Activists go to jail for marriage equality

[Description: Blurred out text frames a photo of Nancy and Toby in the upper right corner the Headline: “Free Nancy Davis and Toby Schneiter Gay Marriage Now” dominating the middle.] Today, most of us in the U.S. show our support for political causes through “clicktivism”: we “like,” “share,” and retweet stories on our social media feeds. Sometimes we’ll sign an online petition. A few of us … Continue reading Activists go to jail for marriage equality

Breaking the Chains of Homosexual Oppression: Girouard and Tremblay’s 1973 Gay Marriage Record Album

[Image Description: 1973 LP album art for Giourard and Tremblay, shows both men with their arms around each other’s waist and with their arms chained together with manacles, raising their arms into the foreground. They are both gazing directly into the camera.] In 1972 Quebec entertainer Michel Girouard married his lover, Regeant Tremblay, in an unusual and unique ceremony. Girouard was a journalist for Tele-Radio … Continue reading Breaking the Chains of Homosexual Oppression: Girouard and Tremblay’s 1973 Gay Marriage Record Album

When Harry Married Bob

In 1973 Harry Freeman married Bob Jones at Boston’s Old West Methodist Church. Having a Christian ceremony was important to them. They had both been students in seminary school, and although they chose not to pursue careers with the Church, they remained deeply committed to God, the Christian faith, and to the development of spiritual life on earth. The night before their wedding the Bishop … Continue reading When Harry Married Bob

The Gay Red Herring

One of the big news stories before Christmas 2013 was the United Methodist church’s defrocking of Rev. Frank Schaefer for officiating at his son’s marriage. His son is gay, as is the man he married. This week’s blog entry is about a different Methodist minister who was removed from the church in 1973 on similar grounds. While in Boston I interviewed Rev. William E. Alberts … Continue reading The Gay Red Herring

Are there degrees out ‘outness’?

In the history of lesbian and gay politics, historians put a lot of stock in whether or not the people we study were “out.” But what exactly does “out” mean? This past week I interviewed Robert W. Wood, author of 1960 book Christ and the Homosexual Wood is a retired United Church of Christ (formerly Congregationalist Church) minister who knew since high school that he … Continue reading Are there degrees out ‘outness’?

Father Robert Clement’s Holy Union

Last week I wrote about Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Church. At the same time Perry was building his church in Los Angeles, Father Robert Clement, an ordained priest of the Old Catholic Church of America, was building his congregation in New York City. Also like Perry, Clement was an out and proud gay man. He famously participated in the June 1970 Stonewall march … Continue reading Father Robert Clement’s Holy Union

Troy Perry and the Metropolitan Community Church

In the summer of 2011 I rode my motorcycle around the U.S. in search of pre-1980 evidence of same-sex marriage for my book Outlaws to In-Laws. I made stops at queer and lesbian and gay archives in Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Caption: Me and Troy Perry. While in L.A. I met up with Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Church … Continue reading Troy Perry and the Metropolitan Community Church

Crime Doesn’t Pay

I have always loved giving public talks. I love the challenge of writing a compelling narrative, and I love the rush of energy I get from an attentive audience who is usually pleased, sometimes even thrilled, to learn something new about queer history. Occasionally someone approaches me after a presentation with a story to share. Just such a thing happened this past week. I participated … Continue reading Crime Doesn’t Pay