ECHO White House Demonstration, D.C. – April 17, 1965
Less than a dozen demonstrators picketed the White House in the first in a series of actions conducted by the East Coast Homophile Organization (ECHO) in 1965. The following day, though, 29 ECHO members protested outside the United Nations over the treatment of homosexuals in both Cuba and the United States. Other ECHO demonstrations that spring took place in front of the Pentagon and the State Department.
On May 21, Armed Forces Day, 35 people walked a second picket line at the White House, protesting the exclusion of homosexuals from the military, the dishonorable discharges given to those who were discovered and the “continuing refusal by the Departments of Defense, Army, Navy, and Air Force to meet with spokesmen for the homosexual community to engage constructive discussion of the policies and procedures at issue.”
1968 to 1972, USMC Veteran. The first thing I learned in Boot Camp was “I don’t care if you are red yellow, black or white. Gay, straight, or in-between. When you are In Green, You are a Marine”. That sort of stuck with me forever.