The Ladder, June 1966, Vol. 10, No. 9

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Adults Only .50
June 1966

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Published monthly by the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., a non-profit corporation, 3470 Mission Street, San Francisco, California 94110.









EDITOR--Barbara Sittings




THE LADDER is regarded as a sounding board for various points of view on the homophile and related subjects and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the organization.


Interview with Ernestine 4
Entrapment Attacked 12
Action in the Courts 13
DOB National Convention 15
Lesbiana--Gene Damon 16
U. S. Government Hides Behind
Immoral Mores--Franklin E. Kameny
My Lover--or My Enemy?--Review by Leo Ebreo
of TRAP FOR CINDERELLA by Sebastien Japrisot
A PATRIOT FOR ME--by John Osborne
Play Review by Leslie Smith
Readers Respond 26

Cover photos of Ernestine Eckstein by Kay Tobin. (See p. 4)

Copyright 1966 by Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., San Francisco, California.

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(This interview with Ernestine Eckstein--our cover subject this month--was conducted by Kay Tobin and Barbara Gittings in January 1966. Miss Eckstein was at the time vice-president of the New York Chapter of Daughters of Bilitis. The opinions she expressed were her own and not necessarily those of DOB.)

Q. To start with a stock question, how did you hear of DOB?

A. Through the public lectures sponsored by Mattachine Society of New York--which I also belong to now. They were advertised in the Village Voice, and I have this thing about going to lectures anyway. So I'd go, and pick up Mattachine literature from the literature table, and their magazine mentioned DOB's name and address. I can't strongly enough recommend homophile magazines' plugging other homophile groups'. I don't know how I'd lived in such a vacuum but I'd simply never heard about DOB before, or for that matter about Mattachine.

Q. Where were you living before you came to New York?

A. I was at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where I was majoring in magazine journalism, with minors in government and in Russian. However, I had a lot of faith in New York. That's why I came here after graduation three years ago. It seemed to me, for a lot of reasons, that New York was the place to live. I consider it very stimulating. It was the only place to live so far as I was concerned.

Q. Did you know when you came here that you were a lesbian?

A. No, I didn't. I had been attracted to various teachers and girlfriends, but nothing ever came of it.

Q. Did you know there were homosexuals in college?

A. It's very hard to explain this, but I had never known about homosexuality, I'd never thought about it, it's funny, because I'd always had a very strong attraction to women. But I'd never known anyone who was homosexual, not in grade school or high school or in college. Never heard the word mentioned. And I wasn't a dumb kid, you know, but this was a kind of blank that had never been filled in by anything--reading, experience, anything--until after I came to New York when I was twenty-two. I look back and I wonder'. I didn't know there were other people who felt the same way I did.

Q. What did you used to think about your uniqueness, how did it affect you?

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A. I used to think, "Well, now, what's wrong with me?" But at the same time I felt there was nothing unusual about people loving other people regardless of sex. I've always believed that love transcends any kind of label--black, white, woman, man. So I didn't think it was unnatural for me to have reactions to other women. Why not? However, I'd never thought about sexual activities between those of the same sex.

Q. What happened after you came to New York?

A. Well, as a matter of fact, I had a college friend who had come here earlier. He was my best friend in college. It wasn't a sexual relationship, never even a romantic one. Very platonic. And he was a homosexual, but I didn't know it then, he didn't tell me. Anyway, we had a very good relationship going in college. We could do everything together, really communicate. Just the best of friends. And I liked it that way and so did he. I never understood why--but I never questioned why either. So when I came to New York he was one of the first persons I looked up. And he said, "Ah...Ernestine, you know I'm gay?" And I thought: well, you're happy,so what? I didn't know the term gay. And he explained it to me.

Then all of a sudden things began to click. Because at that time I was sort of attracted to my roommate, and I thought: am I sexually as well as emotionally attracted to her? And it dawned on me that I was. And so my college friend sort of introduced me to the homosexual community he knew. Still, I went through the soul-searching bit for several months, trying to decide if I was homosexual, where I stood.

But then having once decided, the next thing on the agenda was to find a way of being in the homosexual movement--because I assumed there was such a movement, or should be. And at that time I saw the New York Mattachine ads in the Village Voice.

Q. Do you think that because you were accustomed to thinking of the Negro movement with its organizations, you automatically felt that homosexuals would have organizations?

A. Yes, that was a definite influence.

Q. There are some white people who have the impression that there is so much sexual freedom among Negroes that they naturally know all about homosexuality, that they try everything'. What do you say to this notion?

A. When people talk about sexual freedom among Negroes, I think what they may mean is that Negroes have less inhibition generally, also that they have fewer other outlets. But I don't agree that there are any sexual differences between Negroes and whites. There may be more freedom for Negroes to participate in sex--but not a variety of sex.

I think there is more freedom to try different things among whites than among Negroes. Negroes are not now at the stage where they can begin to explore. They' re still very caught up with other people's definitions of how to live. So they can't

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explore yet. Which is one of the reasons why I've never gone with a Negro girl. I prefer people who are free to try things and see how they work, people who can define their own values, And Negroes by and large don' t do this yet. There's a fear of not being accepted if they try anything new or different.

Q. Do you find that your closest friends are homosexual?

A. No, I don't. I wish it were true. I'm always reaching toward a complete communication with people, and I would like to be able to really communicate with a Negro lesbian. This would be a perfect situation so far as I' m concerned.

Q. If your closest friends are heterosexual, have you told them you' re a lesbian, and do you communicate well with them?

A. Most of my close friends know I'm a lesbian. I do find there's a sort of gap in communication that can only be overcome with a lot of effort. For instance, one of my colleagues at work who's a very close friend of mine has just gotten married. So she talks to me in terms of her being a wife having a husband. And I talk to her in terms of my being a lesbian, having a girlfriend. And we talk, but it's still very strange. Our problems are so different. So there is a gap. It can be overcome, but it takes effort.

Q. I have had heterosexual friends argue with me that heterosexual love Is by Its very nature more fulfilling than homosexual love. What would you say to this?

A. I can only speak from my own experience,and all I can say to that is that I've known heterosexual love, and comparing the two, I find homosexual love preferable. Speaking again personally, it is much more beneficial to me. I communicate much more easily, sexually and in every other way, with a woman. I can reach a much closer kind of unity with a woman than I ever could with a man. Because after all the whole object of love is to reach a kind of unified state. And homosexual love enables me to do this, in essence. But let every man speak for himself'.

Q. Have you found any discrimination against Negroes in the homophile movement?

A. No, I feel the homophile movement is more open to Negroes than, say, a lot of churches, for example. Unfortunately, I find that there are very few Negroes in the homophile movement. I keep looking for them, but they're not there. And I think there should be more, I really do.

Q. Have you been active in the Negro civil rights movement?

A. At Indiana University I was active in the NAACP chapter there, and I was an officer of the chapter in my senior year. At the time I was there, there was no other organization, no other choice. Then suddenly more progressive groups like CORE and SNCC came along, and I got out of NAACP and Joined CORE when I came to New York.

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Q. There's an article by William Worthy in TEE REALIST for September 1965 in which he claims that NAACP was "emasculated" by the white liberals in the organization. Worthy says that the white liberals' influence has had a "fatal, debilitating effect"--because they donate money and lend prestige and then expect that NAACP will go along with their ideas for slower progress, and will defer to their wishes. Do you agree here?

A. You have to remember that NAACP's whole policy was structured with the white liberals in mind. I think they have more influence than they should have, but I don't think they can be said to have "emasculated" NAACP. Without the financial support of the white liberals, the NAACP wouldn't have gone anywhere anyway, so I think it was a choice that had to be made.

Q. Does this choice then account for NAACP's conservatism?

A. I think it does, historically, yes. More so than any other single factor. But you also have to take into account the fact that the NAACP Is made up of middle-class Negroes who are every bit as conservative as white liberals. So there is this combination of forces in NAACP. The square Negroes are very conservative and very frightened. They've reached a certain level in society, and any kind of protest really seems a threat to them. Because if the whole mass of Negroes were raised up, then the position of these middle-class Negroes would not be singular, not be distinctive anymore, I don't say they deliberately try to hold the mass of Negroes down. But they just don't make any big effort to help.

Q. There are some people who feel that to demonstrate or make any kind of public protest is somehow not nice. Do you think this too is tied in with middle-class values?

A. Right. And most Negroes do have middle-class values, they really do. They absorb them.

Q. I brought up these points because there are parallels in the homophile movement. Some homosexuals prefer to work through influential heterosexuals and also to have them in our movement even to the extent of having them on the governing boards of our organizations, where they can wield a great deal of influence in determining the way things go. Other homosexuals feel we should work with the prominent heterosexuals who want to support our movement and that it's fine to get their help, but that we shouldn't let them control or determine the way things go, shouldn't allow them to take over to any degree or gain a superior influence. What do you think?

A. I think Negroes need white people, and I think homosexuals need heterosexuals. If you foster cooperation right from the start, then everyone is involved and It's not a movement over there.

Q. What If the "outsiders" get superior influence?

A. I think that's a chance we take. I would prefer cooperation, equality.

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Q. But the white liberal, for example, doesn't feel the same strong motivation to get things done that the Negro civil rights worker feels. And similarly in our cause, the heterosexual doesn't share the homosexual's strong motivation. And so there are those in the homophile movement who fear that influential heterosexuals in our movement might hold us back.

A. True. But that' s why I feel so strongly that an organization should be formulated with a definite aim in mind and then the membership should fall in line with this aim.

Q. But the outsiders can modify the tactics used and make them less dynamic, even if they don't modify the aims.

A. I think this is a justifiable fear, but I think it's a chance we must take. I would like to see in the homophile movement more people who can think. And I don't believe we ought to look at their titles or at their sexual orientation. Movements should be intended, I feel, to erase labels, whether "black" or "white" or "homosexual" or "heterosexual."

Q. Would you give us your opinion of picketing? Some people consider it radical, or untimely, or both,, What do you say?

A. Picketing I regard as almost a conservative activity now. The homosexual has to call attention to the fact that he's been unjustly acted upon. This is what the Negro did.

Q. Let me tie this in with what we discussed a moment ago. There are those in our movement who want prominent persons, especially from the psychology and therapy professions, on our governing boards and in our organizations--feeling that these persons will lend not only prestige but good judgment. Yet we find that, almost to a man, these psychology-oriented persons tell us, "Don't picket." They say we must first educate the public. Some homosexuals fault them for this and say, well, they're heterosexual and they're not suffering the way we are.

A. But I do regard picketing as a form of education'.

But one thing that disturbs me a lot is that there seems to be some sort of premium placed on psychologists and therapists by the homophile movement. I personally don't understand why that should be. So far as I'm concerned, homosexuality per se is nor a sickness. When our groups seek out the therapists and psychologists, to me this is admitting we are ill by the very nature of our preference. And this disturbs me very much.

Q. What do you think of as sickness?

A. To me, a sickness represents a maladjustment. That would include Negroes who can't adjust to being Negroes, and homosexuals who can't adjust to being homosexuals. Such people may fail to adapt or to function properly in a society.

Q. Surely though you must think that some degree of anxiety would be legitimate in a hostile society. That is, if you're a cat in a world of dogs...

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A. Yes, that's true. I think it takes a very strong, Independent-minded person to accept all the pressures and to function well in spite of them. I think some homosexuals do find it hard to overcome these pressures--not because they are homosexuals per se, but because of the pressures exerted by society and the prohibitions against homosexuality.

Q. Then do you think the homosexual's anxieties are helped best by a therapist or by his being with like-minded people?

A. I think the best therapy for a homosexual is reinforcement of his way of life, by associating with people who are like him. I think the whole anxiety business comes in when he is constantly pitted against a different way of life--you know, where he's the odd-ball. I believe homosexuals need this sort of reinforcement that comes from being with their own kind. And if they don't have it, then they have to be awfully strong to create their own image. Most people are not that strong.

Q. Would you say the burden of change is on society or on the homosexual, if his lot is to be Improved?

A. I think to a certain extent it's on both. The homosexual has to assert himself more, and society has to give more. Homosexuals are invisible, except for the stereotypes, and I feel homosexuals have to become visible and to assert themselves politically. Once homosexuals do this, society will start to give more and more.

Q. You think more homosexuals should declare themselves, and get in homophile picket lines and so forth?

A. Any movement needs a certain number of courageous people, there's no getting around it. They have to come out on behalf of the cause and accept whatever consequences come. Most lesbians that I know endorse homophile picketing, but will not picket themselves. I will get in a picket line, but in a different city. For example, I picketed at Independence Hall in Philadelphia on July Fourth last year, and at the White House in October, to protest discrimination against homosexuals.

Q. Were you concerned about being seen on television here, since CBS-TV and ABC-TV covered most of the demonstrations?

A. I'm not worried about that. I think eventually my philosophy will reach a point where I'll decide that it's my right to picket, whatever the cause, whatever the city and no matter what my job is. I don't quite have that much courage yet.

Q. Do you believe in any forms of civil disobedience for the homophile movement at this time?

A. I think our movement is not ready for any forms of civil disobedience. I think this would solidify resistance to our cause. This situation will change eventually. But not now.

Q. Are there any ways in which you feel our movement should emulate other movements more?

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A. I don't find in the homophile movement enough stress on courtroom action. I would like to see more test cases in courts, so that our grievances can be brought out into the open. That's one of the ways for a movement to gain exposure, a way that's completely acceptable to everybody.

Q. What ideas do you have for attracting more people into the homophile organizations?

A. Well, first of all, I think there should be officers who are not so prone to get involved in the personal problems of the members. This getting involved in individuals' problems is a factor that has held back some of the homophile groups quite a bit, I think. My feeling is that there are certain broad, general problems that we all have as homosexuals, across the board so to speak, and we should concentrate on those--the discrimination by the government in employment and military service, the laws used against homosexuals, the rejection by the churches. The kinds of things that touch us all, affect us all, or substantial segments of the homosexual population, rather than things that simply touch individuals.

Also, I think we ought to have for officers of our organizations people who are ordinary-looking men and women. I feel very strongly that a woman who's very masculine, or a man who's very effeminate, should not be an officer in the homophile movement. This is my personal opinion. Our officers shouldn't be the stereotypes, for God's sake! We're trying to counteract the notion that all homosexuals are like that.

Also, I think there should be more planned activities for everyone to participate in.

Q. Do you think that planned social-action activities, such as picketing, would attract more people who can think, as you put it earlier?

A. I think they would, yes. But planning social-action activities is too often put aside in order to concentrate on internal matters in an organization.

I do believe we need more quote, intellectual and more quote, professional-level people in the movement. Maybe they belong to other groups, maybe they're afraid to join us, maybe they feel they have too much to lose. But I think they are what we need more of. And I can't get over the feeling that these people have some need, too, to belong to our organizations. So far as I'm concerned, attracting these people is one of the main problems of the movement.

Beyond this group, however, I'd like to find a way of getting all classes of homosexuals involved together in the movement.

Q. Do you think that's possible?

A. I think that if we meet on the common ground of our unjust position in society, then we can all go from there. This is a new frame of reference, a new way of thinking almost, for some.

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Q. You said earlier that you feel the leaders in our groups should not get involved in the personal problems of individual members. What about the organization as such? Does NAACP, for example, attempt to help the individual Negro in any way, to give him discussion groups or social events or counseling?

A. No, it doesn't. NAACP's whole focus is on the courts, and on the mass of Negroes. It was formed for the purpose of eliminating all kinds of discrimination against Negroes as a group. NAACP doesn't care about that black man walking down the street. It cares about the Negro minority as a whole.

Q. Do you think there's much of a parallel between the homophile movement and the Negro movement in regard to variety of organizations and approaches?

A. There's only a very rough parallel. Generally, NAACP is the most conservative of all civil rights groups. And some homophile groups are the same, with the same sort of predisposition to take things easy, not to push too fast, not stick their necks out too far. For instance, demonstrations, as far as I'm concerned, are one of the very first steps toward changing society. The NAACP never reached this stage--or at least not until it was pushed into at least giving lip-service to demonstrations by other Negro organizations. And I think that in the homophile movement, some segments will have to be so vocal and so progressive, until they eventually push the ultra-conservative segments into a more progressive line of thinking and action.

Incidentally, I want to say that one thing that has held the Negro movement together so long has been its martyrs. Every time somebody gets killed, the organizations are willing to work together again, whatever their differences. If the Negro movement hadn't had martyrs, I doubt if it would be anywhere near where it is now. They needed those kids killed down in Mississippi.

Q. Do you think it will ever come to that in the homophile movement?

A. I think in a sense the homophile movement is more civilized, more genteel. So it won't require a murder, but it will require martyrs in other senses of the word. I personally feel that martyrdom ought to be used to its best advantage by a movement, it should be spotlighted as much as possible.

Q. What do you feel is the positive value of homosexuality?

A. I think homosexual relationships can be very creative. People who are freed from family responsibilities can begin to take more responsibility toward society. They can be more productive. They can feel more at liberty to give of themselves to the outside world. And also, you can explore yourself more--which I think is very important

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Homosexuals in New York City may no longer have to fear being entrapped by plainclothesmen, if the police department keeps "its recent promise to end the practice of entrapment.

Months ago, the Mew York Post ran a 5-part series of articles about the Vice Squad, highlighting the tactics police use to lure citizens into making illegal solicitations so that the officers can then arrest them to meet vice-squad quotas. The Post reporter had consulted the Mattachine Society of New York, the city's largest homophile organization, while preparing his articles. He followed up by asking the police for a statement on their entrapment policies. A high official said the police department "will not tolerate" use of entrapment tactics to boost the, number of arrests on morals charges. Still entrapment continued--and so did the disavowals by police officials.

