Showing posts with label Anti Gay Police. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anti Gay Police. Show all posts

February 13, 2020

Commanders Told Him They Had a Problem With 'His Gayness' He's Awarded $10Mil

 Told: "Tone down your gayness"


 A gay police officer in St. Louis, Missouri, who accused his commanders of passing him over for promotion nearly two dozen times because of his sexual orientation, has reached a multi-million dollar settlement.

Lt. Keith Wildhaber said that after he had filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming discrimination, he was transferred to a precinct far from his home in retaliation.

In his lawsuit filed in 2017, Wildhaber also said that John Saracino, then a member of the St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners, told him that police command staff "has a problem with your sexuality" and that if he wanted promotion, "you should tone down your gayness," ABC News reported. Saracino denied he made the comment.

The New York Times
 A police commissioner allegedly told Sergeant Keith Wildhaber, “You should tone down your gayness.” A jury in St Louis has awarded him nearly $20 million in a discrimination case. 
Over the course of five and a half years, Sgt. Keith Wildhaber, above, was turned down for 23 promotions.
‘Tone Down Your Gayness’: Police Sergeant Is Awarded $20 Million in Discrimination Case
The sergeant, who is gay, had said the St. Louis County Police Department failed to promote him based on sex stereotyping and retaliated against him for filing a lawsuit.

7:20 AM - Oct 29, 2019
Twitter Ads info and privacy

564 people are talking about this

But Wildhaber said that he was passed over for promotion 23 times despite good performance reviews and a strong resume.

He said his superiors, in particular St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, did not promote him "because he does not conform to the county's gender-based norms, expectations, and/or preferences," stated the suit.

Last April, Wildhaber had offered to settle with the county for $850,000 and a promotion to lieutenant, which the Board of Commissioners rejected, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Back in October, a jury in St. Louis County Circuit Court awarded Wildhaber nearly $20 million. He negotiated with the county to keep a larger share of the award and an agreement was reached on Monday.

Wildhaber will be paid $10.25 million by the end of January 2021. After his legal costs, he will get to keep $6.5 million, according to The Washington Examiner. He has also been promoted to lieutenant and appointed commander of St. Louis County Police Department's new Diversity and Inclusion Unit, according to CBS affiliate KMOV.

Thousands Sign Petition to Stop Franklin Graham From Speaking In LondonREAD MORE
After the announcement of the payout on Monday, Belmar announced he would retire after a 34-year career with the St. Louis County Police Department, although St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said this was not linked with the settlement.

Page said the settlement discussions had saved the county money.

"This lawsuit acknowledges what Lt. Wildhaber survived in the police department and lets us move forward as a county," Page said.

"I think it's important to recognize that this sends a message to everyone in county government and to all of our employers in the St. Louis region, that discrimination will not be tolerated," he added, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Newsweek has contacted the St. Louis County executive, as well as Wildhaber's attorney, Russ Riggan, for comment.

June 8, 2019

NYC Police Commissioner Apologizes For The Actions of Police in 1969 Outside a Gay Bar

Crowds near the Stonewall Inn several days after the raid on June 29, 1969.
Larry Morris/The New York Time

By Michael Gold and Derek M. Norma (New York Times)

The commissioner, James O’Neill, said he was sorry on behalf of the New York Police Department for officers’ actions during a seminal 1969 clash outside a gay bar.

The violent police raid at the Stonewall Inn in New York City in 1969 is widely regarded as a seminal event in the gay rights movement. But police officials had long refused to admit that officers’ behavior and the raid itself were not justified, leaving a rift between law enforcement and gay-rights supporters that seemed to deepen distrust over the years.

On Thursday, as people around the world began commemorating the 50th anniversary of the clash, New York’s police commissioner took a step toward making amends, issuing an unusual official apology on behalf of the Police Department for the actions of officers during the Stonewall uprising.

