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Walt Whitman, a prominent and influential American poet, is widely believed to have been gay or bisexual.
In 1860 he published Calamus, a series of homoerotic poems, for which he was fired from his job at the Department of the Interior, though he quickly obtained a similar job in the Attorney General's office.
In 1964, organized by gay activist Randy Wicker, a small group picketed the Whitehall Street Induction Center after the confidentiality of gay men's draft records was violated. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the charge was too vague, thus granting the first major court victory for gay employment rights.
Nevertheless, there were some gay men who had an important impact on American history at this time, particularly literature.Another important gay rights activist of the 1960s was Troy Perry.In 1968, after a suicide attempt following a failed love affair and witnessing a close friend being arrested by the police at the Black Cat Tavern (see below), Perry founded the Metropolitan Community Church.Another significant case came in 1961, when astronomer Frank Kameny protested his firing by the U. Civil Service Commission due to his homosexuality, arguing this case to the United States Supreme Court.In coalition with New York's Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis, the picketing expanded to target the United Nations, the Pentagon, the United States Civil Service Commission, and to Philadelphia's Independence Hall for what became known as the Annual Reminder for gay rights.The Mattachine Society was involved in two landmark gay rights cases in the 1950s. Post Office Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Postmaster of Los Angeles declared the October, 1954 issue obscene and therefore unmailable under the Comstock laws. The Supreme Court reversed the Postmaster's decision, marking the first time the Supreme Court had explicitly ruled on free press rights around homosexuality. Together, Mc Carthy and Cohn were responsible for the firing of scores of gay men from government employment, and strong-armed many opponents into silence using rumors of their homosexuality.In the spring of 1952, William Dale Jennings, one of the cofounders of the Mattachine Society, was arrested in Los Angeles for allegedly soliciting a police officer in a bathroom in Westlake Park, now known as Mac Arthur Park. Supreme Court ruled in favor of ONE, Inc., a spinoff of the Mattachine Society, which had published "ONE: The Homosexual Magazine" beginning in 1953. It was not until 1973 that a federal judge ruled that a person's sexual orientation alone could not be the sole reason for termination from federal employment, and not until 1975 that the United States Civil Service Commission announced that they would consider applications by gays and lesbians on a case by case basis.It has also been noted for its enigmatic treatment of homosexuality.Roger Austen notes "In the nineteenth century Bayard Taylor had written that the reader who did not feel 'cryptic forces' at play in Joseph and His Friend: A Story of Pennsylvania would hardly be interested in the external movement of his novel." Another such work is Imre: A Memorandum, written in Europe by the expatriate American-born author, Edward Irenaeus Prime-Stevenson, who originally published it under the pseudonym of Xavier Mayne in a limited-edition imprint of 500 copies in Naples, Italy, in 1906.Since 1814 crime against nature has been used as a legal term in published cases in the United States, normally defined as a form of sexual behavior that is not considered natural and is seen as a punishable offense in dozens of countries and several U. The term is sometimes also seen as a synonym for sodomy or buggery.The first recorded police raid in American history on a gay bathhouse took place in New York City on February 21, 1903, when New York police raided the Ariston Hotel Baths.