It was early in February, for example, that First Deputy Commissioner John Walsh, speaking for then Commissioner Broderick, told the Post, "We do not approve of the police enticing someone to commit a crime." Yet later that same month, a man was arrested for inviting to his apartment for a drink a plain-clothesman who had unsuccessfully tried only four days before to entice the same man in the same restaurant.

Early in April, for another example, Chief Inspector Sanford Garelik, at a public meeting,, denounced entrapment and urged citizens to report cases of individuals being lured by police into a violation of law so an arrest could be made. Later the same night, two young men were entrapped by a pair of plain-clothesmen in a bar only a few blocks from the church where Inspector Garelik had made his statement. And a few days later in April, A Brooklyn tailor, married and the father of two children, was arrested in a Manhattan Turkish bath for allegedly "loitering" for the purpose of committing homosexual acts. The entrapping officer reportedly had drawn this victim's attention by standing in his underwear near-his locker, clutching his groin and moaning.

A New York Post columnist wrote that "there is something crawling and soiled" about such police activity, and suggested that "it would probably take a psychiatrist to examine the darker aspects of these capers: the ingenuity and patience the police work requires, the relish with which the detectives seem to go about their Jobs, the fact that a lot of the cops really believe they are decontaminating the society by ferreting out and arresting these people."

How many other entrapment incidents did not get publicized, no one knows. Confronted with such discrepancies between their stated policy and their activity, the police sometimes claim, as Inspector Garelik did in April, that "we don't encourage people to commit a crime that they weren't going to commit."

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This claim has been publicly challenged by psychotherapist Clarence A. Tripp, Ph.D. At a Mattachine-sponsored panel discussion in April (attended by a police official who came on invitation but refused to speak on the panel and said he would merely observe and take notes), Dr. Tripp said that solicitations are just not made out of the blue. They evolve from a lengthy exchange of small talk and conversational gambits in which both persons take a meaningful part. Psychologists call this "backing and filling operations." Dr. Tripp pointed out that an entrapping policeman has to knowingly participate in this exchange in order to elicit a proposition for which he can make an arrest.

Protests against the police activity--including letters to New York's new mayor, John V. Lindsay, as well as to police officials--were kept up especially by the New York Mattachine Society, the New York Post, the New York Civil Liberties Union, and several prominent psychotherapists.

On April 30, the Mayor held a closed-invitation meeting to air frictions between city agencies and groups of Village citizens including homosexuals and artists. He said he was disturbed by complaints about "excesses perpetuated by the city bureaucracy during the (spring) 'clean-up'." He agreed to a suggestion that attorneys for the city conduct seminars for top city officials on ways of safeguarding individual civil liberties.

Richard Leitsch, president of New York Mattachine, represented the homosexual community at this meeting and raised the issue of entrapment. Mayor Lindsay condemned the practice, and so did the New Police Commissioner, Howard Leary, who said he had already begun to issue orders to stop it.

The police department soon issued a directive ordering plain-clothesmen not to entice homosexuals into making illegal overtures. Police were reportedly also being discouraged by their superiors from making such arrests without a supporting complaint from a civilian witness. But it remains to be seen whether the New York police are only making public-relations noises for the moment and whether entrapment will be resumed.


(Editor's note: In her January interview (see pages 4--11 of this issue), Ernestine Eckstein suggested that the homophile movement put more emphasis on court action. Following are notes on three major cases now pending which may help to firmly establish rights for the homosexual in this country. These and other relevant legal actions will be reported on in THE LADDER from time to time.)

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FLORIDA: A homosexual is suing the city of Miami to remove a city ordinance that prohibits "homosexuals, lesbians and perverts" from assembling in, being served in, or being employed. in any place of business licensed to sell alcoholic beverages.

Richard A, Inman, president of Mattachine Society of Florida Inc. (P. O. Box 301, Miami, Florida 33101), charges that this (ordinance is unconstitutional and illegally discriminatory, and that-it arbitrarily denies certain citizens their rights to equal opportunities, among which is the homosexual's right to go into a bar with his homosexual friends and have a drink like any other citizen over 21. What makes the case unique is that Mr. Inman filed his suit as a homosexual. His challenge is supported by the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida.

CALIFORNIA: The Council on Religion and the Homosexual Inc., along with three lawyers and a housewife as individuals, filed suit late last year against the city and county of San Francisco and various members of the city's police department for a total of $1,050,000 in damages arising form police harassment of a private costume ball.

The ball, held on New Year's Day 1965, was sponsored by six homophile organizations in San Francisco (including Daughters of Bilitis) to raise funds for the work of the Council. Several Bay Area ministers and members of their congregations attended the ball, along with homosexuals and their friends.

The police broke faith with ministers from the Council who had gone to the police in advance to review plans for the benefit ball and to get assurances that there would be no undue police attention at the event. Several dozen policemen, including police photographers, dogged the orderly assembly throughout the evening, harassed and intimidated the 600 guests both in side and on the way into and out of the hall where the ball was being, held, and arrested three lawyers and a housewife who verbally challenged the police for invading the hall without a warrant.

In its suit, the Council on Religion and the Homosexual (330 Ellis St., San Francisco, California 94102) charges numerous specific violations of civil liberties, as well as discrimination against those holding or helping unpopular viewpoints. The suit also claims that the Improper police action has deprived the Council of cooperation from businesses and individuals who anticipate "trouble" with the police and adverse publicity if they deal with the Council, and that it has hampered the Council's efforts to win rapport with homosexuals who fear police persecution and discrimination if they openly identify themselves with the council. The $1,050,000 damages sought are for injury and loss suffered by the four persons arrested, and for exemplary damages to punish the defendants and deter them from continuing their unlawful and oppressive conduct.

NEW JERSEY: The owner of an Atlantic City gay bar which is known as a quiet, orderly place is fighting the state's move to suspend the bar's license solely on the grounds that homosexuals assembled in the bar.

A regulation of the state Alcoholic Beverage Commission says that bars may not be operated in such a way as to create a "nuisance." At one time a New Jersey Superior Court ruling defined the presence in a bar of homosexuals as a nuisance, and this ruling has been interpreted by the ABC to mean that any bar in which homosexuals gather, no matter how peaceably, can be termed a "nuisance" and closed

Unlike some cases of gay-bar closings, the case of Val's Bar reveals no evidence whatsoever that there was any improper conduct in the bar or any improper operation of the bar in the usual senses. It is therefore a clear, unencumbered test case for homosexuals' right of assembly and the right of a business to cater to a peaceable homosexual clientèle. A favorable decision is not expected from the ABC or on appeal in the state courts, so the case could possibly be taken all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where a favorable ruling would be binding throughout the country.

The bar owner is willing to fight the case as far as necessary to win it, but he cannot finance it alone. Several homophile organizations are helping to raise money for a defense fund for this significant case. Chief collectors of donations earmarked for the Val's Bar Fund are the Janus Society (34 South 17th St., Philadelphia, Penn. 19103) and Mattachine Society of New York (1133 Broadway, New York, New York 10010).

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DOB National Convention


is the theme of the Fourth National Convention of Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., to be held on August 20, 1966 at the Jack Tar Hotel in San Francisco, California.

The tentative program includes the following speakers:

The Rev. Lewis Durham of the Glide Foundation; Bernard Mays; head of San Francisco Suicide Prevention, Inc.; Dr. Joel Fort, director of the San Francisco Center for Special Problems; Robert Gonzales, President of the Mexican-American Political Association; A. Cecil Williams, chairman of Citizens Alert; a representative of The Council on Religion and the Homosexual.

The morning session will explain "The Homophile Community and Civic Organizations--How They Relate." The afternoon session will explore the topic, "The Homophile Community and Governmental Agencies--Can They Relate?" The afternoon session will end with a round-table discussion by all the speakers.

The Rt. Rev. Bishop James A. Pike of the Episcopal Diocese of California will be the luncheon speaker. The speaker for the banquet is still to be announced.

This convention is open to the public. Cost of the all-day meeting, including lunch and the banquet, is $15 per person. Reservations may be made for $5 down, with the balance payable in two installments of $5 each. For registration forms, a schedule of fees for portions of the program, and information on housing, contact Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., 3470 Mission Street, San Francisco, California 14110.

DOB is arranging a full schedule of social events for the week of August 20-28, in cooperation with other homophile groups in San Francisco. For details write to DOB as above.

Make your plans now to vacation in San Francisco on August 20!

Calling Los Angeles

Plans are being made to reactivate the Los Angeles Chapter of DOB. Women over 21 in the Los Angeles area who are interested in DOB activities are invited to write to the national office in San Francisco.

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by Gene Damon

337. THE MANDELBAUM GATE--by Muriel Spark. Knopf, 1965.

The old "spark" is definitely gone in this novel. Depending upon your previous reaction to this author, this is her worst or her best book. If you liked the earlier novels, you may not like this one, but if you found the others too satirical and downright nasty in spots, then this may be for you.

English school teacher Barbara Vaughan visits Israel, ostensibly to consider her possible marriage to archaeologist Harry Clegg. She unwisely crosses the border into Jordan where her part-Jewish ancestry is a virtual death sentence, and has many adventures before being safely delivered back to Israel, where she at last decides to marry Harry.

The headmistress of Barbara's school, Miss "Ricky" Rickward, has long been in love with Barbara and tries to prevent the marriage (in the end, ironically, she assists it). Ricky is presented sympathetically, and there is some doubt in the reader's mind that Barbara is suited for her marriage to Harry, despite Miss Spark's assuring us in an aside that they lived happily ever after.

338. GENTLY WITH THE LADIES--Alan Hunter. London, Cassell, 1965.

John Fazakerly's lesbian wife has been bludgeoned to death. Inspector Gently must tiptoe through the tulips as he wends a precarious way among the lesbian friends of the deceased only to find that copying the gospel according to Marcel Proust can be dangerous--you can even get caught dead!

339. RAGE--by Lorenza Mazzetti. London, The Bodley Head, 1965; New York, David McKay, 1965.

Teenage Penny and her younger sister are orphans in postwar Italy, their parents having been killed by the Nazis Adolescence typically can be a trying time, and for Penny, who is mentally and sexually precocious, it is doubly difficult In one incident during her coming of age, Penny dresses as a boy and visits a nightclub, where an elderly man makes a pass at her but recoils in disgust on discovering she is a girl. Toward the novel's end Penny falls in love with Milton,a young American only to find that he is a homosexual--one more "betrayal" from the world. Miss Mazzetti writes well and the book is worth reading despite the very pessimistic tone.

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U.S.Government Hides

Behind Immoral Mores

One of the most pernicious manifestations of anti-homosexual practice is the systematic exclusion from Federal employment of those engaging in private homosexual acts involving adults --not only because such exclusion is simply immoral in its own right and because homosexual citizens have the same right as other citizens to employment by a government that is supported by taxes paid by homosexuals no less than by heterosexuals, but also because government employment practices set the tone and example for private employment practices. Accordingly, one of the primary goals of the Mattachine Society of Washington since its founding has been change in the policies of the United States Civil Service Commission.

Peeling, correctly, that a democratic government has a moral obligation to give a hearing to those seeking redress for the grievances of a large group of the citizenry, the Society wrote on August 28, 1962, to the Honorable John W. Macy, Jr., chairman of the U. S. Civil Service Commission, asking for a meeting to discuss the Commission's policies on employment of homosexual citizens. Mr. Macy refused. He stated that it was the Commission's policy that homosexuals are not suitable for appointment to or retention in positions in the Federal civil service, and that the conference requested would serve no useful purpose.

Correspondence continued, fruitlessly, through 1963 and into 1964. It was resumed in April 1965. When it was again clear that the Commission would not respond favorably, the Civil Service Commission building in Washington, D, C, was picketed in June 1965 (after specific notice to Mr. Macy, sent well in advance) by homosexuals and supporters of their cause.

On August 28, 1965, in response to a follow-up letter after the picketing demonstration, the Society received a letter from the Commission agreeing to a meeting. The meeting was held on September 8, 1965,at the Commission's building in Washington. Five representatives (three men, two women) of the Mattachine Society of Washington were present, to confer with Mr. Lawrence V. Meloy, General Counsel (since retired) of the Commission, and Mr. Kimbell Johnson, Director of the Commission's Bureau of Personnel Investigations, both officially representing the Commissioners.

Near the end of the conference, the Society representatives were asked to present to the Commissioners a formal statement of their position, with any supplementary background material

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which was felt appropriate. Assurances were given that the Commissioners, personally, would read the material presented.

In December 1965, the Society presented to the Commission a 17-page mimeographed statement entitled "Federal Employment of Homosexual American Citizens" (available for 50 cents from the Mattachine Society of Washington, P. O. Box 1032, Washington 13, D. C). Four other documents supplementing the statement were handed in: (1) the National Capital Area Civil Liberties Union's policy statement opposing the Commission's policy on employment of homosexual citizens; (2) the 3-page leaflet "Why Are Homosexuals Picketing the U.S. Civil Service Commission?", which had been passed out at the demonstration; (3) the Society's Statement "Discrimination Against the Employment of Homosexuals", which had been presented to the U. S. Human Rights Commission in 1963; (4) "A Brief of Injustices" (with special passages marked), drawn up by the Council on Religion and the Homosexual Inc., San Francisco.

The Society's Statement first set out the Commission's formal position, and then the Society's, which in simplified form is that private, consensual, out-of-working hours homosexual acts on the part of adults are not the proper concern of an employer, public or private; that eligibility for employment should be a matter of relevant background, training, competence, and on-the-job conduct, and not of off-the-job private sexual acts; that matters of morality and immorality per se are not the proper concern of the government and are not relevant to employment.

A definition of homosexual was presented, along with an estimate of the number of homosexual American citizens and a detailed justification for considering them as a full-fledged sociological minority group.

Because the Commission views the employment of homosexuals as a moral issue (its position can be paraphrased as: homosexual acts are immoral; we don't want to hire immoral people), the Society also placed the matter upon a basis of morals and mores rather than upon law.

The Society felt that there is more to morality than the sexual; that denying citizens equality of opportunity, on grounds unrelated to job performance (and homosexuality is unrelated), is a far more important and fundamental immorality than any of the immoralities the Commission alleged. This approach was carefully and fully developed in the document presented to the Commission. The possibility of support from various segments of the larger heterosexual community was pointed out.

The document closed with a recommendation that the Commission's policy be changed--or short of that, that an active program of continuing, meaningful, constructive discussions be initiated between the Society and the Commission, in order to effect the desired change in policy.

On February 25, 1966, the Society received a four-page reply signed by Mr. Macy. In a masterful stroke of illogic, this

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reply first denies the existence of a homosexual, per se, and then re-invokes his existence by calling him a sexual deviate and then denies his existence again by claiming in effect that sexual tendencies do not exist, only acts.

Next, the Commission, in claiming that it does not ferret out homosexual conduct, invokes a most unorthodox definition of privacy. Apparently its criteria of a private act are not merely the usual ones involving the circumstances under which the act itself took place, but require that the act remain permanently unknown to anyone else at any later date. In true Victorian fashion, we must not even talk about sex'.

Finally, the Commission rests its case primarily on the obviously erroneous belief that as an arm of the government, it must uphold and concur with all existing mores. The weakness of its position is evident when one realizes that in this instance, "mores" is being used as a synonym to provide a cloak of respectable camouflage for "prejudice." It must be remembered that the government of the Union of South Africa, in instituting apartheid, the government of Nazi Germany, in sending Jews to ovens, and various governments in the American south, in reinforcing segregation, were all submitting to "mores." This makes their actions not one whit less odious.

The weakness and inconsistency of the Commission's position in this regard become fully evident when we examine three statements: (1) Veterans Administrator William J. Driver (1965): the Civil Service "has been discovered to be an instrument of social change...by which large and...recalcitrant social tasks can be accomplished"; (2) Civil Service Commission chairman John W. Macy, Jr. (1965): the Commission plans "a renewed attack on prejudice itself...with the goal of eradicating every vestige (of prejudice) from the Federal service...the goal... means full acceptance... of minority associates"; (3) Report of the President's Commission on National Goals (1960): "One role of government is to stimulate changes of attitude."

Clearly, not only is there no duty to adhere to all prevailing mores, but, on the contrary, the Commission itself, and the government of which it is a part, fully recognize the duty and the obligation to work for changes in prejudicial mores. Unfortunately they seem unwilling to apply their admirable principles to their homosexual citizens.

The full irresponsibility of the Commission's position is seen when the impact of its policies outside the government is noted. Federal employment is no longer a minor aspect of the national employment picture. The Federal government sets the tone and the example for private employment the country over. The standards set by the Commission for Federal employment eligibility are becoming increasingly pervasive throughout the nation. When the Federal government does not discriminate, private employers may or may not, and will ultimately tend not to; when the Federal government does discriminate, private employers will. In short, discriminatory Federal hiring practices reinforce discriminatory private hiring practices. For the Federal government to refuse to employ homosexual citizens

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is to lay the groundwork for widespread refusal by private employers to do so. Unless our government actually considers it desirable that several million homosexual American citizens be in the ranks of the unemployed, the Civil Service Commission's policies on this question seem to be the height of irresponsibility.

Basically, the commission's policy of disqualifying homosexuals from Federal employment represents a submission to prejudice and the administration of further penalty to those who are already the victims of prejudice, rather than to those who are prejudiced.

The Mattachine Society of Washington is preparing a full reply to Mr. Macy's letter. The importance of this latest exchange lies in the fact that the Commission has at last been induced to begin public formulation of a rationale--as feeble as this rationale may be--for its discriminatory policies.

--Franklin E. Kameny

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My Lover--or My Enemy?

