May 11 in LGBTQ History

1982: Voters in Lincoln, Nebraska, go to the polls to decide whether or not to accept a proposed gay rights ordinance for the city. Leading the fight against the initiative is local psychologist Paul Cameron who has asserted, among other things, that gay and lesbian teachers are forty-three times more likely to molest a child than are heterosexuals. Among his other statements:

  • “Most murderers commit a crime and are punished, but gays are promiscuous and do bad deeds constantly, and as such, are worse than murderers.”
  • “We practice the Christian faith in our family and if my son was gay, it would be one fore most horrible rings that could happen. If it had happened, my son would be disowned.”

The ordinance goes down in defeat, 78 percent to 22 percent, and Cameron — soon to be disbarred for unethical conduct from the American Psychological Association and placed under investigation by the American Sociological Association for “falsifying and distorting” scientific studies on homosexuality — launches a new career for himself as an expert witness as head of the antigay Family Research Institute (which has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

1984: The United Methodist Church votes to ban the ordination and appointment of avowed homosexuals as ministers.

1990: After several months on the festival circuit, the film “Longtime Companion” opens to the public in New York City and is the first major studio release about AIDS. Bruce Davison receives a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his work in the film.

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