“The actions taken by the N.Y.P.D. were wrong — plain and simple,” the commissioner, James P. O’Neill, said during an event at Police Headquarters.

It was an admission that gay rights leaders said was momentous and unexpected, if overdue.

“To have the N.Y.P.D. commissioner make these very explicit remarks apologizing, it’s really moving,” said Corey Johnson, the City Council speaker, who is gay and who had a day earlier called for a police apology. 
Still, some cautioned the Police Department that its future actions needed to back up its words.

“The history of police violence and criminalization of L.G.B.T.Q. people sadly continues to this day,” said Richard Saenz, an attorney at Lambda Legal, a national civil rights organization.

Politicians and gay rights leaders had stepped up their calls for Mr. O’Neill to apologize in recent months, urging a public reckoning as New York hosts World Pride, a global gathering that is taking place in the city this year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.

During a safety briefing related to World Pride at Police Headquarters, the commissioner offered the formal apology that Police Department officials, including Mr. O’Neill himself, had said for years was unnecessary.

“I think it would be irresponsible to go through World Pride month, not to speak of the events at the Stonewall Inn in June of 1969,” Mr. O’Neill said. “I do know what happened should not have happened.” 
“The actions and the laws were discriminatory and oppressive, and for that, I apologize,” he added.
The auditorium erupted in applause.
New York’s police commissioner, James P. O’Neill, apologized on Thursday on behalf of the Police Department for officers’ actions during the Stonewall rebellion. 

The Stonewall uprising began shortly after midnight on June 28, 1969, when officers with the now-defunct Public Morals Squad raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village.

The police said they had arrived to disperse the bar’s patrons because the Stonewall Inn had violated liquor laws. Eight officers and an inspector arrived at the club and ordered about 200 people to line up and show their identification. Some were asked to submit to anatomical inspections.

The officers’ behavior that night would quickly become a stain on the department and an electrifying force for the L.G.B.T. movement.

“They came to the bar. They slammed people against the wall. They shoved people, and they hurled insults that you can probably imagine,” said Mark Segal, 68, who participated in the protests that night.    

Stonewall patrons, fed up with longstanding harassment at the hands of law enforcement, pushed back.

As officers conducted the raid, a crowd gathered outside, shouting “gay power.” Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who were forced out of the bar that night taunted the police. Some threw bottles and stones.

The ensuing clash lasted for about an hour, but days of street protests followed, resulting in arrests, injuries, and property damage.
Celebrations followed a rebellion that lasted for several days.
Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images 
Celebrations followed a rebellion that lasted for several days.CreditFred W. McDarrah/Getty Images
Mr. O’Neill’s comments signaled a remarkable moment in the city’s history, a long-awaited acknowledgment of the Police Department’s role in harassing gays in past decades.

In the 1960s, it was common for the police to raid gay bars, arrest cross-dressers and harass customers, often on the pretext of cracking down on prostitution or other organized crime activities. 

Over time, the department’s attitudes toward L.G.B.T. people have shifted, but anti-gay attitudes remained rampant in the police force for decades after the Stonewall uprising. In 1978, the president of the city’s largest police union said in an op-ed in The New York Times that having gay police officers was an “unworkable” idea.

As social attitudes and norms changed, so did the Police Department. In a watershed moment in 1982, Sgt. Charles H. Cochrane started the first Gay Officers Action League chapter, an association of gay police officers.

The department now boasts of hundreds of L.G.B.T. officers in its ranks, and since 1996, gay police officers have marched in uniform in New York City’s pride parade — an event that started to commemorate the uprising at Stonewall.

In his remarks on Thursday, Mr. O’Neill proclaimed that times had drastically changed since the raid.

“I vow to the L.G.B.T.Q. community that this would never happen in the N.Y.P.D. in 2019,” Mr. O’Neill said. “We have, and we do, embrace all New Yorkers.”

The Police Department had resisted calls for an apology in the past. In 2016, at a news conference discussing security for that year’s Pride March, William J. Bratton, the commissioner at the time, said he did not believe an apology was necessary.