TRAP FOR CINDERELLA--Sebastien Japrisot

(Simon and Schuster, 1964 Pocket Books, 1965) Winner of Le Grand Prix de la Literature Policiere

A young girl wakes up in a hospital. She has been badly burned on hands and face, both of these being reconstructed. She also has amnesia. The doctors who are trying to help her regain her memory inform her she is a young heiress, injured during a fire when she tried to rescue her girlfriend. Later events lead her to suspect that she is not the heiress at all but the friend who supposedly died in the fire, and indeed, that she had murdered the heiress whose place she now occupies.

Only one person holds the key to her identity: the heiress's guardian. This guardian has at various times been the lover of the heiress, of the heiress's girlfriend, and of an older woman, now dead, whose legacy of millions led to the murder.

The story then evolves into a duel between the two women": the disordered girl searching for her identity, and Jeanne the guardian, on whom she must rely and who may be either her most faithful lover or--the accomplice in her murder.

The author's talents range far beyond those of the ordinary writer of suspense fiction, although the novel's framework clearly places the book in that genre.

Laid in the world of the ultra-rich, on the Riviera and in Paris, the story provides a realistic picture of the waste, sorrow,and boredom in jet-set living--and, in flashbacks, an equally realistic picture of the life of the working-class girl, passing endless hours clerking in a bank or making heels for shoes.

Into this world of purposeless leisure that the two women inhabit, the men who appear bring no comfort, hope, or distraction. The doctors, lawyers, gigolos, playboys, mechanics are curiously cruel, impersonal, unhumorous, selfish.

So the young girl, in her search for her identity, is thrown back again and again on her guardian, The reader finds the question raised, not the who-dun-it? or will-she-be-caught? of, the conventional thriller, but the question one faces in Real Life: "Is this person my lover or my enemy?"

The book ends with a double resolution: the girl learns at one time of both her own identity and the nature of her guardian.

--Reviewed by Leo Ebreo

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A Patriot For Me

Review of A PATRIOT FOR ME--a play by John Osborne

Opponents of homosexual law reform in England often talk as if the only thing that restrains Englishmen everywhere from indulging in mass homosexual orgies is the threat of imprisonment. There is also of course the Lord Chamberlain (official government censor for the theatre) to see that our lusts are not inflamed in the theatre--as playwrights as various as Arthur Miller, Jean Genet, and John Osborne have discovered to their cost. The House of Lords may talk of buggery clubs, but John Osborne must not mention the 'clap' or 'crabs' lest he pervert public morals. Their lordships, presumably, are either corrupted already or beyond corruptions

It was fairly predictable that a play like John Osborne's A PATRIOT FOR ME, which sought to present in an adult, responsible way aspects of the homosexual world (a drag ball, a love scene between two men) would run into trouble with the censor. (Perhaps, to be consistent, he should refuse to licence pantomimes like DICK WHITTINGTON, where the hero is impersonated by a girl with shapely legs and kinky leather boots?) In the event, A PATRIOT FOR ME was performed in a club theatre, where it did not require the Lord Chamberlain's approval, and only private members were corrupted. Had it ever reached the general public, a variety of ludicrous cuts would have been-demanded. A list of these is given at the end of the published text (Faber and Faber, 1966) and it is clear that, had they been made, the play would have been rendered meaningless. Melancholy evidence, this, of the prurience and hypocrisy of the official mind.

But that the fuss was made in the first place is symptomatic, as is the fact that journalists seeking for a convenient label to describe A PATRIOT FOR ME called it 'a play about homosexuality'. Nothing derisive about this, you may say--a straightforward indication of the play's content. In a way, yes. But would anyone call ROMEO AND JULIET a play about heterosexuality? Did the Elizabethans call Marlowe's EDWARD II, for that matter, a play about homosexuality? I doubt it. Gaveston's chief crime is not that he is the king's bedfellow, but that he is baseborn. As one of his enemies puts it:

'His wanton humor grieves not me,
But this I scorn, that one so basely born,
Should by his sovereign's favor grow so pert.'

The robust sexuality of Marlow's play makes Tennessee Williams sound like Henry James. Moreover, in a theatre where boys took the women's parts, and sexual confusion reigned to

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the extent apparent in Shakespeare's romantic comedies--boys acting women, pretending for plot purposes to be boys, and reverting to women in the last act--a very wide range of sexual tastes could be discreetly appealed to. And Faustus could invoke masculine standards of beauty with perfect naturalness when expressing his rapturous response to the 'boy' Helen:

'Brighter art thou than flaming Jupiter...
More lovely than the monarch of the skies
In wanton Arethusa's azured arms'

I am not saying that past ages were more enlightened in their treatment of homosexuality than ours--one need only remember how Edward II met his death, to thank God for the Wolfenden Report--but at least dramatists like Marlowe seem to have been spared the obsessive self-consciousness of homosexuality as a problem, which, I believe, tends to cast a blight over plays about homosexual people, whether men or women.

Frank Marcus's THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE is an honorable exception here, in that it deals with two women who happen to be lesbians but whose importance for us lies in their humanity, not their sexual preference. They are not treated as cases, or as ciphers on which to hang a discussion play. The result, even if rather superficial--what Terence Rattigan would call an 'Aunt Edna play'--Is refreshing.

John Osborne, whose play is far wider in scope and more ambitious than Marcus's, has tried to avoid the problem-play aspect; the nearest we get to it is a gossip session at the drag ball, of the 'when did you first discover you were queer' kind. This rings true enough on the documentary level, but, as with so much of the play, it does not seem to get much beyond that level.

What Osborne gives us is the career of a young, able, and ambitious officer, Alfred Redl, in the Austro-Hungarian army between 1890 and 1914. The first half of the play hinges on Redl's slow discovery of his homosexuality; the second half on his blackmail by the Russians (a possible parallel suggests Itself here with the Vassall case) and his eventual suicide when his treason is discovered.

But it almost seems as if Osborne, anxious to avoid self-consciousness and the 'problem play' approach, has settled for an utterly neutral and colourless treatment. His great strength as a dramatist has always been the tirade. His best plays, LOOK BACK IN ANGER? THE ENTERTAINER? INADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE? are built around a series of monologues. Jimmy Porter, Archie Rice, and Bill Maitland are all compulsive talkers, obsessively concerned to justify themselves, haranguing an audience they are forever afraid of losing. The talk is vivid, rancorous, contemporary.

But when Osborne deserts present for past--as with the Austro-Hungarian army in A PATRIOT FOR ME? or the Reformation in his earlier play LUTHER--his 'lovely gift of the gab' seems lost. His structure in both plays is Brechtian and

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episodic, a rapid succession of short scenes, but the writing lacks Brecht's astringency and didacticism. We are never made to feel for Redl as we are for Osborn's crumbling entertainer, 'dead behind the eyes', or his third-rate solicitor Maitland; they at least communicate their pain. Redl does this only for one brief scene in the second half when he torments himself and his-current boy friend with a wild outburst:

'You've no memory, no grace, you keep nothing...All you are is young. There's no soft fat up here in the shoulder and belly and buttocks yet. But it will. Nobody loves an old, squeezed, wrinkled pip of a boy who was gay once. Least of all people like me or yourself. You'll be a vulgar fake, someone even toothless housewives in the market place can bait. You little painted toy, you puppet, you poor duffer, you'll be, with your disease and paunch and silliness and curlers and dyed wispy hair and long legs and varicose veins like bunches of grapes and prostate and thick waist and rolling thighs and big bottom, that's where we all go. In the bottom, that's where we all go and you can't mistake it. Everyone'll see it. (He pauses, exhausted. His dressing gown has flown open. Viktor is sobbing very softly and genuinely, Redl stands breathless, then takes the boy's head in his arms. He rocks him. And whispers): It's not true. Not true. You are beautiful...You always will be...There, baby, there...Baby...It won't last...All over baby.'

But,this moment apart, Osborne keeps us at a safe distance from Redl. We see him from the outside, maintaining a facade of correctness, of icy indifference. We are left to guess his reaction to his discovery of his homosexuality (Osborne ends Act I with Redl beaten up by his first male pick-up, and he opens Act II with Redl well-adjusted to his new way of life). Redl appears at the drag ball, but only, it seems, with reluctance and on the fringes of it, and nothing he says or does there contributes particularly to our picture of him. He encounters both the blackmailers and the officers who discover his treason with the same tightlipped stoicism.

At no point are we made to care much about this man whose life has been wrecked by a quirk of nature. Nor at any point are we compelled to see the situation in terms of the principles involved--as would happen, say, in an Arthur Miller play. And the result is that the historical background which in a Miller play like THE CRUCIBLE buttresses the idea that beyond the period differences there are more important parallels with other ages, other witch hunts, in A PATRIOT FOR ME is merely picturesque period detail, encouraging, fatally, a comfortable sense of remoteness.

A PATRIOT FOR ME has its good qualities. It conquers some new territory for the theatre. It is authentic enough on the documentary level. It exploits rather well the ironic discrepancy between appearance and reality common both to the world

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of espionage and to parts of the homosexual world (Which of the guests at the Baron's drag ball have we already seen in a heterosexual context, and which is a real woman?).

Equally ironic and effective is Osborne's characteristic device of the merry-go-round in which everything keeps moving in circles (in INADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE, where the solicitor's clients are, hallucinatingly, the same woman, played by the same actress, telling the same tale): Redl's mistress complains he won't make love with the light on, he makes the same complaint to his male pick-up; she jeers at fat-bottomed queers, he uses her ammunition to hurt Viktor; a pompous lecture on homosexuality is cross-cut into a gaggle of gigglers at the drag ball, at the end of the play the lecturer is himself being investigated by the Russian secret police.

The disappointment lies in the fact that the play doesn't rise to its theme; it doesn't convey adequately the issues involved or the personal tragedy of Redl. Indeed Osborne has said almost more on the subject of homosexuality in a single scene from INADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE (the statement John Mapes makes to the solicitor when he is charged with importuning) than in the whole of A PATRIOT FOR ME.

Which brings this review full circle. For I see I have got round, like the journalists I mentioned at the beginning, to writing of homosexuality as a 'subject'. This is, I suppose, inescapable; in the present context of illegality and blackmail it must, tragically, remain so. When the battle for law reform Is won, and we see homosexuals as people before they are homosexuals, then It will be easier to write plays like A PATRIOT FOR ME--and paradoxically (as far as the blackmail issue Is concerned) less necessary to do so.

Meanwhile we can but cheer when Osborne's Baron von Epp says, with jaunty defiance (Lord Chamberlain please note):

'I'm quite happy as I am, I'm no criminal, thank you, and I don't corrupt anything that isn't already quite clearly corrupt, like this ghastly city. On the contrary, I bring style, wit, pleasure, energy and good humour to it that it wouldn't otherwise have.'

--Leslie Smith

Editor's Note; Our thanks to Mr. Smith for his review--and also to Mr. Antony Grey, Secretary of the Homosexual Law Reform Society, who obliged us by asking Mr. Smith to write it.

The Homosexual Law Reform Society welcomes donations to help its continuing work for change in British law affecting homosexuals. A bill for the primary reform needed nearly passed earlier this year before the general election was called. Send contributions in international postal money orders or bank drafts payable in England, and mail to: Homosexual Law Reform Society, 32 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W. 1, England.

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Leo Ebreo is a god for his wonderful analysis (April) of the novel THE GROUP and the movie. He may not have chosen to mention this, but the movie makes Lakey's lesbianism immediately clear--in the credits yet. I don't know how to explain this in a letter. Just go see it and watch for the WAY in which they choose to give you your first glimpse of each of the eight girls. Their individual characters are outlined in a single shot of each of them: Kay directing a play, Libby being a bitch, Polly being a dear thing, and Lakey showing unmistakably where her interests lie in one of the cleverest half-second shots I have ever seen'.

--Gene Damon

Dear Miss Gittings,

Thank you for the copies of the April LADDER. Kay Tobin's report of my remarks at the Janus Society forum on February 25 was a very good one. However, I'd like to clear up one point about the work of Dr. Evelyn Hooker, since I apparently did not make this point clear at the forum.

Dr. Hooker found that, in her study of homosexual and heterosexual males, severe emotional maladjustments were not more common among the homosexuals. In fact, experts looking just at the test results could not distinguish between the two types of individuals.

However, she did not go on to generalize that "severe emotional maladjustments are not more common among homosexuals than among heterosexuals," as the report stated. Dr. Hooker could not make such a generalization since the cases studied were not a typical cross-section of homosexuals. What she was investigating was whether homosexuality per se is the result of general personality disturbance, as so many psychoanalysts have held. She concluded that homosexuality is not necessarily associated with personality disturbance and added that "homosexuality as a clinical entity does not exist" and that "its forms are as varied as those of heterosexuality."

On the basis of the limited research so far done, no one is in a position to make sweeping generalizations about homosexuals.


Isadore Rubin, Ph.D.
Editor, SEXOLOGY Magazine

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MEMBERSHIP in Daughters of Bilitis is limited to women 21 years of age or older. If in San Francisco, New York, or Chicago area, direct inquiry to chapter concerned. Otherwise write to National Office in San Francisco for a membership application form.

THE LADDER is a monthly magazine published by Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., mailed in a plain sealed envelope for $5.00 a year. Anyone over 21 may subscribe to The Ladder.

CONTRIBUTIONS are gratefully accepted from anyone who wants to support our work. We are a non-profit corporation depending entirely on volunteer labor. While men may not become members of Daughters of Bilitis, many have expressed interest in our efforts and have made contributions to further our work.

NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS and San Francisco Chapter: 3470 Mission St., San Francisco, Calif.

New York Chapter: P.O. Box 3629
Grand Central Station
New York 17, Hew York
Chicago Chapters: P.O. Box 4497
Chicago, Illinois


3470 Mission St., San Francisco, Calif.

Please send THE LADDER for _____ year(s) in a plain sealed envelope to the address below. I enclose $_____ at the rate of $5.00 for each year ordered.




I am over 21 years of age (Signed)_____

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Ernestine Eckstein in demonstration at the White House October 1965 to protest government discrimination against homosexuals

Her sign reads:

"Denial of Equality of Opportunity Is Immoral"


There are many ways to support the homosexual cause. For example--if you can, won't you:

--Send money to DOB

--Get friends to subscribe to THE LADDER

--Give your back copies of THE LADDER to a library, a clergyman, a lawyer, a doctor, a teacher, a counsellor, your favorite newspaper columnist

--Attend DOB's National Convention in San Francisco on August 20, 1966 (see page 15)


The Ladder, July 1966, Vol. 10, No. 10

[p. [1]] | [Page Image]

[p. [2]] | [Page Image]

purpose of the
Daughters of BILITIS


1 Education of the variant, with particular emphasis on the psychological, physiological and sociological aspects, to enable her to understand herself and make her adjustment to society in all its social, civic and economic implications----this to be accomplished by establishing and maintaining as complete a library as possible of both fiction and non-fiction literature on the sex deviant theme; by sponsoring public discussions on pertinent subjects to be conducted by leading members of the legal, psychiatric, religious and other professions; by advocating a mode of behavior and dress acceptable to society.

2 Education of the public at large through acceptance first of the individual, leading to an eventual breakdown of erroneous taboos and prejudices; through public discussion meetings aforementioned; through dissemination of educational literature on the homosexual theme.

3 Participation in research projects by duly authorized and responsible psychologists, sociologists and other such experts directed towards further knowledge of the homosexual.

4 Investigation of the penal code as it pertains to the homosexual, proposal of changes to provide an equitable handling of cases involving this minority group, and promotion of these changes through due process of law in the state legislatures.

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Published monthly by the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., a non-profit corporation, 3470 Mission Street, San Francisco, California 94110.









EDITOR--Barbara Gittings




THE LADDER is regarded as a sounding board for various points of view on the homophile and related subjects and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the organization.


Let Us Out of Here!--by Nola 4
Lesbiana--by Gene Damon 8
Apartheid for Women--by Brigid Brophy 9
When Men were MEN and Women Were Wimmen!
by Robert Oldenwald--by S. N
About Our Contributors 14
DOB National Convention 15
Research Through a Glass, Darkly--An
Evaluation of the Bieber Study on
Homosexuality--by Fritz A. Fluckiger, Ph.D

Cover photo by Kay Tobin

Copyright 1966 by Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., San Francisco, California

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by Nola

Nina is home! The house is full of her. I can smell the sailed laundry the moment I open the door. And the foyer light has been left on.

Havoc in the living room. Her open camp trunk is in the middle of the floor and clothes are everywhere--on the floor, chairs, coffee table. Clothes? Ragged ends of Tee shirts and shorts. Broken tennis racquets. Wet bathing suits stuffed into plastic bags. Two wall-sized half-finished Action paintings. A fine piece of Driftwood. Shells. Several 15-pound rocks. A paper bag full of--fungus? old sandwiches? Several inept ceramic ash trays. And where is Nina? No doubt she grabbed a blouse from the bottom of the junk and went out for a soda with her father.

Damn him'. Damn that man! I light a cigarette with trembling fingers, There can be no mistake. Last week he said he'd pick her up on Thursday and spend the weekend touring New England with her. A weekend Just for her and Daddy, And here it is Friday. No phone call. No explanations. He wouldn't risk it. No doubt his wife has made weekend plans for them. As for me--tough luck Mommy.

The bathroom. All steamy, wet towels on the floor, black footprints in the tub. The bathroom I had to myself for six weeks. Myself and--

"Surprise!" Nina bursts out of her bedroom and grabs me in a bear hug. How sweet she smells! Her skin is still full of sunshine and mountain air. Her dripping hair smells of shampoo, Drops of water sparkle on her deeply tanned face, shoulders, breasts. Tiny silver streams zig-zag into the towel she has draped sarong-style around her self. Aphrodite out of the foam.

