This page was created to supplement a presentation given at the 2016 Federal Depository Library Conference by Jesse Silva and Kelly L. Smoth. The presentation, "We’re Here, We’re Queer, and We’re in the Public Record: Federal Government Documents on the LGBT Movement," highlighted a number of primary sources documenting the U.S. federal government's stance on issues related to the LGBT movement from the 1800s to the present day. These documents illustrate that, while our society may not be fully inclusive of LGBT people, our government is much more open than it was in the past.
This page lists documents that were discussed in the presentation, including links to those that are freely available online.
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Springate, Megan E. (Ed.). LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History. Washington, D.C.: National Park Foundation, 2016.
2016 Presidential Proclamation -- Establishment of the Stonewall National Monument. (2016, June 24).
2016 Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students. (2016, May 13).
2015 Legislative Responses to Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage Address Potential Religious Implications, CRS Legal Sidebar
Congressional Research Service. CRS-2015-AML-0417, October 29, 2015.
Summarizes The First Amendment Defense Act ("to prohibit the Federal Government from taking any discriminatory action against individuals or entities based on their religious or moral objection to same-sex marriage or extramarital sexual relationships") and the Equality Act ("to amend Federal civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation")
2015 Obergefell Et Al. v. Hodges, Director, Ohio Department of Health, Et Al., 576 U. S. 2 ___ (2015)
Fundamental right to marriage for same-sex couples
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Fact Sheet: Recent EEOC Litigation Regarding Title VII & LGBT-Related Discrimination (2016, July 8)
2013 United States v. Windsor, 570 U. S. 2 ___ (2013)
Struck down Defense of Marriage Act
Memorandum on International Initiatives To Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons. (December 6, 2011.). Public Papers of the Presidents: Barack Obama (Book 2 ), p. 1524.
U.S. Senate. Committee on Armed Services.The Report of the Department of Defense Working Group That Conducted a Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of Section 654 of Title 10, U.S.C., "Policy Concerning Homosexuality in the Armed Forces". S. Hrg. 111-899. 111th Congress, 2nd Session.
Proclamation 8387 - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, 2009. (June 1, 2009.) Public Papers of the Presidents: Barack Obama.
Public Law 111-84 [H.R. 2647], October 28, 2009
Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act attached
U.S. Senate. Select Committee on Ethics. Public Letter of Admonition. (February 13, 2008).
2003 Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U. S. 558 (2003)
Struck down sodomy laws
2000 Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, 530 U. S. 640 (2000)
Held that right to free association allows organization to exclude LGBT
Proclamation 7203 – Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, 1999. (June 11, 1999). Public Papers of the Presidents: William J. Clinton, p. 1089.
1996 Romer v. Evans, 517 U. S. 620 (1996)
Struck down Colorado Amendment 2 and set the stage for Lawrence v. Texas and later cases
Public Law 104-199 [H.R. 3396], September 21, 1996
Defined marriage as between one woman/one man and allowed states to not recognize same-sex marriages from other states
Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the 103rd Congress, Second Session. Vol. 140 pt. 12. July 25, 1994, p. 17792.
1994 Sexual Orientation Discrimination in Employment: Legislation and Issues in the 103rd Congress
First of a series of CRS reports discussing the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)
U. S. Department of Defense. (1993, December 21). Department of Defense Directive 1304.26.
Implements Don't Ask, Don't Tell via Section E1.2.8 - Provisions Related to Homosexual Conduct
Exchange with Reporters Aboard Air Force One. (June 6, 1991). Public Papers of the Presidents: George H.W. Bush (Book 1), p. 618.
101 P.L. 649; 104 Stat. 4978; 1990 Enacted S. 358; 101 Enacted S. 358, November 29, 1990
Removed homosexuality as grounds for exclusion from immigration to the U.S.
U. S. Census Bureau. (2013, August). Frequently Asked Questions About Same -Sex Couple Households.
101 P.L. 336; 104 Stat. 327; 1990 Enacted S. 933; 101 Enacted S. 933, July 26, 1990
Specified that the term "disabled" or "disability" shall not apply to transvestites.
U.S. House. Committee on Standards of Conduct. In the Matter of Representative Barney Frank. H. rpt. 101-610. 101st Congress, Second Session.
Frank was outed during investigation into affair with a male prostitute
1989 Rep. William Dannemeyer publishes anti-gay book, Shadow in the Land: Homosexuality in America, followed by a Congressional speech on sodomy in 1990
Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the 101st Congress, Second Session. Extension of Remarks. March 1, 1990, p.E482.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control. Understanding AIDS: A Message from the Surgeon General.
Bauerlein, M. and Granthan, E. (Eds.). National Endowment for the Arts: A History, 1965-2008. Washington, D.C.: National Endowment for the Arts, 2009.
Remarks at the American Foundation for AIDS Research Awards Dinner, May 31, 1987. Public Papers of the Presidents: Ronald Reagan (1987, Book 1).
1986 Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U. S. 186 (1986)
Upheld constitutionality of sodomy laws
U.S. House. Committee on Standards of Conduct. In the Matter of Representative Gerry E. Studds. H. rpt. 98-295. 98th Congress, First Session.
Studds was outed during investigation into the Congressional page scandal
U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2016). A Timeline of HIV/AIDS.
Equal Rights Amendment Remarks at a White House Briefing, May 15, 1980. Public Papers of the Presidents: Jimmy Carter (1980, Book 1), p. 921.
