The Lavender Scare
In the Cold War years of the post-WWII period, the conflict between the United States and Soviet Union was often viewed as a conflict between two sets of values. As the Cold War progressed, gays and lesbians were cast as a threat to traditional American values. Magazine articles described how the Communists purportedly blackmailed gays into spying for them. As fear of homosexuals mounted, the government began to restrict gay rights and investigate gays serving in the government. In 1953, the movement peaked as President Eisenhower issued an executive order banning all homosexuals from the federal government. The backlash against the persecution that occurred during the Lavender Scare led to the formation of several prominent gay rights organizations, including the Mattachine Society.