The following year, a day after the Pride March, Mr. O’Neill also declined to apologize. “I think that’s been addressed already,” he said. “We’re moving forward.” 

Still, allegations of bias have persisted in the department.

“A lot more action has to be done to undo the history of discrimination and current N.Y.P.D. practices,” said Tina Luongo, a lawyer with the Legal Aid Society.

In 2017, an internal watchdog found that the city’s police officers still lacked proper training in how to interact with L.G.B.T. victims and complainants.

A lawsuit filed in January by a transgender woman accused police officers of ridiculing her during her arrest and charging her with incorrectly filling out her gender on an official form.

Mr. Saenz said that transgender people, especially transgender women of color, were particularly vulnerable to police misconduct.

A national survey of nearly 28,000 transgender Americans conducted in 2015 found that 58 percent of respondents had experienced some form of mistreatment by police.

Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said in a statement that she believed those police officers in New York continued to harass and abuse transgender people.

“The N.Y.P.D. must commit itself to the true change in practices and policies necessary to address the crisis of violence facing transgender people,” she said. 

Even so, she thanked Mr. O’Neill for his apology.

At the Stonewall Inn, now a national monument, dozens of people were present on Thursday paying homage to the history that had taken place there.

Stacy Lentz, 49, a co-owner of the Stonewall Inn since 2006, called Mr. O’Neill’s remarks a strong first step toward improving relationships between the police and the L.G.B.T. community.

“For the police commissioner to apologize like that — it’s just incredible,” Ms. Lentz said.

But she said there was room for improvement.

“The battle that was started here is not over,” she added. “But today was about visibility, and visibility saves lives.”

Ali Watkins contributed reporting.

April 25, 2019

Deputy Sheriff in Alabama Attacks The Gay Community After Suicide of Bullied Teen

Image result for nigel shelby

A sheriff’s deputy in Alabama has been placed on leave after he made anti-LGBTQ comments on social media — specifically, on a post about a teenage boy who was bullied until he killed himself, reported Monday.
Last weekend, a local Alabama news station shared Rocket City Pride’s Facebook post about Nigel Shelby, a 15-year-old who died by suicide after being bullied for being gay, according to Rocket City Pride. The station’s story specifically highlighted the fact that LGBTQ people face a higher risk of violence and that they often lack legal protections.  
We are heartbroken over the death of Nigel Shelby, a 15-year-old Freshman at Huntsville High School. Nigel took his life because he was bullied for being gay. There are no words that can be said to make sense of this devastating news.

Below is a link to a GoFundMe account to help his mother with his funeral expenses. We will also be collecting donations at Huntsville’s Only Drag Brunch on Sunday and at Drag Queen Bingo on Tuesday. 
Please donate what you can to help.
https://...See More
On Sunday, Madison County Deputy Jeff Graves denounced the entire LGBTQ community in a comment to that Facebook post. 
“Liberty. Guns. Bible. Trump. BBQ. That’s my kind of LGBTQ movement,” Graves reportedly wrote on Sunday. (His comment has since been taken down, reported.) “I’m seriously offended there is such a thing such as the movement. Society cannot and should not accept this behavior.”
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office acted fast. By Monday, Graves was placed on administrative leave while the agency investigated the incident.
“The Sheriff’s Office holds all its employees to a high standard, and the public can be assured that a thorough and complete audit will be conducted and appropriate action will be taken,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
“Bullying of any group or person in or outside of schools is unacceptable, and I welcome any and all efforts to raise awareness to bully and bring bullying to a stop,” Sheriff Kevin Turner added. “The Madison County Sheriff’s Office is proud of the community support and engagement we have received over the years, and we look forward to growing those community partnerships."
The local community has rallied in the wake of Shelby’s suicide — both Shelby’s high school principal and the superintendent of his school district have spoken publicly about his death, while drag queens at the Tennessee Valley Rocket City Pride’s Easter Drag Brunch condemned anti-LGBTQ bigotry and bullying.

