Open minds at U of C. In 1969 before Stonewall?

On Tuesday, February 11th, 1969 more than 300 staff and students at the U of C attended a lecture in MacEwan Hall by Harold Call, gay publisher and activist.  He was speaking at a University of Calgary Civil Liberties Association session billed as Homosexuality: A police industry.

Harold Call, born in Trenton, Missouri on September 20, 1917, was one of the founding members of the San Francisco chapter of the Mattachine Society.  Call created and edited the Mattachine Review, one of the earliest periodicals dedicated to discussing issues of the homosexual community.

In his address he spoke of sexual equality and the legalization of homosexual acts between consenting adults.  He also spoke of the economic value of the homosexual and the victimization of homosexuals at the hands of North American police officers.  He noted, “it is a happy field for the law to work in because it could state it was working to keep the community morally clean.”

Of note were three city detectives who sat quietly three rows from the front.  During the discussion session when any members of the vice-squad present were invited to comment, they did not move, and left soon after.

“Calgary lawyer, Max Wolfe, also sat on the stage during the session and took the stand after Call.  He said there were not too many instances of homosexuality in Calgary. ‘You can draw your own conclusions, it could be the police are shutting their eyes to it or the homosexuals are being reasonable circumspect, about their activities, or both.'”

One response to “Open minds at U of C. In 1969 before Stonewall?

  1. That’s encouraging to know back then we had a ground for expressing views and open-mindedness.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s