Sacramento, CA - Remarks at a “Get Out the Vote” Rally, Nov. 3, 1978. Public Papers of the Presidents: Jimmy Carter (1978, Book 2), p. 1949.
The failed Proposition 6 would have banned gays and lesbians from working in California's public schools.
Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session at a Republican Party Reception in San Antonio, April 9, 1976. Public Papers of the Presidents: Gerald R. Ford (1976, Book 2), p. 1031.
1975 "Civil Rights Amendments of 1975" introduced by Rep. Bella Abzug
1975 H.R. 166; 94 H.R. 166, introduced January 14, 1975
To prohibit discrimination on the basis of affectional or sexual preference, and for other purposes
Special Message to the Congress on Crime, June 19, 1975. Public Papers of the Presidents: Gerald R. Ford (1975, Book 1).
1975 Pros and Cons of Legalizing Victimless Crimes
Congressional Research Service. CRS-1975-EPW-0055, June 10,1975.
Presents pro and con arguments for legalizing or decriminalizing certain victimless crimes, including consensual adult homosexuality
1974 Equality Act of 1974
U.S. House. H.R. 14752. 93rd Congress, Second Session. Introduced May 14, 1974.
To prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, marital status, and sexual orientation, and for other purposes
1969 Norton v. Macy, 417 F.2d 1161 (D.C. Cir. 1969)
Held that civil servant can not be fired solely on basis of homosexuality
1967 Loving v. Virginia, 388 U. S. 1 (1967)
Invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage
Boutilier v. INS, 387 U.S. 118 (1967)
A Quantity of Copies of Books v. Kansas, 388 U.S. 452 (1967) (per curiam)
Petition for Writ of Certiorari - Number 676 - Kameny v. Brucker. In Records of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1772-2007.
1958 One, Incorporated v. Olesen, 355 U. S. 371 (1958) (per curiam)
First SCOTUS case dealing with homosexuality; held for right to free speech
1954 Investigation of Communist Activities in the State of California (part 6 not available)
U.S. House. Investigation of Communist Activities in the State of California. Part 6: Hearing Before the Committee on Un-American Activities. 83rd Congress, Second Session, April 20, 1954.
18 FR 2489, 3 CFR, 1949-1953 Comp., p. 936
First inclusion of “sexual perversion” as basis for removal from federal employment
Sweeney v. Woodall, 344 U. S. 86 (1952)
1951 Rosenberg Espionage Case Prosecution, and Sundry Atomic Energy Matters
U.S. Congress. Joint Committee on Atomic Energy. Executive Session. Secret. JCAE document number CCLXXXVIII (Unpublished hearing), February 8, 1951.
Employment termination of Oak Ridge National Laboratory personnel director due to homosexual conduct
U.S. Senate. S.Doc. 241. 81st Congress, 2nd Session, 1950.
1950 Employment of Moral Perverts by Government Agencies (McClellan Report)
U.S. Senate. Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments. S. rpt. 1746. 81st Congress, Second Session, 1950.
1950 Report of the Investigations of the Junior Senator of Nebraska on the Infiltration of Subversives and Moral Perverts into the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government.
U.S. Senate. Committee on Appropriations for the District of Columbia. S. print 4179. 81st Congress, Second Session, 1950.
Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the 79th Congress, First Session. Vol. 91 pt. 10. February 20, 1945, p. A741.
Cain v. Universal Pictures Co., Inc., 47 F. Supp. 1013 (S.D. Cal. 1942)
Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the 69th Congress, Second Session. Vol. 68 pt. 3. February 8, 1927, p. 3267.
Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the 69th Congress, Second Session. Vol. 68 pt. 2. January 19, 1927, p. 1943.
U.S. Department of Labor. Bureau of Immigration. Immigration Laws (Act of February 5, 1917): Rules of May 1, 1917. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1917.
Used to exclude homosexuals from immigration to U.S. based on their status as “persons of constitutional psychopathic inferiority”
Discussion of We'Wha, a Zuni man who dressed and lived as a woman in her tribe.
U.S. Department of State. Pan-American Medical Congress. Transactions of the first Pan-American Medical Congress, held in the City of Washington, D. C., U. S. A., September 5, 6, 7, and 8, A. D. 1893. Serial Set 3162-2 S.exdoc.36. 53rd Congress, 2nd Session.
Native American words for "sodomy"
U.S. Department of the Interior. Census Office. [Census Reports] Tenth Census, v. 21 (June 1, 1880). 1988.
Prisoners for buggery, sodomy, etc by state
Committee to Investigate Chinese Immigration, Special. Joint. Report of the Joint Special Committee to Investigate Chinese Immigration. Serial Set 1734 S.rp.689. 44th Congress, 2nd session.
Racism and sodomy
1873 Comstock Law
17 Stat. 598
Suppression of trade in and circulation of obscene material
1848 Report of the Secretary of the Navy, communicating copies of returns of punishments in the Navy, in compliance with a resolution of the Senate. Serial Set 510
S.exdoc.69. 30th Congress, first session
Sodomy conviction and punishment in the Navy
U.S. House of Representatives. Serial Set 420, Session 3, H.Doc. 72. 27th Congress, Third Session. January 19, 1843.
Sodomy and buggery laws
U.S. House. Committee on the District of Columbia. Laws for the District of Columbia. Serial Set 200, H.rpt.269. 21st Congress, 1st session.
Sodomy and buggery laws