December 26, 2017

Indonesia Crack Down Moves To Gay Men Homes from Bars

Steven Handoko in 2013, during a family trip to Singapore. Detained in a raid on a gay sauna in North Jakarta in May, Mr. Handoko, 25, has been sentenced to more than two years in prison by an Indonesian court. CreditHandoko family 
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Steven Handoko admits it wasn’t his most dignified moment. Naked as the day he was born, the bookish 25-year-old had been invited on stage by one of the strippers hired for a party at the Atlantis Gym.
That hardly qualified as outrageous behavior in the red-light district of Kelapa Gading in North Jakarta, where the Atlantis was located. Nearby were plenty of venues with suggestive names like the Playboy Sensation, massage parlors for straight men. The Atlantis was a gay sauna in a conservative country, but given the generally live-and-let-live milieu of the Indonesian capital’s night life, Mr. Handoko felt safe, if a little embarrassed.
But he wasn’t. Soon after he took the stage, the police stormed the premises. Officers herded naked, cowering men into the middle of the room and began taking photos, some of which — including one of Mr. Handoko — appeared on Indonesian social media within hours. He and 140 other men were taken away.
“When a future employer Googles me, this is what they will see,” Mr. Handoko, an aspiring journalist, said last week in an interview at Cipinang prison in Jakarta, where he has been held since the raid in May. 
This week, prosecutors notified Mr. Handoko’s family that he had been sentenced in absentia to two years and three months in prison, convicted of violating Indonesia’s antipornography law, which includes a ban on striptease performances.
Some of the 141 men detained in the raid on the Atlantis sauna in North Jakarta were marched past journalists in May. Indonesian news outlets have provided lurid coverage of the wave of arrests that began in late 2016. CreditTatan Syuflana/Associated Press 
In Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, homosexuality has generally been tolerated, if marginalized. But that began to change last year, when the authorities, under pressure from right-wing Islamic groups, started arresting gay men in what experts say are unprecedented numbers, raiding not just bars and saunas but hotel rooms and private apartments.
The crackdown began in November 2016, when the police broke up a party in South Jakarta and detained 13 men. The most recent incident was in October, when 51 men were arrested at what is thought to be Jakarta’s last gay sauna. (The Atlantis closed soon after the raid in May.)
Most of the hundreds of men swept up in the raids were released with no charges filed, and few cases have made it to trial. Nine other detainees from the Atlantis raid were sentenced last week to more than two years in prison.
But even men who weren’t charged have been subjected to humiliating scrutiny and lurid news coverage, with their photos often posted on social media. Indonesian news outlets breathlessly detailed services offered at the Atlantis, like mock jail cells for role playing, and speculated that it was a hub for prostitution.
The authorities have justified the raids by citing the pornography law’s loosely worded ban on material or actions that undermine public decency. Ade Armando, a communications professor at the University of Indonesia who helped draft the pornography statute, said the raids went well beyond the law’s intent.
“It is not fair. It is not right what the police are doing there,” Mr. Armando said. “Hotels are private places. The pornography law does not apply.”
Historically, gay and transgender Indonesians have been accepted — if poorly understood — as long as they married people of the opposite sex and had children, said Tom Boellstorff, an anthropologist at the University of California, Irvine, and author of “The Gay Archipelago: Sexuality and Nation in Indonesia.”