"You thought I walked out and left this mess, didn't you? Now tell me the truth!" She grabs my face and holds it between her strong, callused hands. "The truth!"

"I thought you just went out for a soda with Dad," I laugh.

"Puleez- no more sodas for me. I gained ten pounds. Look!" She takes my hand and places it on the full, firm curve of her hips.

"Well, let me look at you!" I step back and look while she poses, arms above head, twirling around on her toes,

"Stay still a minute!"

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Unbelievable. Goddess, At fourteen she is a full head taller than I am, full-breasted, with long, strong arms and legs and magnificent gleaming shoulders. What vitamins, swimming, fencing", horseback riding, ballet dancing and tennis have. wrought! And that face! Neither from me nor her father does she get that bold, elegant modeling of head and neck--not my scrawny, tormented face, nor her father's plump, flaccid one. It's as though she had to reach back to some primitive ancestor to find the vitality she needed. Yet her expression is veiled, half-fearful, half-expectant. Mot quite Aphrodite. Persephone, perhaps.

"You look fine," I say. "You can skip the sodas, but no diets!"

"You just want me to be fat and ugly so you can be the beauty of the family! "

We laugh, but we are uneasy already. Her gaze slithers past mine and petulance hovers at the edge of her mouth. I hate her progressive-school jibes about mother-daughter rivalry. She is as crammed with jargon as with vitamins. But worse than that. She is attacking me because she has been hurt by her father.

"Daddy's gone down for ice cream. He has to get back right away," she says carelessly, turning away from me and inspecting the plants on the window sill. "Ann's sick. Something or other about her pregnancy. We figured we might just as well not waste time calling you. And guess what'. He's going to take me to the Coast with him for Christmas!"

She has managed to compose her face enough to turn to me with a smile. Damn that man. If only he'd learn not to make promises.

The bell rings and she runs to the door, Vic blusters in and grabs me in an embrace. So I won't see the guilty look on his face. He hands the bag of ice cream to Nina.

"Fix us each a nice sundae, Hon," he says, and turns to me. "Well, aren't you a picture! Get some fun in on week-ends?" He lowers his voice. "Hope the change of plans doesn't upset you too much. Ann has been having a very bad time. We may lose the baby." He is about to cry.

"Sorry. You could have called."

"I....I couldn't." He rubs his hand over his face to show me how desperate he is. Then he pulls me down beside him on the couch and asks me about my job. Get it? He's never too distracted by his own problems to be concerned about me and Nina.

We sit side by side and he tries to look interested as I tell him my latest job problems. He shakes his head. I work too hard. He thinks I should marry again, retire, take it easy, have another child, "After all you're still young." His blueprint for me.

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"And how's Erik?" he breaks in. Erik is his choice for my second husband.

"Erik sent me the most divine Op art shirt," says Nina, materializing in the doorway with a tray of sundaes. "He's the thoughtfulest person in the world. He remembered my birthday, my size, my colors, everything'."

She and Vic twinkle at each other over their ice cream. Got it fixed, those two. Just as sixteen years ago my mother and my aunt had it fixed, twinkling and chortling at one another, (Vic loves you so much. He's so kind, so stable, just what you need.")

Kindness, stability. Just what I need. Somehow I've given everyone the impression that I'm an invalid. And have I not been one? Nervous, vague, never able to decide which foot to put down next. My left hand always wildly undoing the work of my right hand. It's hard for those who live with me. No wonder they try to put me in a box. Don't they see a change in me? Of course not. They're too busy twinklings.

"I really wish you had called me yesterday," I say.

Vic flashes an understanding look.

"You can go away for the week-end," says Nina quickly. "You don't have to baby-sit with me."

"Nine, would you please leave us alone for a few minutes," says Vic. "

"Here we go again! This is where I came in!" She slams down her ice cream plate. Persephone's face becomes that of a witch as she stomps out of the room, stomps back for her ice cream. At last she slams her door.

I turn on Vic. "Why, why in hell did you do this?"

"Oh come, Lee. Is it really so awful? After all, she can stay with a friend over the week-end. Or take her with you and Erik. She's no more baby. "

"It's not Erik."


Vic is amazed, crushed.

"This is....something different."

"Do you want to tell me about it?"

Big Daddy. He knows his little girl. Our game. Confession. Analysis. Acknowledgment of "confusion," "immaturity." Resolve to make rational changes. Not this time, Buster.


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The telephone. "I can't talk now," I whisper, a sob strangling my throat. "They're here." Helen's voice is a meadowfull of sunshine. "Don't worry. It'll work out."

Vic paces back and forth, letting me know I'm driving him to distraction,

"Well, what do you want me to do?" he says after I hang up.

"Take her away--for good." This is hysteria. I know it, but. I must go through with it.

"Nine? Your daughter?"

"Your daughter."

"But Lee--"

"But' Vic--"

"Look Lee--"

"Look Vic. You and Ann can giver her a normal home, the kind you approve of. I can't."

He stares at me, his face uncertain about what form to assume,

"Oh come. This is nonsense. Ann is just a young girl herself. She can't cope--"

"Can I cope?"

"You're a mother!"

"Is a person who has never acted out of her own volition a mother?"

"Were you chained to the bed?"

"Psychologically, yes!"

"And how about when you drove me away? Was that your volition? You just don't want to take the consequences."

True. I can only be silent. Besides, we have been over it, ad nauseam.

"This is all very silly, Lee," he says, gaining strength from my weakness. "We'll talk more later. You have a right to your life, of course. But you love Nina and you've got to make your adjustments. Cancel your week-end plans this time. And we'll take Nina next week-end, keep her with us until school begins--that is if Ann is better."

Of course it's the only reasonable thing. But it isn't just the week-end. It's my life. How long must I be a prisoner? Lying, evading under her watchful, knowing eyes. Her pained eyes. Better the truth. We'll talk it out--rational, like

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Vic and me. Your mother is a lesbian, darling. It can't be helped, "But Mommy it can be helped. It's a sickness. You need more analysis." Little Miss Analysis 1966. "Help," "adjustment"....these have made an invalid out of me. Let me burn away of "sickness," not dissolve of antidotes. A real death. Better than an unreal life,

"Vic, I'm afraid for her."

"Nonsense. Marry whom you please. She'll make her adjustment."


Nina stomps into the room.

"And how long am I supposed to stay locked up? A couple of years maybe? Or would it be more convenient if I jumped out of the window?"

We rush to her, but she is wild, her voice rising to a scream.

"Don't you worry. I wouldn't do it for you two stupid idiots, I've got a better idea. Why don't you shoot each other? Why didn't you shoot each other before I was born? What kinda country is this anyway? They give marriage licenses to anybody. No Wasserman tests for their heads! Crazy lunatic nuts! Can't somebody stop them from making babies? Murderers! Every second of my life with you two has been hello Drop dead, both of you! Drop dead! Drop dead!"

Nine. Nina. Nina. Forgiveness. Persephone, our daughter. Forgive us. Forgive us.

Is there no way out?


by Gene Damon

340. FROM DOON WITH DEATH--by Ruth Rendell. London, Long, 1964; Garden City, N. Y., Doubleday, 1965; Ballantine, 1966.

Margaret Parsons, mousy housewife, is found strangled in the woods. Nothing in her mundane life seemingly could have led to such an end. But Inspector Wexford finds in the Parsons' attic Margaret's hidden collection of expensive love-poetry volumes, each one Inscribed romantically "From Doon." Mr. Parsons didn't know Doon. Nor did any of their friends know Doon--but one of them had to be Doon.

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341. STORY OP O--by Pauline Reage. New York, Grove Press, 1965; also paperback, Brandon House, 1966.

This is a classic in the field commonly called erotica. Originally published in France in 1954 (and again there in 1957 and 1960), it is at last legally available in this country.

O, the heroine, is deeply in love with a man, her master, and to make herself wholly his property, she submits willingly, indeed eagerly, to a Krafft-Ebing catalog of erotic mishandlings. Superficially, then, this is a well-written tract on the methods and means of masochism. Unlike most erotic writing, however, this deals more in philosophy than counting orgasms, and seems preoccupied with the woman's need for this debasement. Almost to be expected, there is a strong thread of repressed lesbianism in O's personality (quite apart from the recounting of actual lesbian contacts and desires of which she is fully aware).

I cannot recommend this book, and I am not certain that it is literature, despite the enormous praise it is now receiving from the critics. However, it is not pornographic and will not disgust those with sophisticated literary tastes. You may find to your surprise--as I did--that the pseudonymous Miss Reage writes very well indeed.



(This article is reprinted with the kind permission of Miss Brophy and of the British weekly NEW STATESMAN.)

The deftest way to oppress people is to keep them uneducated. So long as you deny them schooling, they will find it hard to organise and articulate a demand for the vote, and you can plausibly withhold the vote from them on the grounds that they wouldn't know how to use it responsibly. But once you do give them the vote you,must, for the very safety of the state, give them an education as well. As soon as the franchise was extended, the Victorians saw the need 'to educate our masters'; and the Second Reform Act was quickly and inevitably followed by an Education Act.

No one in present-day Britain would--as yet--seriously propose to take the vote away from half the citizenry. But rumblings have been going on which virtually propose to deprive

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them of the vote's concomitant, an education. This isn't put, of course, as depriving. The rumblings emphasize that this half of the community would receive just as many, and just as costly, years of tuition as the other. But it would be tuition in different subjects. Their schooling is to be equal but different. The victims in this proposed apartheid are the children who happen to be female.

I hoped these rumblings had stewed to a standstill in their own absurdity some 18 months ago, when I read an article in which Sir John Newsom proposed that girls' education should concentrate on subjects requiring a type of thinking which he described as 'personal' and which, he maintained, girls are particularly good at. One of these subjects was biology - because, Sir John asserted, 'biology is the personal science'.

This in itself struck me as a remarkable piece of thinking. Given that all sciences are impersonal in their methods, I supposed Sir John must mean that biology was personal in its subject-matter; but in fact biology, which rarely comes down from the level of the species to that of the group or individual, has much less claim to be the personal science than psychology. So I tried out the hypothesis that Sir John meant that biology is personal to the student, in the sense that it deals with the student's own species. Unfortunately, though, biology, which studies plants and non-human animals as well, has much less claim to that sense of Sir John's phrase than anthropology and sociology, which study only humans.

At that point, having myself had only the old-fashioned classical education which women of earlier ages struggled so hard and nobly to get for me, I gave up Sir John, presuming that all readers of his article would have enjoyed as much as I did the joke whereby this difficult little knot of thought formed part of an argument in which a man asserted that men are better than women at abstract thought.

But now the volcano--or the hungry belly--is rumbling again, and I begin to fear it seriously means to consume the female sex. The OBSERVER Magazine has published a two-part article which takes seriously that figment of hard-put-to-it journalists, the 'sex war.' Part Two opens with a photograph of a boy and a girl in similar costumes and haircuts, plus a blurb declaring that 'the margin between the sexes has become confusingly slender.' and that 'if rivalry is to end, the difference must be admitted and defined.' I would myself have thought that if the first declaration were true, the second must be superfluous: if it's really hard to tell which sex your potential rival belongs to, then rivalry between the sexes as such, as distinct from rivalry between individuals, must have ended already.

This point is, in fact, taken by the article itself, which calls the recent minimizing of the differences between men and women an 'attempt to end the sex war,' But the article is not on the side of peace. It attributes the minimizing of the differences to the decline of the authoritarian husband and father, and holds this decline responsible for three results

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- increases in (1) juvenile delinquency, (2) homosexuality and (3) the numbers of people who, like characters in existentialist novels, find life 'nebulous, unreal and inconsequential.' These supposed results the article assumes, without discussion, to be bad. I can't feel so sure. Suppose life is nebulous, unreal and inconsequential? If so, shouldn't we admit it? Are existentialist characters so deplorable? At least they try. Is it better to be complacent, worldly, conventional?

Then there's homosexuality, a morally neutral activity which, in our present overpopulation, may be helpful. What's wrong with homosexuality? (I hereupon resign myself to a week's post reading 'Dear Miss Brophy, you ask what is wrong with homosexuality. It is unnatural. Our anatomy ordains that we should procreate.' This time I must get round to having my circular in reply printed. Dear Sir, it is unnatural to wear clothes, create works of art and send rockets to the moon. You cannot judge whether something is good or bad from merely describing it as unnatural. You have to think. This also is unnatural. P.S. Your anatomy ordains that when your nose runs the discharge shall slide down a groove towards your mouth, but I pay you the compliment of assuming you use a handkerchief. There is an alternative reply which goes: 'Dear Madam, it does not matter twopence if your son grows up homosexual. Be thankful if he can love anybody, and direct your anxiety to seeing he doesn't grow up a vivisectionist, a matador or a napalm-bomb-dropper.')

Juvenile delinquency, of course, no one in his senses could think helpful or even neutral. But if it really has increased as a result of a less authoritarian and patriarchal society, we may still be getting the better end of a bargain. How shall we weigh the crimes now committed by juveniles in comparison with the crimes committed against them by all those authoritarian old patriarchs, the flogging headmasters and patres familias, the factory-owners who exploited juvenile labour, the contractors who sent little boys up chimneys?

I'd require sound evidence that the supposed result of losing authoritarianism was worse than authoritarianism itself before I'd take a step towards bringing it even half-way back. And I'd require some evidence that homosexuality and existentialism are bad at all before I'd adopt the remedy proposed in the OBSERVER--which is, of course, apartheid again.

Women are to be equal but separate or, as the article puts this, 'different and valuably complementary.' Womanliness is to be 'the capacity to create a warm and stable family environment, 'whereas manliness involves the 'kind of simple courage that will get a man from his bed in the middle of the night to investigate a noise downstairs.' No provision is made for spinsters, widows and married women whose husbands are heavy sleepers, cowards or away for the weekend. Though women may equally need it, this 'simple courage' is reserved to men, since it's 'akin to the manliness needed to resist social and political enemies.' Heavens, though, don't women need that 'manliness,' too? or is it implied they have no part in society and politics?

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Not that women's votes are directly threatened: their education is threatened first. Sexual apartheid is evidently not so 'natural' that you can rely on it to happen spontaneously. It must be inculcated by equal but separate educations. The OBSERVER article lands women with 'personal' thinking again, this time called 'a subjective, emotionally sensitive view' This can't be the subjective, emotionally sensitive view taken by Kierkegaard, Berlioz, Hitler, Mahler, Donne, St. John of the Cross or Baudelaire, because that could hardly be supposed peculiar to women. I'm afraid it really means non-thought, non-logic and non-knowledge, and that the whole programme amounts to: Back to the sampler, to 'doing the flowers' and to 'accomplishments for young ladies'.

Accomplishments, however, have nowadays a posher name. The OBSERVER article wants us to revise 'the present emphasis in girls' schools on mathematics and science in favour of the humane arts'. Sir John Newsom includes among girls' subjects not only the 'personal science' of biology but 'creative writing'.

And do you suppose I'm taking feminist umbrage at all this, that I'm insulted in my capacity as a woman? I swear the insult goes deeper than that, I'm taking human umbrage--on behalf of those of my fellow humans who are men. Must they be forced back into the role of oppressor or, which may be even worse, the role of clot? (To see a necessary connection between wanting to make love to a woman and expecting her to darn your socks is to brand yourself a clot. Drive women back into the kitchen and the sowing room and you'll drive them back to contemptuously tut-tutting that all men are only babies at heart.)

And I'm insulted in my deepest capacity of all, that of artist. 'Creative writing'? A girls' subject? Three thousand years of civilisation show, at a generous stretch, ten great women writers. For the rest--well, who does Sir John Newsom think wrote our literature? Then there are the 'humane arts'. They're to be emphasized more in girls' than in boys' education, are they? Does the OBSERVER imagine that THE MAGIC FLUTE was composed, St. Paul's Cathedral designed and THE BIRTH OF VENUS painted by girls?

The only 'education' which has any meaning or value is that which transmits our culture. And our culture has up to now been created almost single-handed by men. Sappho, Jane Austen and George Eliot demonstrate that women can contribute to it. But what they contribute to it is not some feminine, some 'separate but equal' culture. It is the common culture, which is neither feminine nor masculine (think of the millions of perfectly masculine men who don't and can't contribute a jot to it) but human. Future MAGIC FLUTES may be composed by women--but not if you deny women the serious, difficult and thinking education which alone makes it possible to add to human culture or even appreciate it.

Politically, to leave women the vote but shut them up again in the stuffy, thoughtless, ignorant conservatory whose panes the

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suffragettes struggled to smash once and for all is sheer state-suicide. And, in logic, the rumblers have presented the whole argument upside down. If it's true (it may not be) that women have less aptitude than men for abstract thinking (that is, in plain language, for thinking), then we must obviously give them not less but more of the kind of education which promotes thought.



by Robert P. Oldenwald, M.D.
(New York, Random House, 1965)

This appealingly titled little book was a great disappointment to me, and I'm sure it would be to most of our readers. In all honesty, had I read the back of the jacket properly, I would have had some warning--but it was a distinct shock when I got home to find that I had spent $5 on a piece of propaganda directed AGAINST most of my beliefs'.

The author, now deceased, was for some years assistant professor of psychiatry at the Catholic University of America. His ability as a writer was high; it is unfortunate that he used it for the present purpose.

Dr. Oldenwald does a masterly job of listing the REAL differences between the sexes--and quietly slides in a few false one tailored to fit his point. He notes the increasing freedom of men and women to do as they please rather than being forced into artificial poses, applauds this break from Victorian tradition--and then sets up arguments for return to Edwardian standards. (He must have been born about 1895 and acquired his outlook in the decade before World War I.) The methods he uses can only be described as "expert sophistry," and he never fails to debase each argument with some bit of intellectual trickery.

