Gay Liberationists, from all parts of the country, have gathered in Miami for the convention. Some quarters had supposed, because of Senator George McGovern’s liberal leanings, that this was the time to press for the removal of the many laws that still keep homosexuality a crime in most places, even a major one in some States. It is still possible to receive, for a gay sexual act even between adults, a prison sentence which could be as heavy as one passed for a major criminal act, such as armed robbery. The older gay community can still remember when ‘offenders’ felt the full severity of these sentences.
Gay Lib people have already had one brush with the law whilst being in Miami. The cities staid, retired citizens had apparently been ‘shocked’ and ‘horrified’ by seeing gays in drag in the streets and parks. But, much to the indignation of the elder citizens, the gays successfully pleaded in the city courts that the First Amendment entitled them to engage in transvestism if they so desired, and in public too.