Gay men have been caned in public in the autonomous province of Aceh, where Shariah law is enforced. But in the vast majority of Indonesia, anti-gay violence has been rare, and persecution of gay people by the state has been even rarer. While vigilante groups sometimes got headlines by shutting down gay film festivals or transgender beauty pageants, such violence was not state-sanctioned, Mr. Boellstorff said.
“Most Indonesians had no idea what ‘gay’ meant,” he said. “This just was not on the government’s radar.”
But that has begun to change in the last few years, as Indonesian politicians have seen advantage in appealing to hard-line Islamic sentiment.
In early 2016, the minister of higher education banned an L.G.B.T. student group from the University of Indonesia campus. Later, the broadcasting regulator banned the depiction of gay characters or effeminate men on television.
The defense minister likened homosexuality to nuclear war: While a bomb blast over Jakarta would at least be contained, he said, tolerance for gays could spread dangerously throughout the country. President Joko Widodo spoke up for the rights of L.G.B.T. citizens late last year, but to little avail; the wave of raids began the next month.
Gay men have been subjected to public canings in the autonomous province of Aceh. But in most of Indonesia, homosexuality has generally been tolerated, if marginalized. CreditBeawiharta/Reuters 
Last week, a conservative group’s petition to ban all sex outside marriage, which would have effectively criminalized homosexuality, was narrowly rejected by Indonesia’s Constitutional Court.
Mr. Boellstorff said the current crackdown on gay men had no precedent. “Things are worse now than they have ever been in Indonesian history” for gay people, he said.
Rights advocates had been skeptical that Mr. Handoko and the other Atlantis defendants would get fair trials. The head judge, Pinta Uli Boru Tarigan, was criticized by Human Rights Watch in 2011 for expressing contempt for the Ahmadis, a minority Muslim sect, while overseeing the trial of men charged in a mob attack that killed three of them. Mr. Handoko said Judge Tarigan recounted the story of Sodom and Gomorrah at one of his hearings. 
“She had a poor record on human rights,” said Ricky Gunawan, a lawyer for the Community Legal Aid Institute in Jakarta, which specializes in human rights cases.
Mr. Handoko said his family hired a lawyer chosen by the police, and he entered a guilty plea that was essentially a carbon copy of the prosecution’s charges. A sister of Mr. Handoko, who asked not to be identified because she feared repercussions at her workplace, said the family had cooperated in hopes of a lenient sentence.
“We were worried that the court would be like quicksand,” she said. “The more you struggle, the quicker you sink.”
Mr. Handoko’s sister had suspected something was wrong on the night of the Atlantis raid, when he uncharacteristically failed to respond to text messages. The next day, fearing the worst after colleagues said they hadn’t heard from him, she left work early and drove home to be with her mother. On the way, cryptic messages of support began arriving from distant relatives.
At home she found her mother, a devout Christian, in tears — not just because her son had been arrested, but because he was gay.
Many Indonesians have struggled to put the news about the raids into context, because there are few positive examples of gay men in the popular media, Mr. Handoko’s sister said. There is no Indonesian equivalent of “Brokeback Mountain,” she said.
Mr. Handoko’s mother has been supportive since overcoming her initial shock, as have other family members and friends. About once a week, she braves Jakarta’s awful traffic, and the hour or so it takes to wind through security, to visit him in prison. His life there has been a dull routine of exercise, library and church. He said he hadn’t been mistreated.
But Mr. Handoko, referring bitterly to the “It Gets Better” campaign aimed at bullied gay youths, was not optimistic about what the future held for a gay man in Indonesia.
“It doesn’t get better, does it,” he said

