ONE: The Homosexual Viewpoint
June 1965 (the Tangent Group version)
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Reporting on the annual Academy of Religion and Mental Health, Stanley J. Rowland, Jr., in The Christian Century magazine writes:
In discussions of the place of sexuality in the total scheme of life, the major contribution was made by Klaus Thomas, German theologian and psychiatrist who directed the Berlin Suicide Clinic … Dr. Thomas is carrying around the manuscript of a real bomb of a book dealing with findings and experiences at the clinic.
A major finding, documented from thousands of cases, is that a considerable percentage of potential suicides suffer from an ecclesiogenic neurosis characterized by legalistic moralistic repressions of sex.” Some of the data, particularly those on sexual neurosis and perversion among clergymen, could appear spectacular if taken out of context… The context [is] roughly as follows:
1. Christianity is infected by overt or covert attitudes that stress the virtue of the “spiritual life” and relegate the sexual dimension to the “low”; or “depraved…” The clergy and religious periodicals generally shy from a frank discussion of sex and thus tend to perpetuate the dualism…
2. On the other hand, a “libertine sexuality” is no answer; it makes a person superficial, incapable of forming deep relationships, is a denial of man’s spiritual depth…
3. The answer…lies in a return to the Old Testament heritage of mind-body unity, in recovery of an Old Testament frankness about sex, in development of a profound “theology of eroticism” wherein sexuality would take its place as “a good and joyful gift of God…sexuality experienced with the frank joyfulness of the Song of Songs.”
NEW YORK—The New Yorker magazine quotes the following paragraph from the New York Times:
The Odd Couple has it made. Women are bound to adore the sight of a man carrying on like a little homemaker. Men are sure to snicker at a male in domestic bondage to a man. Kids will love it because it’s funny. Homosexuals will enjoy it for obvious reasons. Doesn’t that take care of everyone?”
Answers The New Yorker, “No. What about the boot-fetish crowd??”
TORONTO—Joe Tensee, columnist in a sensation sheet called Tab, writes:
Toronto’s sobriquet as “The Queen City” is no misnomer. It is a picturesque designation for what this once-Puritan town, this City of Churches, this “Toronto the Good” has become—a city of “Queens,” the homosexual capital of Canada!
Believe it or not, but the best estimates—provided by the limp-wrist colony itself—have it that there are upwards of 75,000 homosexuals in Toronto today! …
Are the homos out to “capture” this town, push their own peculiar “civil rights movement” to the point where they will be granted full and unqualified “equality,” “freedom,” etc.?…
Responsible persons are concerned with the inherent danger of having homosexuality regarded as something normal…something to be accepted in the way different religions are accepted…
Our sex practices must be preserved. If we decided to change our ultimate goal from procreation to simple pleasure…our whole concept of the family…could be ruined forever…
Secret societies are wooing politicians and certain people with big money, seeking to bring about radical changes in our lives insofar as the laws affect homosexuals. These societies are a greater menace to us than the deranged homosexual who preys on youngsters, teaching them habits that may ruin their whole future.
There’s no reason to allow homosexuals complete integration or freedom of choice. They are stunted emotionally and not fully matured…Many homos resist any attempts to change them; in fact…many are proud of what they are and look down upon straight or normal people. In this group of proud homos can be found prominent artists, actors, businessmen and others from the diverse professions…
It is necessary that murderers be punished. If they were not, nobody would be safe. Anybody who had murder in his heart could commit the act and get away with it. Ultimately such a practise [sic] would reduce us once more to the Stone Age. Our sex practices too must be preserved.
WASHINGTON—The confusion of values between the crime of murder and the choice of sex partners among those of one’s own sex is not confined to the limited mind of columnist Tensee. Circuit Court Judge Ernest A. Loveless, Jr., in sentencing to 10 years in prison a man convicted of “engaging in perversions with teenage boys” commented, “I have seen a lot of sordid cases, but this is the worst I have ever seen.”
The ineptness of such a remark is underlined by the fact that other action by the court reported for that day included: a five year sentence to the House of Correction for a man who pled guilty to manslaughter in a fatal shooting; a three year suspended sentence on an assault charge against a man who beat his wife to death; a one year sentence for manslaughter for a man convicted of driving into a school bus, killing one child and injuring nine. In a long and interesting letter to the Washington Post, F. T. Evans, M.D., of Annapolis, comments:
Judge Loveless invokes the maximum sentence to prevent the defendent [sic] “from harming these boys.” Except in cases involving violence or venereal disease (neither of which is mentioned in your article) there is little evidence to support the idea that teen-age homosexual activity is harmful. It may be objectionable on aesthetic, moral or legal grounds, but the idea that it is harmful either physically or emotionally is speculative at best. In fact there is some reason to believe that the taboo against such activity may be at least as harmful as the activity itself.
Even if one grants some…harmfulness to teen-age homosexual seduction, it still would appear less harmful than shooting a man to death, beating a woman to death, or running into a school bus, killing one child and injuring nine. Yet these crimes drew sentences totaling nine years, three of them suspended, while “engaging in perversions with teenage boys” drew a 10-year sentence.
These considerations suggest that the real purpose of the maximum sentence was not so much to “prevent harm” as to punish a particularly objectionable crime that was presumably apt to be repeated. But what of a code that sees teen-age homosexual seduction as worse than killing someone? Is life that cheap?
BERKELEY, CALIF.—Dr. Robert J. Stoller of U.C.L.A. Medical School is a psychoanalyst interested in the underlying biology of sexual behavior. In a recent three day course for physicians to describe the problems of sex disorders in clinical practice he stated, “A new explosion of exciting, valuable and very scientific data is emerging from recent experiments to explain the biological basis of human sexual behavior.”
