Gloria Brame, Ph.D.

One for Marriage: Vintage Magazine Cover

Filed By Gloria Brame, Ph.D. | January 17, 2011 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Gay Icons and History, Marriage Equality
Tags: gay literature, gay marriage, gay politics, LGBT history, marriage equality, marriage rights, ONE magazine, queer history, vintage magazine

Another amazing cover from the iconic ONE magazine. The year is 1953, and the topic - even then - was marriage rights. If anyone owns a copy of this issue or remembers its content, please let us know what gay activists had to say on the subject 60 years ago.

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The ONE Archive, or National Gay and Lesbian Archives, is at the University of Southern California. You can reach them at 909 West Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007 --(213) 741-0094

I'm proud of owning some copies of "ONE," including this one, and the "Mattachine Review." You can see a scan of the marriage article at:

Thanks Michael. I appreciate the link. It really adds to it.

That's an interesting article that I'll have to finish at another time. But I do like the fact that the author said "permiscuity."

Ha. The article isn't pro marriage equality at all. It argues that being subject to marriage laws somehow prevents promiscuity (of which the author seems to be a big fan of. See the stuff about adultery for example). I guess this has to be seen against the backdrop of 50s sexual mores and that the gay movement saw itself as rebelling against that. As if he would be forced to get married.

And like today, it says that same-sex marriage would undermine the marriages of hetero couples as well. Of course no reason for that is given.

Some pretty weird views on child rearing too. But this was decades before the gayby boom.

PS: I believe the marriage article was written under one of his many pseudonymns by the late, great Dale Jennnings, one of the cofounders of the Mattachine Society, the original main person behind the magazine, and winner of the first known legal challenge to a police gay entrapment arrest. This issue was confiscated by Postal authorities, but eventually released. After another issue was, some believe because an earlier issue spoke of J. Edgar Hoover's alleged homosexuality, the magazine sued, eventually winning a free speech precedent ruling by the Supremes.

For much more about that, including initial attempts to outwit the Post Office by mailing from other cities in CA, visits by FBI agents, etc., see the interview with late ONE staffer and gay historian Jim Kepner from "Making History: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights, 1945-1990, An Oral History" by Eric Marcus at:

For individual profiles of most of the early players in the Movement [including wealthy transgender pioneer Reed Erickson], see "Before Stonewall" by Vern Bullough. Much of it can be read online at:

We still need that question mark today.

Sara Beth Brooks | January 18, 2011 3:02 AM

I know that the Lambda Archives in San Diego has an extensive collection of original One magazines -- I've looked through them. Not sure if I've seen this one there before, but you might drop them a line.

Rose Matthews | January 18, 2011 4:01 AM

As someone who was born in 1953 I must protest your math. :-) It was 57 years ago.