November 17, 2017

San Jose Cops Still Arresting Gay Men With Undercover Baits {Because of Lawsuit They Will be in Court}

TThe City is being sued so this time the police will be in court as defendants. The County of San Jose still wasting tax dollars going after men in porn shops and parks. The cops as you can see don't mind that at all. The few places that still do this will usually ask for volunteers with certain prerequisites.
 San Jose cops after booking gays

A notable gay-rights attorney has filed a federal lawsuit against the San Jose Police Department over undercover lewd-conduct stings targeting gay men more than a year after a judge threw out six cases and deemed the “decoy” operations unconstitutional.  
While the complaint filed last week in federal court seeks monetary damages of at least $1 million for the five of the six defendants cleared by the June 2016 ruling of Judge Jose S. Franco, attorney Bruce Nickerson is also seeking class-action status for the lawsuit, and is hoping it will help end the practice by police overall.
Nickerson has made a name for himself over the past 30 years defending gay men caught in the decoy operations where undercover police officers solicit and suggest sex acts in public places like city parks and arrest men who reciprocate interest.
“They’re invalid and discriminatory,” Nickerson said of the stings, “because they target male-male public sex and not male-female public sex.”
San Jose police referred comment about the lawsuit to the City Attorney’s Office, which did not immediately respond to an inquiry by this news organization Thursday.
 This police cadet just saw a suspect
The San Jose case at the heart of the current lawsuit involved undercover lewd-conduct stings at Columbus Park, which police said was spurred by citizens’ complaints and their own observations of unlawful activity in the park on Taylor Street between Highway 87 and Coleman Avenue.
Around the same time, the San Jose cases were dismissed, a Los Angeles County judge threw out similar charges involving Long Beach police. Police in Mountain View, San Leandro, and Manhattan Beach have stopped conducting such stings in response to lawsuits over the tactic, which have been argued to be violations of constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure, and equal protection under the law given the target demographic.
San Jose police suspended the sting operations in late 2015. It was not immediately clear whether they have resumed since, and at the time of the dismissals, police defended the tactic. They contended they were responding to complaints and noted that the bathroom had a hole cut into one of the stall walls for the purpose of facilitating oral sex.
One of the defendants told this news organization last year that the park was a meet-up spot and that any sex with an interested partner would likely happen elsewhere. Nickerson said the undercover nature of the enforcement is what is problematic, arguing that it preys on men struggling with their sexuality and looking for a safe place to explore it without retribution from their families and co-workers.  
“The guys that these catches are those who are half in and half out, the most vulnerable. For them this is the only way to explore their sexuality,” Nickerson said. “If they were completely out, they would go to a gay bar. Because they have this need, they go to quasi-public places, and use signals to avoid offending members of the public.”
Nickerson also emphasized that lewd-conduct crimes in California are based on whether the conduct would “offend the observer,” which he said in the case of undercover stings is muted by the fact the decoy officer is expressing — albeit falsely — sexual interest.
“I have no objection to uniformed cops doing patrol,” he said. “But when they go decoy, that’s what makes it invalid.”
The arrests, Nickerson added, can “destroy” the psyches of the men caught in the stings.
“It’s one thing to be arrested. What’s worse is to be arrested and deprived of your liberties because you’re gay,” he said. “That’s essentially what’s going on.”
By  | | Bay Area News Group
Staff writer Tracey Kaplan contributed to this report.

November 16, 2017

How A Gay Killing Changed Australia

Dr George Duncan
Image captionDr. George Duncan was 41 when he drowned in Adelaide in 1972

We saw how the killing of Milk in California had an impact in that state but also the country. The same for Martin L.King and the Kennedy's. These people were killed because they were out front with their beliefs and were honest about how they wanted change. Before them, no one had said the same things in public which caused some people's intelligence to be blinded by their hatred. If intelligence was playing its role instead of hate towards gays and blacks they would have realized that what they were trying to quiet was now getting a megaphone everywhere. Killers of ideas are either just plain ignorant or so blinded by hate they can't see ahead of their killings what is going to do to what these victims/heroes were saying. 
Nothing like the spotlight to bring out the dirt and corruption on those paid to destroy corruption and enforce fairness towards all. Some people, particularly in institutions with lots of power, get the idea their jobs is to prosecute, not to find the defective link and bring it to the justice through the system of Courts, lawyers and prosecutors. 
Just recently you had a cam showing cops in Los Angeles CA. putting drugs in a man's wallet to have an excuse to arrest him. What was going through their minds? Who is ultimately responsible? We are because we elect the politicians that give the police their guns and shields and more important their training. Many times training is rushed through because they want to fill vacancies quick other times not enough importance is given how the police are supposed to enforce and never prosecute or punish an individual. We see that the worse the crime the better those perps get treated. Why? The spotlight is on them and is a pity that there is very little light to see what cops do on their shifts: For instance, in NYC the police is allowed to turn off their new given cams. Right from the start, a new program to safeguard the cop and the public is blinded by having a policy taken over by bad one. We put a band on it so it can't see. They confuse good public relations by seeing the cams but we don't know if they are working or not. This is something I could not do working in an office in midtown. I was on live video from the time I came into the time I left minus bathroom breaks. What was  I guarding? Tests which is important but is not life-saving nor life taking nor reputation squasher.      Adam Gonzalez🦊

