California governor asked to pardon late gay rights leader Bayard Rustin

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01/22/2020

The California Legislature’s LGBTQ and black caucuses on Tuesday asked Gov. Gavin Newsom to posthumously pardon a civil rights leader who was jailed for having gay sex nearly 70 years ago. Bayard Rustin was a confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., along with being an organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. He also helped plan other nonviolent boycotts and protests to end racial discrimination. In 1953, he was arrested on a charge of vagrancy when he was caught having sex with two men in a parked car after he gave a speech in Pasadena as part of a lecture tour on anti-colonial struggles in West Africa, Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco and Assemblywoman Shirley Weber wrote on behalf of the caucuses.

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