Perverts by Official Order
The Campaign Against Homosexuals by the United States Navy
Routledge – 1988 – 354 pages
This candid book documents for the first time the U.S. Navy’s use of entrapment in pursuit of homosexuals in and around Newport, Rhode Island, during the early twentieth century. This most extensive systematic persecution of gays in American history occurred with the approval of Navy Secretary Josephus Daniels and Assistant Secretary Franklin Roosevelt, as dozens of sailors were ordered to identify and even seduce gay men in order to report their names to the authorities. Noted historian Lawrence Murphy reveals the details of this sordid campaign that ultimately generated a national scandal and first raised issues of gay rights and governmental persecution of homosexuals.