On Wednesday, Australia learned the result of a national vote that showed decisive support for legalizing same-sex marriage. The discussion over changing the law has been one of the most hotly debated issues in the nation's recent social and political history.
But the death of a university lecturer in Adelaide 45 years ago led to an even more fundamental change for Australia's gay community. Jamie Duncan reports.
In the foyer of the University of Adelaide's law faculty building, a photograph of a sober-looking man wearing dark-rimmed glasses stares out at posters backing a "yes" vote on Australia's same-sex marriage postal survey.
The scene is a symbol of evolving social debate in Australia. The photograph below is part of a memorial to Dr. George Duncan, a gay law lecturer at the university who is 1972 was killed a stone's throw away at a riverbank in an attack suspected to have been committed by police officers.
The crime, still unpunished, revolted mainstream Australia and led the state of South Australia (SA) to become the first national jurisdiction to decriminalize homosexuality.

Tragic return

Dr. Duncan, born in London in 1930, moved to Melbourne with his parents at seven.
He studied classical philology at the University of Melbourne but did not complete the course because he contracted tuberculosis in 1950. Later, Dr. Duncan earned degrees in arts and law at St John's College, Cambridge, before completing a Ph.D. at the University of Bristol.
A practicing Anglican, he returned to Australia to lecture in law at the University of Adelaide, starting on 25 March 1972.
Less than two months later, Dr. Duncan was dead. He was 41. In 1970s Adelaide, homosexuality was illegal and the southern bank of the River Torrens in the heart of the city was a well-known meeting spot for gay people.
The bank drops sharply below tree-lined Victoria Drive, the northern boundary of the University of Adelaide. It's out of sight from homes north of the river and riverside paths were deserted at night.
Around 23:00 on 10 May 1972, a gang of men confronted Dr. Duncan and another man, Roger James, on the southern bank, near a footbridge.
Both men were thrown into the water but Dr. Duncan could not swim and drowned.
Mr. James suffered a broken ankle in the attack. He crawled up to Victoria Drive. A passing motorist took him to hospital. He later refused to identify the attackers.
Shortly after police retrieved Dr. Duncan's body, a TV news crew arrived. Incredibly, police placed the body back in the river and dragged it out again for the camera. 
In the days following his death, rumors began circulating that members of the police vice squad were responsible, but witnesses feared for their lives.
South Australian Premier Don Dunstan offered protection for anyone who came forward. No-one did.

