We the (Straight) People 1945

Amidst Cold War anxieties, and a growing gay subculture that many feared threatened American values, the Federal Government denied gay Americans jobs, military service, and benefits. Some officials labeled gay men and women as national security threats, claiming they had “weak moral character” and were susceptible to blackmail and other security breaches. In 1945, the Veterans Administration began denying soldiers undesirably discharged for homosexuality the assistance provided to other World War II veterans. In 1953, President Eisenhower issued an executive order banning gay individuals from Federal jobs.

Previously, the Government had convicted individuals for homosexual acts. Now, it discriminated against Americans based solely on sexual orientation.