The Lavender Scare: the shocking true story of an anti-LGBT witch-hunt

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06/18/2019

When Josh Howard began working on his documentary The Lavender Scare, way back in 2009, America was a very different place – not least for its LGBT citizens. Barack Obama had recently been elected president; one of his early actions, in a reversal of Bush administration policy, was to sign a UN declaration calling for the decriminalisation of homosexuality. Months later, the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act was passed. Meanwhile, the list of states to legalise same-sex marriage was steadily growing. The prospect of a documentary about state-sanctioned LGBT discrimination, in short, seemed more like a valuable history lesson than a topical work of activism. And yet, released into the more hostile environment of Donald Trump’s America, The Lavender Scare plays rather differently.

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