Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) has introduced S. 2152, the “Lavender Offense Victim Exoneration Act of 2019”. The Senator also refers to it as the “LOVE Act”.
“Lavender” As a Symbol
For those who may have missed the cultural reference of the term “lavender” in the title of the bill, it is sometimes used to refer to gay men. According to the LGBT project, “Just as in the 1890s mauve symbolized homosexuality, the shade of lavender…became the symbol of homosexuality in the 1950s and 1960s. The first usage was in the 1920s to indicate an effeminate style.”
Purpose of the Bill
According to a press release from the bill’s sponsor, the purpose of the bill is “to recognize the shameful purge of at least 1,000 LGBTI people from the State Department during the 1950s and 1960s; and to protect today’s State Department employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”
Keeping up with the initials and what they stand for is confusing. LGBTI refers to “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersexed”.
What the Bill Would Require
The LOVE Act would require the State Department to review all employee terminations since 1950. The purpose would be to identify employees who were fired because of their sexual orientation.
It would also require establishing a Reconciliation Board. This board would listen to their recitation of what happened and correct official records. The LOVE Act would also require
Resurfacing the Issue
This is not the first time the issue has been
Also, the LOVE Act was first introduced in 2017, shortly after John Kerry’s formal apology for the State Department’s past discrimination against gay and lesbian federal workers.