Case gathers profile

A coroner's inquest began on 7 June 1972, at which two members of the vice squad refused to answer questions. They and a third detective were suspended and later resigned.
A 1972 newspaper report on the death of Dr George Duncan, also showing a coroner and police chiefs, none of whom were suspected in the death
 A 1972 newspaper front page. No-one pictured was suspected in Dr. Duncan's death
By then, the case, the possibility of police involvement and a broader discussion about attitudes to homosexuality were making headlines around Australia.
Amid the charged political atmosphere, Mr. Dunstan authorized police to call in detectives from New Scotland Yard.
Meanwhile, Murray Hill, a lawmaker, tabled a bill in the state's ultra-conservative Legislative Council to decriminalize homosexual activity between consenting adult men.
It was drafted by two junior solicitors - his son, Robert, and colleague John Cummins.
Robert Hill, later an Australian government minister, said the bill was his father's reaction to a discriminatory law that by 1972 lagged well behind community values. 
"I guess it surprised some people because in many ways [Murray Hill] was a quite conservative chap, but he was progressive in others, particularly in anti-discrimination," Robert Hill told the BBC.
The bill passed, but further amendments later in 1972 destroyed its intent.
Mr. Hill said the public reaction to Dr. Duncan's death was strong. 
"It started a debate about how the police were behaving in relation to homosexuals around the Torrens," Mr. Hill said, adding that suspicion of police involvement increased over time.
"And it added some momentum to the debate about decriminalization. It had started before at a fairly low tempo, but when the public became aware of what happened disbelief turned to anger and general community anger pushed the debate along."
Community disquiet spread around Australia as gay rights rallies in the big cities pushed for reform. 
The inquest found that Dr. Duncan died from violence inflicted by unknown persons. A subsequent police investigation also failed to identify suspects.

Image copyright  

A memorial plaque was erected at the top of the riverbank beside the footbridge to mark the 30th anniversary of Dr Duncan's death.
 A memorial plaque erected near the river to mark the 30th anniversary oDr. Duncan's death

The case revealed the previously little-known practice among a few police officers of terrorizing gay men by the Torrens. Mr. Hill said the brutality made the general public uncomfortable.
In October 1972, the British detectives called into the case delivered their final report, which was never released, and the SA Crown Solicitor decreed no charges would result, further fuelling the case for change and turning Dr. Duncan into a symbol for gay rights advocates.
A second decriminalization bill introduced by another lawmaker, Peter Duncan, was defeated twice, but the same bill passed in 1975.
It was far from the end of the matter.


In July 1985, a former vice squad member, Mick O'Shea, told an Adelaide newspaper that there had been a cover-up to protect three other squad members who he said killed Dr Duncan.
In February 1986, the three were charged with his manslaughter. Only two faced trial, and in September 1988 both were acquitted. A police taskforce on the case was disbanded in 1990 with no prospect of identifying other suspects.
Decriminalisation of male homosexuality had passed in all states and territories bar one by 1990. Tasmania clung to its anti-homosexual laws until May 1997 - passed only when gay activists threatened a court challenge to the laws.
Long-time gay rights activist and same-sex marriage campaigner Rodney Croome were at the heart of the fight in Tasmania.
He said Dr. Duncan is an inspiration for gay rights.
"For people like me who became part of the movement for decriminalization a generation after that, it was a pivotal moment in that historical narrative that we all became a part of," Mr. Croome told the BBC.
"It was often cited by people from that earlier generation - not just people from Adelaide, but people from all over Australia - as a turning point, a key moment that revealed the depth of our oppression and the need for our emancipation." Mr Croome said he sees parallels between broad support for decriminalizing homosexuality following Dr. Duncan's death and the same-sex marriage debate in Australia today. 
But he believes the political debate is vastly different, believing that there is an "element that sees empathy as weakness and refuses to empathize with LGBTI people, instead wanting to portray us as aggressors, and a threat to democracy and civilization."
Opponents of same-sex marriage in Australia's debate have consistently argued that they are protecting traditional values and religious freedoms. Anti-reform lobby groups have said changing the law could have negative consequences for children.
Mr. Hill said today's same-sex marriage debate is also a fight for equality, but the 1970s debate was colored by Dr. Duncan's horrific death and the fact that harmless acts between consenting men were considered criminal.
"You can argue that same-sex marriage is a further progressive reform, but I think it was a fundamentally different sort of debate, and I think the horrific story of what happened to Dr. Duncan played a key part in contributing to almost a demand that the law change," he said.
SA Police still offers an A$200,000 (£120,000; $150,000) reward for information leading to a conviction in the case.
Author Jamie Duncan and Dr. George Duncan are not related.

Featured Posts

Second Day at Home {Adamfoxie}

I will rather post important stories not being published the way they should or post information in a new format that will h...