United States of America 1950s

From LGBTQIA+ Archives

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Senate Subcommittee Proposes Sex Law Changes (1950)

A Senate subcommittee investigates the employment of LGBTQ individuals in federal agencies and recommends stricter sex laws and moral investigations into federal employees.

Roth v. United States (1958)


  • The Evening Star reports on Roth v. United States (1958), a Supreme Court case which lifted a ban from the Post Office on three magazines, including One by the Mattachine Society (January 14, 1958).
  • The Evening Star reports on a House investigation into obscene materials sent by the United States Post Office. Representative Patrick Jerome Hillings, representing the State of California, remarks on some of the items, including one titled "Male Homosexuals Tell Their Stories" (January 30, 1958).


Reasons for Discharge (1952)

  • The People's Voice, a labor newspaper in the State of Montana, publishes a Congressional study that showed 1/3 of discharges were for "neuro-psychiatric reasons", which excluded 163,000 in the Army and 91,563 from the Navy for reasons including "homosexuality".

Guilty of Homosexuality (1952)

  • The Miami Times publishes a list of criminal charges pressed in court. Nora Jackson was sentenced to 40 days in jail for disorderly conduct and being "guilty of homosexuality" (July 19, 1952).

10,000 "Fairies" Have Invaded New York's Harlem (1955)

  • An article in the Minneapolis Spokesman describes gay communities "moved in TEN THOUSAND STRONG" to Harlem (February 18, 1955).

American Law Institute Recommends Sex Law Reforms (1955)

  • The Evening Star reports that American Law Institute recommends changes to sex laws which would "exclude adultery, fornication, and sodomy-- all of which are currently punishable crimes in nearly all states and the District of Columbia." (June 12, 1955).

Police Screen for Liquor Licenses (1957)

  • The Evening Star publishes an article that mentions a police screening for liquor licenses in order to "prevent prostitutes and homosexuals from soliciting in bars and taverns" (May 19, 1957).