Fifty Years Ago, A Supreme Court Victory

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This year marks a very important milestone in GLBT history. Fifty years ago, on January 13, 1958, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered its first ever pro-gay ruling in ONE, Inc. v. Olesen, a landmark decision that allowed a magazine for gays and lesbians to be sent through the U.S. mail.

ONE, Inc. was founded by several members of the Los Angeles Mattachine Society who felt that a strong nationwide voice for education and advocacy was desperately needed. According to ONE, Inc.’s articles of incorporation, “the specific and primary purposes … are to publish and disseminate a magazine dealing primarily with homosexuality from the scientific, historical and critical point of view, and to aid in the social integration and rehabilitation of the sexual variant.” But this wasn’t going to be just any magazine. Under the inaugural editorial leadership of Martin Block, Dale Jennings, Don Slater, and Donald Webster Cory, ONE magazine was to be a first-class product, a dramatic departure from the typewritten and mimeographed sheets that were more common at the time.

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