United States of America 1960s

From LGBTQIA+ Archives

Right to Distribute and Read Magazines

Early LGBTQIA+ communities had to fight for the right to have their materials distributed by the United States Postal Service (USPS), even topics centered on "homosexuality" could be described as obscene and banned by the post office. Communities also had to fight obscenity laws to distribute pornographic and other materials considered illicit which centered on queer sexualities.


USPS Can Ban Obscene Materials "Designed to Appeal to Homosexuals" (1960)

  • The Evening Star covers a ruling by District Court Judge George L. Hart Jr. which continues a United States Post Office ban on magazines "designed to appeal to homosexuals and other perverts... He rejected arguments that homosexuals have the right to read such magazines. (August 16, 1960).


Appeals Court Upholds Post Office Ban (1961)

  • The Evening Star reports the United States Court of Appeals upheld the ban on 3 magazines "displaying partly nude males" from the United States Post Office (March 24, 1961).

Police Raids

Common throughout the 60s, and decades prior, was the practice of police raiding bars and other gay establishments to charge and convict individuals on obscenity or moral charges, sometimes just called "homosexual charges"

Tampa Seizes 30 In Vice Raids (1961)

  • The Evening Star, a newspaper in Washington D.C., reports on Tampa police arresting "30 persons today on homosexual charges." Sheriff Ed Blackburn comments "there will probably be more than 100 arrests as the result of an investigation" (June 4, 1961).

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