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1:09-cv-11156 #38

1:09-cv-11156 #38

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Published by Equality Case Files
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Published by: Equality Case Files on Jun 24, 2011
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COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS,Plaintiff,v.UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTHAND HUMAN SERVICES; KATHLEENSEBELIUS, in her official capacity as the Secretaryof the United States Department of Health andHuman Services; UNITED STATESDEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS; ERICK. SHINSEKI, in his official capacity as theSecretary of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs; and the UNITED STATES OFAMERICA,Defendants.
Civil Action No. 1:09-cv-11156-JLTAFFIDAVIT OF GEORGE CHAUNCEY, Ph.D
Case 1:09-cv-11156-JLT Document 38 Filed 02/18/2010 Page 1 of 53
2I, George Chauncey, hereby depose and state as follows:
I am a Professor of History at Yale University, where I have taught since2006. My testimony will relate to my opinions as an expert in the history of the UnitedStates in the twentieth century and gender, homosexuality, sexuality, and civil rights inthe United States, with a particular focus on the history of discrimination experienced bygays and lesbians in the United States. I have actual knowledge of the matters stated inthis affidavit and could and would so testify if called as a witness. My background,experience, and list of publications from the last 10 years are summarized in mycurriculum vitae, which is attached as Exhibit A to this affidavit.2.
Prior to 2006 I was a Professor of History at University of Chicago forfifteen years, from 1991 through 2006. I am the author of 
Gay New York: Gender, UrbanCulture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940
(New York: Basic Books,
1994), which won the Organization of American Historians‘ Merle Curti Award for the
best book in social history and Frederick Jackson Turner Award for the best first book inany field of history, the
 Los Angeles Times
Book Prize in History, and Lambda LiteraryAward. I am also the author of 
Why Marriage? The History Shaping Today’s Debate
over Gay Equality
(New York: Basic Books, 2004), coeditor of three books and special journal issues, including
 Hidden From History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past 
 (NAL, 1989), and the author of numerous articles, which are listed in my CurriculumVitae, attached to this affidavit as Exhibit A.
Case 1:09-cv-11156-JLT Document 38 Filed 02/18/2010 Page 2 of 53
I base my opinions on my own research, experience and publications, thework of other historians and scholars as listed in the attached bibliography, the generalstatutes of Massachusetts, Mississippi, and Arkansas, and the archives of the BostonGlobe, New York Times, Portland Press Herald, and Boston Magazine.
While there is ample evidence that same-sex love and intimacy havepersisted across the ages, most historians now agree that the concept of the homosexualand the heterosexual as distinct categories of people emerged only in the late nineteenthcentury. This had profound effects on the regulation of homosexuality. Early Americanlegislators, drawing on their understanding of ancient Judeo-Christian prohibitions
against sodomy and ―unnatural acts,‖ penalized a wide range of non
-procreativebehavior, including many forms of what would now be called homosexual conduct.While these laws prohibited conduct, it was in the twentieth century that the governmentbegan to classify and discriminate against certain of its citizens on the basis of their statusor identity as homosexuals.5.
Official hostility and discrimination had a profound and enduring impacton the place of lesbians and gay men in American society. In the 1920s, the State of NewYork prohibited theaters from staging plays with lesbian or gay characters. Beginning inthe 1930s and 1940s, many states, including Massachusetts, prohibited gay people frombeing served in bars and restaurants. In the 1950s, the federal government banned theemployment of homosexuals and insisted that its private contractors ferret out anddismiss their gay employees. It also prohibited gay foreigners from entering the country
Case 1:09-cv-11156-JLT Document 38 Filed 02/18/2010 Page 3 of 53

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