1969: Society for Individual Rights president Leo Laurence and his lover are featured in a photo-illustrated article in the Berkeley Barb. Calling for “the Homosexual Revolution of 1969,” Laurence exhorts gay men and lesbians to Join the Black Panthers and other left-wing groups and to “come out” en masse.
1990: With the opening of the Robert IVlapplethorpe exhibit less than two weeks away, law enforcement officials in Cincinnati, Ohio, warn the local Contemporary Arts Center to cancel the exhibit or risk prosecution under the city’s stringent antiobscenity laws. “These photographs are just not welcome in this community,” says the local chief of police. “The people of this community do not cater to what others depict as art.” After the exhibit finally opens, a Cincinnati grand jury indicts the center’s director, Dennis Barrie, on charges of obscenity and pandering.
2002: In Mississippi, the “George County Times” published a letter from George County Justice Court Judge Connie Wilkerson which read, in part, “In my opinion, gays and lesbians should be put in some type of mental institution.” Because of the bias expressed in such a statement, an ethics violation complaint was filed against Wilkerson.