Having "proved" that all men are really like Tarzan and all women like Sweet Alice in the Ben Bolt poem, and that any interference with this divine plan is unhealthy, immoral, and disgusting, he threatens us with "a great surge of homosexuality," Jess Stearn is quoted at some length, after Which Dr. Oldenwald pontificated: "Lesbianism can never be a completely satisfying way of life, however. ...Even in the most ambitious and briskly masculine of women there lingers a desire for motherhood." He then cites TWO case histories to justify this sweeping generality.

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Finally, near the end of his 175 pages, Dr. Oldenwald arrives at the solution to the problem he has so skillfully created. The modern school system, he starts off, shares SOME responsibility.... Ten lines later: "I feel strongly that the education of boys after their ninth or tenth year of age SHOULD be in the hands of men." On the next page it becomes "The special education of boys as boys and girls as girls MUST go even farther." (Emphases added by reviewer. Isn't this a world's record for rapid escalation?)

So take that $5 and invest it more wisely I suggest flowers, or perhaps a new purse....

- Reviewed by S. N.


Miss S. N. was born at the beginning of World War I and has been battling ever since. Her mixed ancestry has let to two kinds of authorship: some painfully explicit engineering manuals, and a small output of rather pixieish poetry.

FRITZ A. FLUCKIGER, a psychologist in New York City, came to this country from Switzerland, where he was trained in psychodiagnostics and psychoanalysis. He earned his Ph.D. at New York University. He has done research at the Downstate Medical Center of the State University of New York, and has taught at New York University. From time to time, he serves as an editorial reader and evaluates research reports submitted for publication in professional journals. He is the author or co-author of articles in the fields of psychometrics, psychopharmacology, projective techniques, and philosophical psychology. One of his current projects is a critical review of the research on homosexuality done over the past two decades in this country and abroad.

BRIGID BROFHY, daughter of novelist John Brophy, was born in London in 1929 and has already achieved a brilliant reputation as a novelist and critic of discernment and originality. She was educated at several schools including an art school, and was a classical scholar at Oxford. She lives in London with her husband Michael Levey (art historian and Assistant Keeper at the National Gallery) and her daughter Kate. Her books, some of which have homosexual elements, include BLACK SHIP TO HELL, KING OF A RAINY COUNTRY, FLESH, THE FINISHING TOUCH.

NOLA is a professional writer who is living in New York City and working on a novel with a lesbian theme. She says her fiction career began at age four when she started to try to create herself in the image that society foists on women. An ardent feminist, she believes that history has to be rewritten in terms of women's experience.

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DOB National Convention


IS THE THEME OF THE Fourth National Convention of Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., to be held on August 20, 1966 at the Jack Tar Hotel in San Francisco, California. DOB has selected San Francisco as a target city and is focusing its convention program on resolution of the city's "homosexual problem."

The morning session will explain "The Homophile Community and Civic Organizations--How They Relate." Speakers from groups with which the homophile community has a working liaison will include Bernard Mayes, head of San Francisco Suicide Prevention, Inc.,; Rev. Lewis Durham, director of Glide Foundation; A. Cecil Williams, chairman of Citizens Alert; Robert Gonzales, president of the Mexican-American Political Association, and Dr. Clarence A. Colwell, president of The Council on Religion and the Homosexual, Inc.

The afternoon session will explore "The Homophile Community and Governmental Agencies--Can They Relate?" Speakers will include Janet Aitken, assistant district attorney; Elliott Blackstone, Police-Community Relations Unit; Dr. Joel Fort, criminologist-psychiatrist and director of the S.F. Mental Health Department's Center for Special Problems, and a personal representative assigned by Mayor John F. Shelley. This session will end with a round-table discussion by all speakers.

Mrs. Dorothy von Beroldingen, newly-appointed member of San Francisco's Board of Supervisors, will be the banquet speaker.

The Rt. Rev. Bishop James A. Pike, previously announced as the luncheon speaker, has all speaking engagements as a result of his resignation as head of the Episcopal Diocese of California. His replacement on the program has not yet been announced.

This convention is open to the public. Cost of the all-day meeting, including lunch and the banquet, is $15 per person. Reservations may be made for $5 down, with the balance payable in two installments of $5 each. For registration forms, a schedule of fees for portions of the program, and information on housing, contact Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., 3470 Mission S Street, San Francisco, California 94110.

DOB is arranging a full schedule of social events, seminars and workshops for the week of August 19-28 in cooperation with other homophile groups in San Francisco and the National Planning Conference of Homophile Organizations which will meet at the Bellevue Hotel August 25-27. For details write to DOB.

Make your plans now to vacation in San Francisco August 19-28!

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Through a Glass,

An Evaluation of the Bieber Study on Homosexuality
by Fritz A. Fluckiger, Ph.D.

In a past issue of THE LADDER (Note l), a thoughtful contributor raised the question: Does research into homosexuality matter? He concluded that it did not.

Of course research does matter. Its findings influence the attitude of the public at large, the policies of the social institutions and professions concerned with mental health, and the decisions of legislators and law enforcement agencies. Last but not least, research findings influence the attitudes of homosexuals toward themselves.

Therefore, a critical examination of the research that is being done on homosexuality is imperative. This is particularly so for research that is hailed by some as a major piece of work, and the conclusions of which are disseminated by the mass media as "the truth" about homosexuality.

In the United States, the study by Bieber et al. (Note 2) has probably been the most widely disseminated and discussed. Since it has recently been reprinted as a paperback, its repercussion is likely to continue. Thus a sober evaluation of the findings in the Bieber study, and the methods used to obtain them, is in order. Such an evaluation is especially needed when the assertions that are made have potentially important social consequences. These assertions in the Bieber study can be summarized as follows:

1. Male homosexuals are homosexual not because they like men, but because they fear women (p. 303).

2. Homosexuality is a form of psychopathology (pp. 303ff.).

1. Dr. Franklin E. Kameny: "Does Research Into Homosexuality Matter?". THE LADDER, 1965, Vol. 9, No. 8, pp. 14-20.

2. Irving Bieber et al.: HOMOSEXUALITY: A BSYCHOANALYTIC STUDY. New York, Basic Books, 1962. Also paperback edition, New York, Vintage (Random House), 1965. Page references in parentheses in this paper apply for both editions.

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3. Treatment is desirable, and with a sizable proportion of homosexual men in psychoanalytic treatment, the treatment results in cure (p. 318).

The purpose of this paper is to describe and evaluate the research techniques which led to these assertions.

The Basic Assumption

The authors of the study headed by Irving Bieber open their book by presenting a brief review of current theories of homosexuality, emphasizing two contrasting viewpoints:

1. Homosexuality may be viewed as "one type of expression of a polymorphous sexuality which appears pathologic only in cultures holding it to be so" (p. 18).

2. Homosexuality may be viewed as a psychopathological state. In this theory, the main point of contention is how much of this psychopathologic state should be attributed to constitutional determinants ("nature") and how much to the growing individual's experience ("nurture"). All psychoanalytic theories share this second viewpoint that homosexuality is a "sickness," and consider "nurture" the major determinant. (P. 18)

The members of the Bieber research group made a major strategic decision at the outset. True to their psychoanalytic orientation, they were unanimous in making the following basic assumption: "Our conception of the genesis of homosexuality gave minimal attention to hereditary, chemical, or organic genetic theories. We assumed that the dominant sexual pattern of the adult is the adaptive consequence of life experiences interpenetrating with a basic biological tendency toward heterosexuality" (p. 20). In other words: Humans are launched at birth onto a path toward heterosexuality, and anything which leads them away from that pre-ordained path is learned. A crucial part of the basic assumption is that such deviant learning is pathological.

It must be noted here that a major assumption of this kind needs to be substantiated and defended against competing viewpoints. Many investigators of animal and human sexual behavior have accumulated strong evidence regarding the relative contributions of nature and nurture to the sexual development of organisms. Briefly, a key argument in these investigations is that, as we ascend the evolutionary ladder, all sexual behavior becomes less and less determined by biological blueprints, and more and more influenced by the learning experience of the individual. The hypothesis that heterosexuality is a biological "norm" (p. 319) is no longer taken for granted by knowledgeable sex researchers. The strongest statement that can be made from the evidence available at present is that heterosexual behavior is most frequent. (Mote 3)

3, A lucid treatment of the topic was recently published in this review. See Clarence A. Tripp: "Who Is a Homosexual?" THE LADDER, 1965, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 15-23.

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One may call homosexual learning experiences or their outcome wrong, "sick" (or more formally, pathological), on various grounds. Homosexual acts are, after all, deviations from prevalent social norms. But to define them as "sick" on the ground that they deviate from a biological norm shows a thoughtless acceptance of the quasi-biological concepts in which psychoanalysis had its origins. Such a definition is one more of those numerous moral judgments which are disguised as clinical observations; it is one more example of, the frequently noted fact that what is really felt to be a moral or social wrong according to certain values is called a mental illness, a term which is supposedly free of value judgments. (Mote 4)

The basic assumption is not questioned at any point in the Bieber study. On the very last page, it is re-stated as an assumption. But in between page 20 and page 319, the reader is talked to forever as though the assumption were being tested, and as though evidence in support of it were presented. This is not the case. Rather, the authors' observations are interpreted in the light of the basic assumption.

For the researcher who is interested in scientific methodology and in finding out what the world is like (as opposed to the man who is intent on showing that the world is what he always thought it was), this procedure is objectionable. Perhaps the best way of explaining why is by an illustration. I may have many experiences of seeing the sun rise in the east and set in the west, and I may have concluded that the sun is turning around the earth. This view, as everyone knows, was held for thousands of years, and was used as a basic assumption for all-encompassing astronomical, cosmological, and theological theories. When men decided to examine this "natural" worldview, established philosophers put up a great deal of resistance, some of it strong enough to force a trouble-maker like Galileo into recanting his heretical views. The point of the illustration is that a great many observations of physics, astronomy, and so on can be ordered with a high degree of coherence and plausibility on the basic assumption that the earth is the fixed center of the universe.

When theories of sexuality are constructed, it is equally easy to order one's observations so as to make them fit a basic assumption that heterosexuality is a biological norm and that deviations from that norm represent faulty learning experiences leading to faulty outcomes.

The men who defended the geocentric world-view found strong support in established social institutions such as the Church and the universities.

4. For a discussion of this point, see Ernest van den Haag's "Introduction" to Richard von Krafft-Ebing: PSYCHOPATHIA SEXUALIS. New York, Putnam, 1965. Also Thomas S. Szasz: THE MYTH OF MENTAL ILLNESS. New York, Hoeber-Harper, 1961.

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The men who defend the view that heterosexuality is a biological norm find strong support in the established social institutions which are designed to bring deviants back into the fold. Again, churches and universities are prominent among these institutions.

A major argument of this paper is that Bieber et al. have failed to examine critically their basic assumption. Moreover, in presenting their observations, they have systematically emphasized those which support the basic assumption, and have underplayed, ignored, or explained away the numerous observations which do not accord with the basic assumption.

It is fair to say that the authors have all too often followed Maier's law to which they themselves make a passing reference (p. 29). This "law" is a facetious statement of a serious problem and can be summarized as follows: If you have a theory and find facts which refute it, throw away the facts and keep the theory. Also, you can always find at least some facts which will fit the theory. (Note 5)

The Design of the Research

The form of the Bieber study follows one of the simplest experimental paradigms. It is a comparison of a group of 106 homosexual and bisexual patients with a control group of 100 heterosexual patients. Note that both are patient groups - all the subjects felt disturbed enough to consult a psychoanalyst Strictly speaking, any difference found between the two groups indicates at most that the pathology of a homosexual patient is different from the pathology of a heterosexual patient. The authors try to avoid using their control patients as a standard of normalcy. But homosexuality is described so dramatically as a tragic phenomenon that the reader inevitably is often led to feel that the control patients were paragons of mental health.

Applicability of the Study: The patients were, in the main, middle-income-level New York men. The authors make an attempt to show that their findings can be generalized to all homosexuals, rich or poor, patients or non-patients, American or English. For this purpose, they select for comparison, from a vast body of research, a total of eight studies showing some findings which agree with their own.

The first two studies were done by the authors themselves. One is an unpublished descriptive report on 50 men who served in the armed forces during World War II and who came to the authors' attention because they were apprehended for homosexual acts. The second study is of 30 overtly homosexual adolescents, mostly inmates of a New York City mental hospital. The observations made on these young men are presented as Chapter VIII, "Homosexuality in Adolescence," in the Bieber

5. N. R. F. Maier: "Maier's Law." AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGIST, 1960, Vol. 15, pp. 208-212.

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volume. They are a poor substitute for the scanty data on the adolescence of the 206 men used for the research proper. (pp. 37f.).

Another descriptive study is cited which involved 50 "markedly effeminate" homosexual prisoners, all of whom were classified as criminally antisocial, (P. 40).

None of these studies had a control group. They all use the case history and anecdotal report method, which is the one most notoriously subject to biased interpretation by researchers.

Two further studies--again without control groups--are cited which are based on questionnaire and interview responses by homosexuals themselves rather than by their analysts, psychiatrists, or guardians. One study involved 100 homosexual men who volunteered to answer a questionnaire distributed by Daughters of Bilitis, with the results published in THE LADDER (September 1960). The second study was based on the responses of 127 homosexual Englishmen who agreed to be interviewed by a psychologist. The similarities between the findings of these two studies and the findings of Bieber et al. are stressed (pp. 38f.). While a detailed comparison cannot be made here, the manner in which the data are used can be illustrated by an example. 57% of the Englishmen reported that they had had a dominant mother. The judges for the Bieber study report that 58% of the homosexual Americans had had a dominant mother. This is presented as one piece of evidence for the statement that homosexuals, whether they be English or American, of upper or lower social level, are similar in their parental background. This evidence looks awfully thin to a reader who bothers to check the Bieber questionnaire (p. 321) and finds that 55% of the heterosexual controls in the Bieber study also had had dominant mothers.

Finally, three studies are selected from the voluminous research published in psychological journals. Here the methodology is less defective; at least we find such elementary requirements as the use of control groups satisfied. Not one of these studies, however, has adequate checks against the preconceived notions of the investigators. (Pp. 39ff.)

Many of the seemingly concurring findings of these eight studies refer to items which are superficial, or only peripherally relevant to the main argument of the Bieber study. The results which agree with the Bieber group's view of the central importance of maternal "engulfment" and paternal "detachment" in a homosexual outcome are without exception based on observations insufficiently guarded against the researchers' bias. In sum, the claim that the eight studies cited allow for a generalization of the Bieber et al. findings to homosexual men who were not represented in their sample is not substantiated.

The Questionnaire: The contributing analysts answered a questionnaire for each of their patients, and their answers provided the basic data of the study. These answers were taken

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from case notes. Presumably they also were sometimes filled in from memory by the analyst and sometimes obtained directly from a current patient.

The questionnaire included about 350 questions (or "items," as researchers sometimes call them). Pretty much in line with psychoanalytic theorizing, the emphasis was on early childhood experience, About 160 questions were about mother and father, and a goodly 100 items more were about pre-pubertal experience. The rest was left for a few questions each on such topics as relationships with men and women, sexual practices, and so on.

The selection of questions was influenced not only by the general theoretical framework of psychoanalysis, but also by many specific hypotheses. Briefly, the vast majority of questions were expected to show differences between the homosexual and the heterosexual groups (p. 21). This is important to note, for when such an approach is used, items which do not show the expected difference become of special interest. They refute the underlying hypothesis and thus constitute a direct challenge. Such challenges occurred frequently in the study, and were rarely taken up.

The Judges: The questions were answered not by the patients, but by their analysts. This way of gathering data creates a research problem which had been widely discussed even before 1962, the publication date of the Bieber volume. No awareness of this discussion is shown in the text or in the singularly defective bibliography.

The analysts' responses were not "blind." When answering the questionnaire, the analysts had a specific patient in mind, a man whom they knew to be homosexual or heterosexual. They had conducted an inquiry into his past which had been directed by theoretical notions generating certain expectations on the analysts' part. The training of psychoanalysts consists, among other things, of learning to order the history of a patient in the light of a body of theories about socio-sexual development and early social interaction, especially with mother and father. If the patient shows "pathology" in later life, his early experiences must have been "pathogenic," according to these psychoanalytic theories. When one approaches a patient from such a point of view, it becomes surprisingly easy to detect in the complex array of facts about his early history, "omens" of later behaviors defined as "pathological."

It is precisely this influence of conscious or unconscious expectations acting on a researcher's selection and perception of "facts" that has led to the recent development of research techniques designed to eliminate or at least curb the Impact of the researcher's preconceived notions. The authors of the Bieber study do not understand that their procedures severely limit the validity of their questionnaire responses. They even go so far as to claim that the analysts' training--the very source of the underlying bias--constitutes a safeguard against bias (p. 30).

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The following example may serve to illustrate theoretical bias affecting clinical judgment. Psychoanalytic theory holds that the mother of a homosexual establishes an excessively intimate relationship with her son and thus interferes with his "natural" tendency toward heterosexuality, and that this interference is often continued into the post-pubertal period. Thus we have question II R 1, 2 (p. 326): Did mother interfere with the patient's heterosexuality in adolescence? The analysts' responses show a statistically significant difference: more mothers of homosexuals are said to have so interfered. This finding is used later to construe the authors' picture of the "close-binding, intimate" mother who keeps her son from women. However, this is one of the very few questions where the analysts were also asked to state what their patients thought. It turns out that 33 patients disagreed with their analysts and claimed that mother had not interfered with heterosexuality in adolescence. The patients' responses do not show a statistically significant difference between homosexuals and heterosexuals. This finding, which could have been used by the authors to explore the problem of the judges' bias and its probable effect on the research results, is completely ignored.

