safer.
Is there where you got your 200,000 figure?
Chauncey: Yes, and 873 is where I got my figure of 1,500.
OBJECETION: Can we work this out, it wasn’t disclosed.
Walker: How much more time with this witness?
Stewart: 45 minutes?
Walker: Move it along please, shorter questions.
Chauncey: I’ll try to keep my answers shorter too your honor.
(continued in comments…after I fix the typos...etc)