15 June

'Mr Chairman, I realise that I am discussing a very delicate subject. I cannot lay the bones bare like I could before medical colleagues. I would like to strip the fetid, stinking flesh off of this skeleton of homosexuality and tell my colleagues of the House some of the facts of nature.' _ Congressman Miller of Nebraska, on the floor of the House of Representatives, speaking on homosexuals in government, 1950

June 15, 2009 · 1 min read

Today in 1950, the US Senate authorised an investigation of homosexuals ‘and other moral perverts’ working in national government. Republican senators Kenneth Wherry and Lister Hill formed a subcommittee to look into employment policy concerning homosexuals.

Their report concluded that ‘moral perverts [were] bad national security risks because of their susceptibility to blackmail and threat of exposure’. This eventually led in 1953 to Dwight Eisenhower’s executive order prohibiting the employment of gays and lesbians in federal government.


Morality tales

From cowardly men to wayward wives, pre-modern superstitions transmitted social norms as well as scares, writes Eleanor Janega

Playing on the dark side: An interview with Dawn Ray’d

Gerry Hart speaks to Simon Barr of Dawn Ray'd about black metal, its relationship with the far right and its radical potential

The global spectres of ‘Asian horror’

Bliss Cua Lim looks at how the female ghost subgenre illuminates efforts to globalise ‘Asian horror’


Rudolf Rocker: an anarchist ‘rabbi’ in London

David J. Lobina rediscovers a forgotten but fascinating figure in London’s radical and Jewish history

Review – Falling Down: The Conservative Party and the Decline of Tory Britain by Phil Burton-Cartledge

Sabrina Huck argues that a generational shift away from the Conservative Party can’t be taken for granted

The driver of dispossession

Tina Ngata explains the social and legal legacies of a 15th-century Christian principle that paved the way for imperial violence in, and far beyond, New Zealand

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