One should not conclude from the above that the analysts were wrong and the patients were right. Nor is it necessarily true that it would be a great improvement to have the questionnaire answered by the patients themselves. They, too, order their past experience in the light of their own (more or less formalized) theories. In our day, such theories are very likely to be derived from popularized psychoanalytic viewpoints. This reflection of popularized psychoanalytic theories is particularly likely in the case of social outsiders such as homosexuals who are made to wonder how they got to be that way.

If neither the analysts nor even their patients can be trusted to give a valid account of the patient's life history as it was (rather than as it looks to them now that they are grown up), can one reconstruct ¿one's past at all? This disturbing question with its philosophical as well as pragmatic implications is a matter of deep concern to contemporary thinkers. (Note 6). The shallowness and parochialism of the Bieber study become most painfully evident when one, sees that this whole issue has been brushed away.

Statistical Treatment: The construction of any research instrument largely pre-determines the type and level of statistical treatment to which the data can be subjected. In the Bieber research, the majority of questions are phrased so that the answer has to be "Yes" or "No." The statistical methods

6. Two outstanding analyses of the difficult issues involved are: Ernest G. Schachtel: "On Memory and Childhood Amnesia" in METAMORPHOSIS. New York, Basic Books, 1959. Pp. 279-322. - John H. Gagnon: "Sexuality and Sexual Learning in the Child." PSYCHIATRY, 1965, Vol. 28, pp. 212-228.

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available for such responses are, generally speaking, low-level indices of association (such as chi square). These are the procedures which Bieber et al. have used.

Where there is a large number of questions, many of which are overlapping (if not duplicating) each other, it is desirable to investigate the extent to which such overlapping occurs. There are many statistical techniques for this purpose. They have the added advantage of pointing out complex relationships which may or may not have been expected. The authors chose instead to use the lowest-level statistical devices: (1) a determination of the statistical significance of the responses to each question; (2) a determination of the degree of association of two or more items with each other, these items being selected individually according to a vast number of underlying hypotheses; (3) the grouping of some questions to form "scales" covering certain broad areas. All these techniques hark back to early clinical research and are inadequate for a study covering such a wide range of observations as the Bieber study.

Some detailed criticisms of the statistical aspects of the study will be given later. The following general remarks on the authors' use of the three techniques mentioned above can be made here:

On (l): For each question, a determination was made as to whether the responses for the homosexuals were different from those for the heterosexuals. For instance, if a large number of homosexuals were mother's favorite but only a small number of heterosexuals had that dubious privilege, the difference between the two groups is said to be statistically significant. An inspection of the questionnaire shows that for a majority of questions, no statistically significant differences are found. More important, where such differences are found, they are often small, so that the interpretation of their meaning should be cautious indeed. (Note 7)

Not only do the authors fail to heed the counsel of caution, but they even take the liberty of using statistically not significant differences and of interpreting them as "trends" - when such trends seem to support their hypotheses. Trends that go against their hypotheses are ignored. It has been many years that professional journals have frowned on or have downright prohibited the practice of interpreting trends that fall short of a given, and justified, level of statistical significance.

On (2); The procedure outlined under (2) above is legitimate in principle. But, given the complexity of the matters which

7. Recently a psychologist has taken researchers severely to task for drawing major conclusions from small differences which happen to be statistically significant. See Marvin D. Dunnette: "Fads, Fashions, and Folderol in Psychology," AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGIST, 1966, Vol. 21, pp. 343-352.

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are investigated in this study, a systematic exploration of all associations of items would clearly have been preferable.

On (3): The description of selective groupings of responses as "scales" is inappropriate. None of these scales is constructed in accordance with even elementary psychometric principles.

In addition to these general remarks on the procedures used by Bieber et al., some recurrent ambiguities in their interpretations need to be noted.

One is the use of findings which involve only small sub-groups of subjects. Such findings may be statistically significant, but they are derived from the observation of so few people that the interpretation should be very cautious. All too often, the authors do not warn the reader adequately. They indulge in dramatic extrapolations from small sub-group samples (e. g., the comments to Table V-6, p. 123). Or again, they state findings on small sub-groups as percentages of the subgroups, and thus create the impression that the finding is much stronger than it really is (e. g., the comments to Table IX-15, p. 247).

Another ambiguity is the confusion between frequency and intensity. Most responses should only be interpreted in terms of frequency. The following example may clarify this point. Many fathers of homosexual sons rejected that son. Fewer fathers of heterosexual sons rejected that son. But the authors take this to mean that the rejection shown by the fathers of homosexual sons was a more intense kind of rejection (p. 108). The data presented in that context do not warrant such an interpretation. This is not just a verbal quibble. It is precisely this ambiguity which encourages the authors to dramatize the "pathogenic" family background of their homosexual patients--and to forget so often that their heterosexual controls also were patients in treatment, also showed "pathology," and by the authors' own logic also had had a "pathogenic" family background.

The attentive reader of a research study must try to retrace every single step taken by the investigators, and be on the alert for steps that should have been taken. This writer has made such an attempt with the Bieber et al. study. It is obviously impossible to recount this process of evaluation in detail. Therefore, only a brief presentation of the salient features of each chapter which reveal most clearly the spirit in which the Bieber inquiry was conducted, will be given in this paper.

Chapter III: Mother-Son Relationship

Over 70 questions investigating the relationship between mother and son were asked. For 27 questions, the responses given for the homosexuals were different from those given for the heterosexuals at a statistically significant level. This

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means that many more responses showed no significant differences between the two groups, i. e., the majority of responses showed that homosexuals and heterosexuals tended to be similar to each other rather than different from each other regarding the mother-son relationship. This finding is ignored.

The findings which are statistically significant are, for the most part, not very strong, since there are still many members of the two groups who are similar rather than different. This writer's selection of the 14 items which show the clearest differences indicates a pattern which might roughly be called a "mother's boy" pattern. By this selection, six out of ten homosexuals were mother's boys. But so were four out of ten heterosexuals. Note that we are only one notch away from a pure chance run in which five out of ten members of each group would be mother's boys.

The authors must have felt some discomfort at the extent of the overlap. So they improved on their findings. Rather than use the complex statistical techniques available for summarizing patterns of responses, they chose to have two members of their committee go over the questionnaires plus additional reports by the contributing analysts, and summarize their overall impressions in a number of ratings. Mainly the patients were categorized as to whether they had a close-binding/intimate mother or not--i. e., whether or not they were mother's boys. The very loose method by which these ratings were obtained is described in Appendix B (p. 349).

Now of course the two raters shared the basic assumption of the research committee--they were members of that committee. They had helped construct the questionnaire with its built-in bias. They had contributed cases (p. 31). Their ratings were not blind; they knew who was homosexual and who was heterosexual. If a legal analogy be permitted, they had helped to make the case for the prosecution. But now they were sitting as judges. Inevitably, in such a situation, the initial biases are compounded. No wonder we get some improvement: when the raters finish their evaluations, we now find that seven out of ten homosexuals were mother's boys, and only three out of ten heterosexuals were.

Most of the subsidiary analyses in this chapter are based on these second-round "mother's boy" ratings. Given the multiplicity of biases which entered these ratings, the findings are questionable.

Chapter IV: Father-Son Relationship

In evaluating the responses to the father-son questions, we run into problems similar to those for the mother-son questions. Out of over 70 items, only 25 show a statistically significant difference between the homosexuals and the heterosexuals, so that again there are many more similarities than differences. Again this finding is ignored.

Overall, the responses describing the relationship between father and son show a much less consistent picture than do

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those describing the relationship between mother and son. Therefore, summarizing the pattern of the responses becomes even more difficult. The authors used a rating procedure similar to that described for the mother-son responses, to set forth a number of categories such as "paternal hostility" and "paternal rejection." The chief categorization, however, is that of "detached" versus "not-detached" fathers. A father who spent little or very little time with his son was called detached. A father who spent an average amount or a great deal of time with his son was called not-detached.

Eight out of ten homosexuals had detached fathers. But so did five out of ten heterosexuals. The authors' interpretation of this finding is that paternal detachment is a significant determinant of a homosexual outcome.

One may ask why some sons of not-detached fathers became homosexuals anyway. The authors try to show that there is a difference between detached and not-detached fathers of homosexuals on 23 items (Table IV-4, p. 89; the first two questions listed in this table are not relevant for this paragraph). It turns out that no statistically significant differences between these two groups of fathers are found. But, as there happened to be few not-detached fathers of homosexuals, the authors claim that differences might have been found had there been more such fathers (p. 88), and that anyway there are "trends" indicating differences. What differences? The "trends" are toward "less involvement and interaction between father and son" in the case of the detached fathers of homosexual sons. A fair summary of this statement is that detached fathers are detached fathers, a finding which can be arrived at without statistics.

The fact that so many sons of detached fathers (more than half of the heterosexual group) did not become homosexual makes one wonder how relevant paternal detachment is. The authors, to be sure, claim that the detachment was a lesser kind of detachment in the fathers of heterosexual sons (p. 116), This is not a correct way of reporting the findings. The data only show that fewer fathers of heterosexuals were detached (Table IV-4, p. 89).

A final section of this chapter explores specific relationships between fathers and sons. Not too surprisingly, if a father is hostile, his son (whether homosexual or heterosexual) hates or fears him. Much is made of an association between the child's fear of physical injury from father and the adult's fear of injury to or disease of his genitals--a finding which is interpreted in terms of a sexual competition for mother between father and son. This is an extrapolation from the data which several pages of hypothetical connections do not succeed in making wholly plausible to anyone who is not sold on the Oedipus complex theory to begin with.

To Be Concluded Next Month

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MEMBERSHIP in Daughters of Bilitis is limited to women 21 years of age or older. If in San Francisco, New York, or Chicago area, direct inquiry to chapter concerned. Otherwise write to National Office in San Francisco for a membership application form.

THE LADDER is a monthly magazine published by Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., mailed in a plain sealed envelope for $5.00 a year. Anyone over 21 may subscribe to The Ladder.

CONTRIBUTIONS are gratefully accepted from anyone who wants to support our work. We are a non-profit corporation depending entirely on volunteer labor. While men may not become members of Daughters of Bilitis, many have expressed interest in our efforts and have made contributions to further our work.

NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS and San Francisco Chapters
3470 Mission St., San Francisco, Calif.

New York Chapter: P. O. Box 3629
Grand Central Station
New York 17, New York
Chicago Chapter: P. O. Box 4497
Chicago, Illinois


3470 Mission St., San Francisco, Calif.

Please send THE LADDER for ______ year(s) in a plain sealed envelope to the address below. I enclose $ _____ at the rate of $5.00 for each year ordered.




I am over 21 years of age (Signed)_____

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Thinking about vacation?

Make it San Francisco

August 19-28 (SEE PAGE 15)

The Ladder, August 1966, Vol. 10, No. 11

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purpose of the Daughters of BILITIS


1 Education of the variant, with particular emphasis on the psychological, physiological and sociological aspects, to enable her to understand herself and make her adjustment to society in all its social, civic and economic implications--this to be accomplished by establishing and maintaining as complete a library as possible of both fiction and non-fiction literature on the sex deviant theme; by sponsoring public discussions on pertinent subjects to be conducted by leading members of the legal, psychiatric, religious and other professions; by advocating a mode of behavior and dress acceptable to society.

2 Education of the public at large through acceptance first of the individual, leading to an eventual breakdown of erroneous taboos and prejudices; through public discussion meetings aforementioned; through dissemination of educational literature on the homosexual theme.

3 Participation in research projects by duly authorized and responsible psychologists, sociologists and other such experts directed towards further knowledge of the homosexual.

4 Investigation of the penal code as it pertains to the homosexual, proposal of changes to provide an equitable handling of cases involving this minority group, and promotion of these changes through due process of law in the state legislatures.

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Published monthly by the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, 3470 Mission Street, San Francisco, California 94110.









EDITOR--Barbara Gittings




THE LADDER is regarded as a sounding board for various points of view on the homophile and related subjects and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the organization.


DOB Puts San Francisco On the Spot 4
10 Days In August 5
A Perplexing Book--by John R. Cavanagh 8
An Empirical Study -
Law vs. Private Morality
DOB Convention Program 13
Lesbiana--by Gene Damon 17
Research Through a Glass, Darkly -
An Evaluation of the Bieber Study
on Homosexuality--by Fritz A.
Fluckiger, Ph.d. (Part Two)
Readers Respond 26

Cover Photos by Kay Tobin

Copyright 1966 by Daughters of Bilitis, Inc.,San Francisco, California

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DOB Puts San Francisco
On The Spot

For the first time, representatives from city hall and the police department will sit down at a conference table with members of the homophile community and allied civic organizations. This historic occasion is set for the fourth national convention of the Daughters of Bilitis, to be held August 20 at the Jack Tar Hotel in San Francisco.

The program will be focused on one city: San Francisco. It Is expected that in this face-to-face confrontation, specific recommendations will be made to solve problems encountered by the homosexual minority in San Francisco.

Ever since the city's mayoralty campaign in 19 59--when the incumbent,. George Christopher, was accused by his opponent of "harboring homosexuals" in the city--the Daughters of Bilitis as an organization has worked diligently towards such a conference as the one now scheduled for its 1966 convention. At the time of the 1959 election smear, DOB asked civic leaders to call such a meeting. In 1960, the mayor and the police chief were invited to participate in DOB's first national convention. In 1965; after the fiasco of the New Year's Ball (see p. 14, June 1966 issue), DOB again called for a meeting between civic leaders and the homophile organizations of San Francisco. But all these attempts were rebuffed or ignored.

Now, with the advent of the council on Religion and the Homosexual and the support of clergy and of the United Church of Christ, with the new alliance between the homophile community and other minorities as exemplified in Citizens Alert, with the emergence of a homosexual voting bloc and its endorsement of candidates, with the more militant approach of social action projects such as the National Protest Day held May 21," the city has been forced to face the homophile issues.

Mayor John F. Shelley is sending as his personal representative to the DOB convention Dr. Ellis D. Sox, director of the San Francisco Health Department. Police Chief Thomas Cahill has appointed officer Elliott Blackstone, of the police community relations unit, to represent him.

Other city-officials who will participate are: Miss Janet Aitken, assistant district attorney; Dr. Joel Fort, criminologist-psychiatrist and director of the San Francisco Health Department's new Center for Special Problems; Douglas Corbin, senior attorney, Public Defender's Office; Judge Joseph G. Kennedy Of the municipal court (also president of the San

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Francisco Council of Churches); and Mrs. Dorothy von Bolderingen, newly-appointed member of the Board of Supervisors.

Cast in supporting roles as representing civic organizations which have already established a working liaison with the homophile community will be: Rev. Lewis Durham, director of Glide Foundation; Robert Gonzales, president of the Mexican-American Political Association; Rev. A. Cecil Williams, chairman of Citizens Alert; Bernard Mayes, head of San Francisco Suicide Prevention, Inc.; and Dr. Clarence Colwell, president of The Council on Religion and the Homosexual Inc.

At the close of the daytime portion of the DOB convention program, a panel discussion by all the guest-participants will be moderated by Dr. Evelyn Hooker, psychologist and sociologist at the University of California at Los Angeles.

The theme for the convention Is: San Francisco and Its Homophile Community--A Merging Social Conscience. The convention is open to the public. Registration for the full day, including luncheon and banquet, is $15. Advance reservations are requested; they may be made with a down payment of $5, with the balance to be paid by August 20th. Arrangements may also be made for attending Individual sessions of the program at special rates

Ten Days in August

In anticipation of the many travelers from throughout the United States wishing to attend both the Fourth National Convention of the Daughters of Bilitis (August 19-21) and the National Planning Conference of Homophile Organizations (August 25-27), San Francisco groups have joined together in planning and hosting a varied and intensive educational and social program throughout the week.

There will be seminars on Theology and the Homosexual, Legal and Penal Reforms, Psycho-Social Views of Homosexuality, Communication and Leadership Training. On the lighter side there will be parties, dances, a musical-variety show and gay bar tours.

Plan your San Francisco vacation NOW--from August 19 through August 28, If you are interested in gaining further knowledge of the homosexual and his problems, what the homophile movement is all about and how you can help, or how to set up a homophile organization in your town or city, these ten days offer a gold mine of information and social camaraderie.

Hotel rates available at the Jack Tar Hotel, Van Ness Ave, and Geary Blvd., August 19-21 when registered as attending the DOB Convention are $15.00 single and $19.00 double. To those registered as attending the National Planning Conference of Homophile Organizations, the Bellevue Hotel, 505 Geary Blvd., has also offered special rates- of $11.00 single and $15.00 double. These

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hotel reservations should be made immediately. Other housing information can be obtained by writing to DOB, 3470 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110.

The special Consultation on Theology and the Homosexual to be held August 22-24 is limited to 4-0 participants who have some depth of experience in relationships between the clergy and the homosexual. Registrants must be able to attend all sessions including evening of August 22, all day and evening August 23, and all day August 24. Fee is $5.00. For further information write to the Council on Religion and the Homosexual, 330 Ellis St., San Francisco, CA 94102.

Tentatively, the schedule for ten exciting days is as follows:


Daughters of Bilitis reception (cocktails and buffet) free for DOB Convention registrants. DOB Hall, 3470 Mission St. 7 p.m. on.


Fourth National Convention of the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc. Jack Tar Hotel. 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. (For details see program in this issue).


Orientations sessions arranged by the council on Religion and the Homosexual for out-of-towners who would like to participate in conversations between church men and homosexuals. If interested, contact CRH, 330 Ellis St., S. F.

DOB business meeting (all day). DOB members only.

