May 23 in LGBTQ History

1920: Harvard University establishes an ad hoc committee to investigate homosexual activity at the school. Following two weeks of inquiries, Harvard expels several students. The tribunal becomes known as the “Secret Court” after records filed under that name are discovered in 2002.

1975: “As you no doubt expected, I am declining your invitation to participate in the celebration of ‘GAY PRIDE WEEK.’ While I support your organization’s constitutional right to express your feelings on the subject of homosexuality, I am obviously not in sympathy with your views on the subject. I would much rather celebrate ‘GAY CONVERSION WEEK,’ which I will gladly sponsor when the medical practitioners in this country find a way to convert gays to heterosexuals. Very truly yours . . . “
Letter from L.A.’s notoriously homophobic police chief, Ed Davis, to Sharon D. Cornelison, President of Christopher Street West Association, the organizers of Los Angeles’ Gay Pride Week

The actual letter from Police Chief Davis, courtesy of LA Weekly.

1978: Voters in the U.S. city of Eugene, Oregon, repeal an ordinance banning discrimination against gays and lesbians by a 2-to-1 margin.

1985: The Massachusetts House of Representatives votes overwhelmingly to prohibit gay people from becoming foster parents.

2005: The American Psychiatric Association votes at its annual convention to support government-recognized marriages between same-sex partners.

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