Okay, back to my study of A Queer History of the United States. Today I start postings on chapter five, A Dangerous Purity, and it's quite a study. So, I left chapter four talking about Walt Whitman, the transcendentalists, English thinkers and they're writings on Homosexuality, the German activists' who were challenging they're government's same-sex desire laws through the court and Victoria Woodhull's ''free-love'' crusade. Now, if all this was going on in the late 19th century, the turn of the century and well into the 20th century you can bet there were counter forces at work as well.
The counter force was the temperance and social purity movements. They did not spring up in direct opposition to Homosexuality but in direct opposition to alcoholism, prostitution, gambling and the public and domestic violence that sprang from them. They're belief that non-reproductive/marital sex was sinful clarifies they're stance on the Homosexual and ''free-love'' issues but, like I said, curbing the latter vices was they're main focus. They saw the law as the way to social control. They were behind prohibition and the Comstock law, which forbade the sending of any lewd, obscene or lascivious material through the U.S. mail.
I'm having a hard time articulating my thoughts on this post. I've been at this computer for two hours and this is all I've come up with! I'm going to come back to it tomorrow.