Party, for women only. DOB Hall. 9 p.m. on.


Tavern Guild of San Francisco Fishing trip. 5:30 a.m.-4 p.m. If interested, write to TGSF, 83 - 6th St., San Francisco.

Seminar: "A Psycho-Social View of Homosexuality." 2-5 p.m. Society for Individual Rights Center, 83 - 6th St.

Theology Consultation (open): "The Pastoral Theologian Looks at Homosexuality." Dr. Arthur Foster, Dean, Berkeley Baptist Divinity School. Glide Fellowship Hall, Ellis and Taylor St. 8 p.m.


Theology Consultation (registrants only). Glide Fellowship Hall. 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Seminar: A panel discussion on legal and penal code reforms as they affect the homosexual. SIR Center. 2-5 p.m.

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Theology Consultation (open): "A Sociologist Looks at Homosexuality and Moral Theology," The Rev. D. J. Schallert, S.J. (Ph.D.) assistant professor of sociology, University of San Francisco. Glide Fellowship Hall. 8 p.m.


Theology Consultation (registrants only). Glide Fellowship Hall. 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Seminar: "Communication--Homosexuality and Inter-personal Relations." SIR Center, 10-12 a.m.

Seminar: Leadership Training. SIR Center, 2-5 p.m.

Evening: Brewery Party and Panel discussion on homophile organizations.

National Planning Conference of Homophile Organizations. Bellevue Hotel. 9-12 a.m. and 2-5 p.m. Forum on "What concrete steps can be taken to further the homophile movement?" Sessions open to observers, but only delegates may take part.


National Planning Conference of Homophile Organizations.

Bellevue Hotel. 9 a.m. 5 p.m.

Wine Tasting Party. Bellevue Hotel. 5 p.m.

Evening: DOB Musical-Variety Show.


National Planning Conference of Homophile Organizations. Bellevue Hotel. 9 a.m. 5 p.m.

Citizens News cocktail party for delegates, their guests and CN subscribers only. 22 Russ St. 7-9 p.m.

SIR dance. SIR Center, 9 P.m. on.


Tavern Guild of San Francisco picnic. All Day.

Make your plans now. Don't miss this unparalleled and unforgettable vacation package in San Francisco August 19-28, 1966.

The organizations who have cooperated in putting together this vacation special include: Council on Religion and the Homosexual, Daughters of Bilitis, Mattachine Society, Society for Individual Rights, Strait and Associates (Citizens News) and Tavern Guild of San Francisco. Any one or all of them will be glad to assist you In making your plans.

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A Perplexing Book


(The Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee, 1966)

Counseling the Invert is just that a book on how to counsel the homosexual. It is by a Roman Catholic psychiatrist, John R. Cavanagh. It is to be used by counselors when a homosexual hurts enough to go to one. Consequently, it should not be evaluated from an other perspective.

As a book on counseling, it separates neatly the pathological from the normal. For Cavanagh, "homosexuality, of itself, is neither moral nor immoral" (p. 151). But "sexual acts outside of marriage are seriously sinful (p. 153). And, "true homosexuals, whether overt or latent, should not get married" (p. 135). Cavanagh seems to pour his psychiatric assumptions and his religious assumptions into an electric mixer and turn it on. So that, in addition to the religious conclusions, he concludes that homosexuality is "symptomatic of an underlying personality disorder" which is adequate ground for excluding a person from "religious life," which seems to mean the priesthood.

A man's assumptions--in such areas as homosexuality--are often more interesting than his conclusions. For conclusions flow easily from a combination of assumptions. Cavanagh at times seems to include among his assumptions a static 19th century Freudian Viennese culture. He also seems to accept with finality endless religious tenets--including guidelines for psychiatry. Through it all, I keep asking, "What happened to God as redeemer, as freer?"

Ecumenical commitments are growing, but such doctrinaire treatments of contemporary man and his condition as the Cavanagh book should cause thinking Protestants to pause. If I were a homosexual seeking counseling today, I would have serious doubts about going to a Roman Catholic psychiatrist--because of his previous commitments. His values appear to be final and treatment proceeds from that point. Little respect is shown for the values of the person if he or she happens to be a homosexual. If, however, I were a homosexual choosing a Roman Catholic therapist, I would turn to Dr. Cavanagh--for he has done his homework; he knows, the literature, and he appears to be thinking. (For instance, he uses the Kinsey typology in a diagnostic formula.)

In his chapter on governmental agencies, Cavanagh includes everything from why homosexuals make good intelligence agents to the west et al plan for modifying the military codes in regard to homosexuality.

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Cavanagh favors laws legalizing private homosexual acts between adults. He condemns entrapment. Legal and psychiatric terminology needs to be brought up to date.

In aiding the counselor, Cavanagh develops a realistic and inclusive context. He includes everything from an analysis of scripture to the legal code of the Air Force.

He includes one surprisingly thorough chapter on "Homosexual Organizations and Publications," giving excellent coverage of Daughters of Bilitis and THE LADDER. He refers to The Council on Religion and the Homosexual as "of special interest to the counselor" (p. 217).

Cavanagh concludes that the homosexual is not "responsible for the origin of his inversion." His "state of being" is not culpable. But he is "responsible for his current individual acts," Cavanagh states that "there can never be a legitimate sex act out-side of marriage," Finally, the role of the counselor is "to attempt to persuade the homosexual...that abstinence is the greater good" (pp. 231-233). "A clergyman should be content to set as his ultimate aim the adjustment of the homosexual to a life of chastity" (p. 257).

All data is presented with such finality that the reader finds himself asking, "If it is all so settled, why counsel at all? What is the purpose of counseling?" One reason for counseling is to ascertain "the part played by the condition and that played by the will" in specific acts of homosexuality--and "to cultivate and strengthen the grip of conscience" (p. 233). Counseling is not therapy. Counseling is limited to acceptance and understanding of conflicts and the development of "a new sex orientation." Therapy may call for (1) the adoption of "a completely heterosexual attitude; (2) a new orientation which would include an acceptance of heterosexuality but with no basic change in his homosexuality;" or (3) "an acceptance of his Condition with the decision to remain abstinent" (p.268).

Cavanagh dignifies female homosexuality by devoting one chapter to it. He begins the chapter by stating that his experience has been that Lesbianism "has been twice as frequent as male homosexuality" and ends the chapter by concluding "little Is known of female homosexuality"--and says nothing new as the result of his experience.

Counseling the Invert is a perplexing book in that It is basically a conservative presentation of Roman Catholic and psychiatric positions and progressive social policy. It is provocative in Its combination of ideas if the reader can keep his mind open to seeing the whole book as an entity rather than picking at specific conclusions.

It is recommended reading for any counselors--including Protestant clergymen. It will be interesting reading to persons interested in understanding Roman Catholic moral theology. Otherwise, it is a good reader of material printed elsewhere.

- Reviewed by The Rev. Donald Kuhn

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An Empirical Study

The Law vs. Private Morality


Although this project purports to be an empirical study of enforcement and administration in Los Angeles county vis a vis the consenting adult homosexual, in actuality it gives the reader an overview of homosexual offenses, the kind of people who commit them, the circumstances under which they are committed, the representation the accused receives, the penalties, and some statistical data on acquittals and convictions. The project might well have been published as a book, and had it been so published some of its real meat might have been exposed to the larger reading audience it deserves rather than the limited one reached by a university law review.

First, let me indicate how the project is set up in terms of content, and then I will offer a few comments on its value.

The foreword, written by Associate Justice Stanley Mosk of the California Supreme Court, a former attorney general of this state, should give hearty encouragement to those individuals and groups who have struggled so long for a balanced view on sexuality. Justice Mosk finds some healthy straws in the wind of "social attitudes as reflected in legislation" the recent cases based on right of privacy (Griswold v. Connecticut, on birth control) and invalidation of "crimes of status" as contained in effect, conduct between consenting adult individuals lawful. Lastly, Justice Mosk finds this project study by the University of California at Los Angeles Law School mature and provocative, and includes it as one of the healthy straws in the wind.

The introduction attempts to focus on what the project wants to achieve: an analysis of the functioning of the criminal law as a vehicle for the regulation of private morality and a study of its successes and the areas of difficulty.

The next section is entitled "Statutory Sex Provisions" and puts in perspective the main crimes involving homosexual conduct. In addition to pointing out the obvious penal code sections in California statutes, it discusses the use of the broad vagrancy statutes and the "catch-all" provisions, for example, of Section 650-1/2. This study examines the proposed

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statutory revisions as they have occurred in Illinois and the attempts which were made in Minnesota and New York to redefine the public interest in sexual conduct between consenting adults

The most interesting, from a lay reader's standpoint, will undoubtedly be the section titled "Enforcement Techniques." This section bears careful reading by every citizen who is interested in good law enforcement. The data was compiled from interviews with homosexuals, enforcement agencies, probation departments, owners of homosexual bars, and from perusal of arrest records. One method of enforcement included in this section is the use of police decoys. There is a fine discussion on entrapment, defined as activity by police officers designed to foster rather than prevent and detect crime. Also listed are types of clandestine observation, with an analysis of the types of observation which are permitted under California law, and a discussion of the various rationale used by police in justifying such tactics.

Another type of enforcement, "Routine Patrol and Harassment," provides an informative exposition with which most homosexuals and professional people involved in law, both from a prosecution and defense standpoint, are already familiar. (An example: parking a police car outside a homosexual bar to frighten off prospective patrons.)

A still different type of enforcement is what is called "Licensing and Abatement." This includes a discussion on the practice of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board with respect to homosexual bars, and police devices to control homosexual activity by, for example, requiring licensing of massage parlors and art studios.

The last portion of the enforcement techniques is concerned with arrests made at police discretion and on which penal statutes to charge offenses when such arrests are made. This necessarily involves a discussion of the registration law in California (Penal Code Section 290). This portion also discloses that there is less police activity against Lesbians than male homosexuals. In fact, the statistical data in the study shows no females involved in the felony or the misdemeanor cases cited. This, of course, does not mean that the Lesbian is any less subject to police enforcement techniques, such as licensing of establishments and revocation of licenses.

The next part concerns the interval between arrest and trial, going into detail as to the court procedures and protections afforded the accused. This is followed by concerns of trial and post-trial disposition, and contains statistical data on convictions for the various types of offenses. This section reveals what most attorneys who handle adult sex offenders realize--that there is a systematic disposition of adult consensual homosexual offenders as misdemeanants. These include those crimes which are considered felonies but by sentence of the court are declared to be, or are converted into, misdemeanors.

Indicative of this-procedure is this quotation: "Interviews

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with judges, attorneys, psychiatrists, probation officials and a study of the leading authorities lead to the conclusion that the adult consensual homosexual offender is not a menace to society and does not exhibit a proclivity toward children. When he engages in homosexual conduct in public he is simply a nuisance. Sentences imposed by the court indicate judicial recognition of this fact," (p. 792)

To assess the value of this project is indeed difficult. The project indicates in a few short sentences that the penal code is not enforced on private consensual homosexual activity, mainly because of the evidentiary problem: obtaining warrants for search of private dwelling places based on reasonable cause presents an insurmountable burden even to the most avid vice squad officer.

There is a good deal of truth in the conclusions that the actions of the courts in many jurisdictions in California, mainly the metropolitan areas, tend to treat public homosexual offenses between consenting adults as public . I would have welcomed a greater in-depth treatment of the California registration statute, Penal Code Section 290, and an analysis of the efficacy of the statute. I go along with many other members of the California State Bar in feeling that the purpose is virtually non-existent and the harassment and humiliation is completely out of line with any legitimate purpose. The use of the provisions of the Welfare and Institutions Code relating to psychiatric evaluation and incarceration of sexual offenders in state hospitals is probably accurately assessed. In my own experience this has only been used when one of the sexual partners was below the age of I4.

One of the values of a study such as this, if it is widely circulated, can be to give both homosexuals and heterosexuals a better understanding of the legal and extra-legal problems homosexuals face, both on the statute books and in enforcement of the laws in a manner in which other laws are not enforced. The main value as I see it, however, is that the subject of homosexual behavior is one which can always benefit by more objective airing of all its aspects; and law enforcement regarding public homosexual behavior is one such important aspect. The project tends to put the limelight on the reason for law enforcement on homosexual behavior in one quotation:

"A great majority of the authorities interviewed were not as concerned with the manner in which the adult homosexual gratified his sexual desires as they were with where such gratification occurred. These authorities prefer to focus upon what appears to be the only legitimate societal interest served by the proscription of adult consensual homosexuality--the right to be protected from offensive conduct in public. Viewed from this perspective the solicitation and consummation of homosexual acts in public becomes the only ground upon which the imposition of criminal sanctions is properly sustainable." (p. 790-791)

- Reviewed by Herbert Donaldson,

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should be pp. 13-16

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AUGUST 20, 1966



"San Francisco and Its Homophile Community- A Merging Social Conscience"

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Friday, August 19 Reception, cocktails and buffet for all Convention registrants
7p.m. DOB Hall, 3470 Mission Street, San Francisco. Telephone AT 5-4275.
Saturday, August 20 Public Forum
The International Room of the Jack. Tar Hotel, Van Ness Avenue and Geary Boulevard, San Francisco.
8:30--9 a.m. Registration. All sessions open to the public.
9--9:30 a.m. Addresses of Welcome
Miss Lois Williams, President, San Francisco Chapter,
Miss Phyllis Lyon, National Public Relations Director.
9:30-10 a.m. History of the Homophile Organizations in San Francisco--Miss Del Martin, charter member of DOB.
A Challenge to the City of San Francisco --William Beardemphl, President, Society for Individual Rights.
10 a.m.--Noon The Homophile Community and Civic Organizations--How They Relate.
The Rev. Lewis Durham, Executive Director, The Glide Foundation.

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10 a.m.-Noon (continued)
Dr. Clarence A. Colwell, President, The Council on Religion and the Homosexual, Inc.
The Rev. A, Cecil Williams, Chairman Citizens Alert.
Bernard Mayes, M.A. (Hons.) Cantab., T.D., Rev., Director of Volunteers, San Francisco Suicide Prevention.
Robert Gonzales, Attorney and President, Mexican-American Political Association.
12:30--2 p.m. Luncheon, The El Dorado Room
Speaker--Judge Joseph G. Kennedy of the Municipal Court, and President, San Francisco Council of Churches.
2:30--4:30 p.m. The International Room
The Homophile Community and Governmental Agencies--Can They Relate?
Miss Janet Aitken, Assistant District Attorney.
Officer Elliott Blackstone, Police Community Relations Unit.
Douglas Corbin, Senior Attorney Public Defender's Office.
Dr. Joel Fort, Director, Center for Special Problems, San Francisco Health Department.

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2:30--4:30 p.m. (continued)
Dr. Ellis D. Sox, Director, San Francisco Health Department and personal representative of Mayor John F. Shelley to this Convention.
4:30--6 p.m. Roundtable discussion featuring all speakers
Moderator: Dr. Evelyn Hooker, psychologist, sociologist and researcher from the University of California at Los Angeles.
The El Dorado Room
6-7:30 p.m. No-Host Cocktails
7:30 p.m. Banquet. Speaker--Mrs. Dorothy Von Beroldingen, member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
Sunday, August 21 DOB Hall
9 a.m.-5 p.m. DOB General Assembly, members only,
9 p.m.-2 a.m. Party, women only.

DAUGHTERS OF BILITIS, INC, wishes to take this opportunity to extend its gratitude to everyone who has helped in the presentation of this Convention.

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by Gene Damon

342, "Me and the Girls"--Short story in PRETTY POLLY AND OTHER STORIES--Noel Coward. London, Heinemann, 1964; Garden City, N. Y., Doubleday, 1965.

The, three novellas which make up this collection all contain lesbian and male homosexual characters and references. "Me and the Girls" is the life of Georgie Banks, a second-rate song and dance man and entrepreneur of a small troupe of girl performers. Georgie, dying in a Swiss hospital, writes down some of the things that have happened to him: his boyhood on the stage, his discovery of his homosexuality, his first love affair, his first traveling troupe, etc. There is no drum roll announcement but this poignant story is as much about the human condition as it is about Georgie. It will be especially liked by those who appreciate Mr. Coward's wonderful sense of irony.

343. THE DIARY OP ANAIS NIN: 1931-1934, Edited by Gunther Stuhlmann. Denver, Alan Swallow, 1966; New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1966.

For more than thirty years the literary world has waited for a glimpse of the 150-some manuscript volumes that make up the diary of Anais Nin. Henry Miller said in 1937 that her story would "take Its place beside the revelations of St. Augustine, Petronius, Abelard, Rousseau, Proust."

This first book consists of about half the text of volumes 30 to 40. Much of it is taken up with recounting Miss Nin's two painful experiences with psychiatry, and the remainder concerns her violently emotional affair with June Miller, Henry Miller's second wife. Apparently this affair was only partly consummated, despite the fact that the tone used to relate the incidents is particularly florid.

Many people were involved with Anais Nin, and Henry and June Miller at that time, and the majority of them are referred to by Initials or first names (sometimes false) only, along with brief career identifications--such as "Jean--sculptress and poet", said to be a masculine woman who lives in New York and who was, during that time, one of June Miller's lovers.

Readers familiar with Miss Nin's contributions to lesbian, literature (the best known being LADDERS TO FIRE and UNDER A: GLASS BELL) will enjoy very much this partially satisfactory glimpse of her history, others probably less so. We can look forward to a more complete picture as further volumes appear.

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Through a Glass,

An Evaluation of the. Study by Irving Bieber et al.:
New York, Basic Books, 1962

by Fritz A. Fluckiger, Ph.D.

