Historical records of J. Edgar Hoover’s “purge” of gay and lesbian federal employees by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) must be located and released, according to a ruling issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last week.
These historic documents pertain to then-President Dwight Eisenhower’s Executive Order 10450 in 1953, which allowed the heads of federal agencies the right to investigate and dismiss government workers if they posed a national security risk.
It’s long been thought that the real purpose of the program was to grant legal authority to the FBI led by Hoover, himself long rumored to be a repressed homosexual and crossdresser, to fire thousands of gay and lesbian government employees.
“This executive order in 1953 kicked off six decades of devastating discrimination against LGBT Americans, and these documents will reveal how that order was implemented and enforced,” Charles Francis, Mattachine Society of Washington D.C.’s president and the plaintiff of the lawsuit, said in an interview with NBC News.
“We’re talking about tens of thousands of people over the years investigated and ruined by this executive order; lives were shattered,” Francis continued. “You were branded ‘immoral’ and ruined if you were labeled a homosexual in the 1950s … and these papers remain locked away in federal vaults, and it’s time now for the Department of Justice and the FBI to work with us and release all of it.”
H/t: NBC News