The Lavender Scare executive orders

Episode 130 – Queer History: Executive Order 10450 and The Lavender Scare


It’s Queer History with Jade. On this solo episode, Jade talks about a signed bill from the 1950s you should know about.

Executive Order 10450 targeted the removal of “gay and lesbian” federal workers. Suspicions of homosexuality led to between 7,000 and 10,000 workers losing their jobs in the 1950s alone.

The Executive Order was signed on April 27, 1953 by President Eisenhower, and authorized broad categories of American citizens identified as threats to national security–including those with criminal records, alcoholics, and “sex perverts.” It came as a part of the US Lavender Scare witch hunts.

Bonus: Jade suggests looking up “Bad Things Presidents Have Done.” The Executive Order 10450 is just one awful thing President Eisenhower did while in office.

Newspaper clipping "How the reds blackmailed homosexuals..."
Anti-gay persecution continued in the 1960s: Bernon Michell and Willian Marton, both analysts with the National Security Agency, defected to the Soviet Union for political reasons. In 1961 the press dubbed them a homosexual ‘love team’ who fell victim to Soviet blackmail. (Top Secret/University of Texas)



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