This is the second of three installments of a critical evaluation of the Bieber research. This study is based on a comparison of 106 homosexuals and 100 heterosexuals, all of whom were patients in psychoanalytic treatment. The first installment was published in the July 1966 issue of THE LADDER.

Chapter V: Siblings

In this chapter, the Bieber authors investigate the relationship between the patients and their parents, and the relationship between the patients and their brothers and sisters.

The chapter presents special statistical problems. A patient may be an only son, or he may be first-born, or he may have any one of several possible places in the order of birth if there are several brothers and sisters. The possible variations are so numerous that the relatively small sample of 206 men is spread very thinly over many categories (or "cells,"as statisticians would say). Therefore one must not expect clear-cut findings. It is all the more surprising that the Bieber authors should have chosen to use some of their most positive and colorful language in this very chapter.

A striking example is given in the comments (p. 123) to Table V-6. This table shows that when the homosexual patient is an only son and has one or more sisters, the father often prefers a daughter (specifically, 19 out of 31 cases), The mother, by contrast, very often prefers her son (25 out of 31 cases). This, according to the authors, means that the mother's preference was "specific for the homosexual son.... The importance of sexually salient components in the mother's relatedness to her son helps explain why incestuous problems appear to be more central among male homosexuals than among heterosexuals" (p.123).

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This statement may sound very convincing to many readers-- except those who also read the Table. They will find the following; The fathers of heterosexual only sons often prefer a daughter (specifically, 7 out of 15 cases). The mothers, by contrast, very often prefer their son (11 out of 15 cases). It is very clear that if there is a pattern, it is similar for homosexual and heterosexual only sons. Does the mother's", preference for her heterosexual only son not have "sexually salient components"? And what explanation do the authors have for their implied finding that the heterosexual sons preferred by their mothers, so many of whom had fathers who preferred a sister, apparently did not have "more central" incestuous problems? There is not a word about this.

The careful reader, then, will recognize the authors' conclusions quoted above (as well as much of what is said about mothers of homosexuals) as a flight of fancy which is supported by their enthusiastic belief in their underlying hypotheses, rather than by the data.

Another example of the peculiarly biased perspective of the authors is the following. It is sometimes asserted that a son not only competes with father for the favors of mother, but also generally assumes a competitive attitude toward his siblings. Such competition may be overt or covert. As homosexuals are often thought to be timid or sneaky fellows, one might suppose that their competitiveness would be on the covert side. Indeed it was, for this sample: 78 homosexuals were reported to have been covertly competitive (Question VI K 3, p. 342). So the authors decided that "competitive attitudes were covertly expressed significantly more often among homosexuals" (p.126).

One wonders how that conclusion was arrived at, since, for the very same question, 80 heterosexuals had also been described as covertly competitive. A check of the relevant questions (VI K 1-8, pp. 342f.) provides an explanation. More heterosexuals used "frank" competitive techniques such as athletics; more homosexuals used their "artistic ability" to compete, and the authors' comments imply that such competition is less frank, or is covert (p. 126). Obviously the authors share the stereotyped view of masculinity which is one of the more naive contributions of American psychologists to their science.

Chapter VI: The Triangular System

In this chapter the authors make an attempt, in principle well taken, to deal with patterns of family relationships. Because of the large number of possible patterns, the authors wisely deal only with the "triangular" system of mother-father patient son, leaving out the siblings and other close relatives or friends. This limitation necessarily restricts the, meaningfulness of the findings, and one would wish that the authors had made this more clear.

It is most unfortunate that, because of the poor design of the study, the analysis of triangular systems had to be based on

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the methodologically questionable ratings (the "close binding intimate mother," the "hostile father," and so on) with their built-in multiple bias favoring psychoanalytic hypotheses.

Predictably, many of the homosexuals are said to have grown up within the kind of family system which has been emphasized by the authors all along as being "pathogenic." Five out of 10 homosexuals had both a close-binding/intimate mother and a detached father, while only 2 out of 10 heterosexuals did. This result is made to appear even more convincing to the reader who cross-checks with the chapter on "Latent Homosexuality" and finds that a sizable number of heterosexuals who grew up within such a family constellation had homosexual leanings.

But the critical reader is still left with the problem of why half of the homosexual patients who either did not have close binding/intimate mothers or did not have detached fathers, became homosexual. And he wonders why, conversely, two-thirds of the heterosexuals who developed mild to severe "homosexual problems" did not grow up in an environment where mother was close-binding/intimate and father was detached.

What conclusions can be drawn from this kind of data? The most important inference is that if one assumes that there are family constellations which promote homosexuality; there are a great many such constellations. The "classical homosexual triangle" (p. 114) in which the mother looks down on the father and seduces the son while the father is detached and hostile is only one of these possible constellations.

Psychoanalysts tend to look for the "classical homosexual triangle" (and therefore find it) because of the Oedipus complex, hypothesis. Literate homosexuals also may look for it (and therefore find it) in their life history because they have read books by Freud and his followers--or because they have read D. H. Lawrence's SONS AND LOVERS and perhaps some of the innumerable commentaries which critics and memoirists of assorted caliber have piled on top of that beautiful exploration of the experience of this one man.

The cold fact which emerges from the data presented in this chapter is that boys with many different family backgrounds grow up to be homosexual men.

This is not to suggest that early environmental influences do not contribute to a person's later sexual object choice. However, the Bieber authors' analysis of this problem is sadly lacking in depth because they are so sure that they knew "the truth" all along.

Chapter VII: Developmental Aspects of the Pre-Homosexual Child

This chapter, attempts to deal with the child as he moves outside the family, and to show that his actions are determined by the mother-father-son relationship of early childhood. The social world of the pre-pubertal child presents a complex array of stimuli and responses. Only a few of these are investigated by the authors, mainly those which have to do with the

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child's adjustment to stereotyped concepts of the masculine role.

For example, strivings for scholastic and artistic excellence which do not fit the masculine stereotype are not discussed in this chapter, but instead are placed into a context of "acting-out" competitiveness with-mother, father, or a sibling (Question K 1, 2, p. 342). One may see this as an amusing example of theoretical bias determining the arrangement of facts, or as a discouraging illustration of how some psychoanalysts reduce the symphonic richness of a growing individual's experience to feeble echoes of nursery room noises.

The pattern of responses for those kinds of pre-pubertal behaviors which were examined can be summarized by saying that 6 to 8 out of 10 homosexuals, and 3 to 5 out of 10 heterosexuals, were thought by the authors to have been "sissies." (The word "sissies" is avoided by the authors; the present writer is introducing it as a convenient shorthand term.)

The "sissies" had been excessively fearful of injury in childhood, had avoided physical fights, had played with girls rather than boys, and instead of participating in competitive group games had been lone wolves. Having-identified the "sissy" pattern to their satisfaction, the authors proceed to tie it in with "psychopathology in parent-child relationships" (p. 174).

Excessive fear of injury in childhood, For instance, the authors try to show that the combination of an overprotective and restrictive mother with a minimizing and feared father led to "excessive fear of injury in childhood." Note that this should hold true whether the son's later sexual choice is homosexual or heterosexual; it simply means that if mother acts to make a sissy out of you and father does not stop her, you are likely to become a sissy. It is in the investigation of this not exactly world-shaking proposition that some of the study's more obvious statistical howlers are perpetrated.

The authors' first analysis of selected questionnaire items shows that the pattern of parental behavior summarized in the preceding paragraph does indeed lead to "excessive fear of injury in childhood," But It does so only for the heterosexual patients (Table VII-2, p. 175).

Rather than examine their assumptions, data, and procedure, the authors chose to select another-set of questionnaire items to attempt again to make the same point for both groups. The "father" items are dropped on this round, and the two "mother" items are supplemented by two more "mother" items (which happen to be near-duplicates in meaning, and are almost certainly, statistically dependent on the first two). The result is a complete reversal: now overprotective mothers make "sissies" out of homosexual sons, but not out of heterosexual sons (Table Vii-3, p. 177).

Such reversals are common in research. It is generally considered good form to take them as warning signals indicating

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that at the very least a cautious interpretation of one's findings is in order. The Bieber authors did not heed the signal. Rather, they went on to select yet a third set of items including most of the ones used in the previous two tries, plus a few others which, again, are near-duplicates of the old items. (Note 8) The nine items thus selected are presented as a "scale." While the psychometric problems involved are too complex to be discussed here, it must be said that this rough-and-ready procedure is illegitimate and violates fundamental rules of statistical analysis and scale construction.

But finally, at long and laborious last, the third try shows the results which were wanted all along: the combination of an overprotective mother and a minimizing father helps to make a "sissy" out of a son, whether homosexual or heterosexual And so the stage is set for concluding statements such as: "Paternal hostility and engulfing maternalism emerge throughout our findings as having had the most telling destructive impact" (p. 179), and "Excessive fear of physical injury in childhood in both the, homosexual and control samples was found to be significantly associated with psychopathological parental behavior" (emphasis supplied) (p. 204).

It is safe to assume that few readers of the Bieber study will know how many procedural somersaults had been necessary so that these statements could be made, or will realize that the data on which they are based had been arranged and re-arranged so that it was practically impossible not to get the desired results.

Excessive fear of injury in childhood and symptoms of sexual disturbances. The authors also present data to show that a boy who was a "sissy" is likely to develop symptoms of sexual disturbances. Three such symptoms are listed: masturbatory guilt, aversion to female genitals, and the wish for a larger penis (p. 179).

Much guilt about masturbation is reported for about half the homosexuals and heterosexuals (p. 180). Guilt feelings about masturbation are widespread in our culture--almost as widespread as the practice itself. The Bieber data support this view (Question V B, p. 335). Therefore, one may well question.

8. The problem of using duplicate items can be illustrated by the following example. If we have a question: "In childhood was the patient's mother unduly concerned about his health?" (Question II U 1, p. 327), and another question: "Was mother unduly concerned with protecting the patient from physical in-Jury?" (Question II U 2, p. 327), it is very unlikely that we have two independent pieces of evidence. Almost certainly most mothers who worried about their sons' health also worried about their being injured. It is not proper procedure to treat these two Items as though they were independent of each other. But this is precisely what the Bieber authors did.

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why such guilt feelings should be considered a symptom of sexual disturbance at all.

The other two "symptoms" will be dealt with in the evaluation of the chapter on "Sexual Adaptation" below.

Earliest sexual experiences. The authors found that the homosexuals tended to enter sexual relationships earlier than the heterosexuals. The homosexuals' experiences were, of course, with males. This leads the authors to note the "striking fact" that the homosexual patients were aroused by a woman later, if ever, than the heterosexual patients. This is interpreted as a "delay" due to their alleged repression of earlier memories of heterosexual arousal (p. 190).

In other words: heterosexuality being a "biological norm," heterosexual arousal must have taken place in the homosexual patients; if there is no evidence for it, the event must have been repressed. So, if you see it, it's there. If you don't see it, it's there also, but is covered up. The key rule of this game of interpretation is: heads I win, tails you lose.

Chapter VIII: Adolescence

This chapter describes a small group of overtly homosexual adolescents. Most of them were ward patients in a psychiatric hospital, and their presenting problems ranged from anxiety states to arson and attempted matricide. The subjects differed from those of the main study in important respects, especially socio-economic level.

The study is purely descriptive and does not have even the limited methodological control features used in the main study. It is an attempt to remedy for the paucity of the questionnaire data covering the adolescence of the Bieber patients. The attempt is ill-advised, and a detailed discussion of this chapter is not warranted.

Chapter IX: The Sexual Adaptation of the Male Homosexual

This chapter deals with some aspects of the adult homosexual's love life, his sexual practices, the kinds of mates he seeks out, and the gratifications or frustration which ensue. The keynote for the authors' selection of questionnaire items analyzed in this chapter is given in the introductory statement: "We consider homosexuality to be a pathologic biosocial, psychosexual adaptation consequent to pervasive fears surrounding the expression of heterosexual impulses. In our view, every homosexual is, in reality, a 'latent' heterosexual; hence we expected to find evidence of heterosexual strivings among the homosexual patients of our study" (p. 220).

It Is always easy to find what one expects. The evidence for the 'latent heterosexuality" of the 76 exclusively homosexual patients can be summarized as follows: many of them maintained social contacts with women, reported the conscious presence of heterosexual desires at one time or another,

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attempted intercourse with women, or had dreams and fantasies with heterosexual content.

The authors' interpretation that these observations support a general theory of "latent" heterosexuality may have some merit. One wonders, however, why they argue so insistently that the converse does not hold, i. e., that their observation of mild to severe homosexual problems in 60% of their heterosexual patients does not support a general theory of "latent" bisexuality that becomes differentiated into a heterosexual or homosexual preference as the individual matures and makes his sexual object choices.

The social pressures toward heterosexuality are extremely powerful in our culture. Such pressures operate in ways too numerous to mention here, and it is well known what big sticks there are to bring into line boys who do not heed the soft talk of their parents, teachers, peers, and other agencies of social control.

Briefly, in a world where some of a male's earliest experiences of physical intimacy are with a woman (i. e., mother, whether "seductive" or not), and in which at least half one's fellow human beings are female and insistently presented as sexual objects who ought to be desired, it is inevitable that social and sometimes erotic concerns with women should arise in all men. To define all such concerns of a homosexual man with women as sexual, while denying that a heterosexual man's social and sometimes erotic concern with other males may also have a sexual component, is simply inconsistent.

The bisexual. Another psychoanalytic theoretical bias--that the degree of a man's psychopathology is measured less by the quality of his adult social activities than by the extent to which he conformed as a child to conventional, stereotyped role expectations--is exhibited blatantly in the section discussing the 30 bisexuals who were part of the homosexual sample.

One wonders why the 30 bisexuals and the 26 heterosexuals with "severe homosexual problems" were not separated more clearly from the exclusive homosexuals and heterosexuals. For the bisexuals, the authors apparently made a systematic comparison with the exclusive homosexuals on all the questionnaire items --with a mere 9 items (out of about 350) showing a significant difference. The suspicion arises that the bisexuals included in the homosexual sample all too often did not fit the underlying hypotheses about parent-child relationships and thus proved as embarrassing for the authors' theory as did the "latent" homosexuals included in the heterosexual sample (see discussion of Chapter X below).

The- data indicate that fewer of the bisexuals fit into the pattern of "sissy" behavior in childhood (pp. 225F.). The authors assert that "the bisexual shows evidence of less serious psychopathology than the homosexual" (p. 226). Why is a man who has sexual relations with both men and women healthier

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than a man who has sexual relations only with men? This proposition makes sense only to the reader who accepts the basic assumption that homosexuality is "sick" and heterosexuality is "healthy." This may be the place to point out once more that this assumption is at no point tested by the authors.

Attitudes toward male genitals. The discussion of the homosexuals sexual practices is entered by analysis of their attitudes toward their genitals: specifically, the feeling of 43% of the homosexuals that their penis is smaller than they wish. No mention is made here of the fact that 35% of the heterosexual patients expressed the same dissatisfaction, and that the difference between the two groups is statistically not significant.

The desire of 56% of the homosexual patients for a partner with a large penis is interpreted as a magical "reparative search" to compensate for the homosexuals' feelings of inadequacy as "castrates" (p. 231), This interpretation may have some merit, but the implication that such a search is pathological does not. It is impossible to outline here the multiple factors which are thought to determine the choice of a love object. But a few general remarks can be made.

Within the psychoanalytic theoretical model, the search for a love object, whether male or female, is by definition always "reparative" in that it is meant to fulfill a "lack" and a complex set of "needs." Invariably the love object is endowed with irrational, "magical" properties. The preference of gentlemen for blondes is not a rational choice.

Genital size is a highly valued attribute of masculinity among men generally. So it is no great surprise that homosexuals (who, by the authors' own findings, tend to look for masculine attributes in their partners; Question VII C 1, p. 344) appreciate this particularly salient feature.

Responding to the size of a partner's primary or secondary sexual organs, especially those involving erectile tissues, by sexual arousal is by no means limited to the homosexual, as the continued popularity of some well-endowed female movie stars attests. Here too, interpretations in terms of a reparative search (for instance, a search for mother's bountiful breasts) can be made, and are often made, by psychoanalysts and magazine writers. Such interpretations do not usually carry an implication of pathology when the male's search is for a female.

Attitudes toward female genitals. The authors claim that "in the homosexuals, morbid fear of injury to one's own genitals Is predominantly associated with fear/aversion to female genitalia" and that a large proportion of the homosexual subjects desired a partner with a large penis (p. 230). The interpretation Is that "fear of genital injury is in some way associated with a phobic attitude toward female genitalia, and a partner with a large penis seems to keep these anxieties at a minimum" (p. 231).

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An examination of the data used for this interpretation raises several questions,

1. The question about fear of genital injury included the fear of genital disease (Question V H, p. 336). The latter is a realistic fear for the adult male homosexual who sometimes has a succession of partners.

2. The fear or aversion reactions to female genitalia expressed by many homosexuals are here, as everywhere else In the Bieber volume, assumed to be an inhibition of a "natural" liking. There is no consideration of the social facts involved. These are as follows. It is part of "being a man" to respond with arousal and, sometimes, liking, to female genitalia, A man who does not so respond is "not quite a man." The man who does not so respond experiences this as a major social and psychological threat to his self-esteem, and his failure to respond may become a source of often intense fear. In threatening situations people make defensive moves. One such move for the homosexual is to claim that he not only is not aroused by female genitalia, but feels aversion to them.

3. The data show that It is very often possible to value a large penis in one's partner without wishing for a larger penis oneself, and without having fear or aversion reactions to female genitalia. Less than one out of three homosexuals, In fact, fitted the pattern of finding magical protection from the engulfing vagina in the large penis of another man (Table IX-5A, P. 232).

To be concluded Next Month


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