David Perlman, science correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle reports,
And in a society where the tensions and taboos of sex erupt everywhere—from homosexuality in the Tenderloin to dirty words on the campus—the basic scientific knowledge should be invaluable for doctors treating patients, or for social scientists examining cultures.
Observations all along the evolutionary scale from lower animals to man, Dr. Stoller said… have shown that biological sex in primitive animals is much more flexible than it is in higher organisms. In amphibians and lizards…embryos developing genetically as females can actually be transformed into males by chemicals, or even by changes in temperature.
While such physical transformations are not possible in the higher animals, sexual behavior…becomes more flexible; they can choose their own patterns of sexual response…Yet even libido—the desire for sexual satisfaction—is largely biological…and the essential factor…seems to be the male hormones known as androgens…
Sexual function also has its basis in the electrical activities of the brain. In recent experiments…electrodes have been implanted through the skull and delicately placed within certain closely defined centers of the brain… In human male volunteers the current…induced physical sex responses, and the volunteers reported a surge of sexual desire that ended as soon as the current was turned off…. Electrical research has [also] recently shown that the same small areas of the brain seem to be involved both in dreaming and sexual stimulation…
Dr. Stoller believes this is experimental confirmation of the insight of Sigmund Freud who sixty years ago declared that sexual behavior had its roots deep in the physical structure of the brain. “Our laboratory sciences are at last beginning to catch up with Freud’s conviction.”
SANTA BARBARA—The bluenoses are busy as ever. The Mayor of Santa Barbara has a committee on decency standards, and its chairman, Mrs. Paul Ashton, is busy getting endorsements on a new bill proposed for the California law books that would re-define obscenity.
…In Ventura County, Calif., the Board of Supervisors is supporting the same legislation, sure that “there is too much trash around for youngsters to peek ” and that the police ought to be empowered to decide what the public may or may not read. Ho hum!
… The Toilet, Le Roi Jones’ short play that was tossed out by the owner of one Los Angeles theatre who said he’d rather lose his license than allow it on his stage, has been receiving a lot of free publicity in the letters columns of the staid Los Angeles Times, which refused to carry paid advertising for it. Amusingly enough, nobody mentions the fact that the play concerns love between a white boy and a Negro boy, but only that it contains four letter words.
…The Arizona State Supreme Court reversed a ruling by a lower court in a case involving a man who had sexual relations with his 12 year old stepdaughter. She knew what she was doing, said the justices, and was an accomplice, not a victim. Anyway, they added, her testimony was not enough to convict the man. Arizona had passed legislation making sex offenses against children punishable by life imprisonment only a short while before. This decision pretty well invalidates the new law.
…New York Yankee third baseman Clete Boyer took a punch at a male model in a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., bar room—or so the male model says—and homerun king Roger Maris got in a few punches too. What in the world can have started all that?
…The vice squad in Scottsdale, Ariz., evidently believes teachers are easy marks, and they nailed—by entrapment, of course—a 37-year old Kingman educator at a recent convention of the Arizona Educational Association. Weren’t the old-fashioned wild West lawmen a little more decent? If they didn’t like you, they shot you down.
…And speaking of vice squads (whose members recently, from Florida to Los Angeles have, themselves, been arrested for one or another kind of corruption and betrayal of public trust, from dope taking to gambling and graft), the Los Angeles undercover boys netted quite a haul of callgirls recently through the simple technique of pretending to solicit the girls’ services, then clapping the bracelets on them. A letter writer in the Times “would prefer to have the police concentrate upon saving the lives of citizens by preventing murders, robberies, burglaries and traffic accidents.” Wouldn’t we all?
…A woman who had married a homosexual 20 years ago and then separated from him now finds her daughter about to marry a boy who has told her he is gay. What does Ann Landers advise? Sit down with the girl and a physician and talk it out. But, warns Ann, the girl will probably marry the handsome and charming boy anyway.
MORGANTOWN, N.C.—The Ku Klux Klan, evidently not satisfied with its old program of attacking Negroes, Jews and Catholics, has found a new target, homosexuals. Reports the U.P.I., “Imperial Wizard Robert Shelton…told the Second Klan rally on Sunday, April 3, obscene jokes about former Presidential aide Walter Jenkins, arrested last year on a morals charge.”
SAN FRANCISCO—A Boyish Little Boast is the headline appearing on a boxed feature story in the Chronicle, under a double column photograph. The story:
Of all this city’s distinctions, the one it is perhaps most modest about is its sizable population of those who, shall we say, take a rather one-sided view of sex.
The Chamber of Commerce is not given to crowing about the opportunities here for young men to meet other congenial young men—and, of course, the other way around.
And other booster groups, if pressed, would be more inclined to extoll [sic] the glories of the Embarcadero Freeway, Market street and the 49ers rather than call attention to the proliferation of bachelor’s apartments.
In the past, for that matter, the members of this singular minority group have been discreetly closemouthed when it comes to singing their own praises.
There was however, a breakthrough of sorts yesterday. Someone, compelled apparently by a craving for public recognition, painted in bold colors this advertisement on the 5th street face of the Old Mint:
“100,000 Gay in S.F. Watch us Grow!”
The mind reels.
HOLLYWOOD—Hedda Hopper, who just lost an expensive legal battle with Michael Wilding after implying in her book The Whole Truth and Nothing But that he was more than ordinarily friendly with Stewart Granger, hasn’t lost interest in that certain subject. In a recent column she reports, “Sinatra will co-star with Jack Lemmon in the screen version of Odd Couple, the Broadway hit about two fellows who get divorced and set up housekeeping together.”