A new exhibition at the GLBT History
Museum in San Francisco recalls defeat of a California ballot measure
which sought to bar lesbians and gay men, and their supporters, from
teaching in public schools.
The exhibition, titled The Briggs
Initiative: A Scary Proposition, opens September 14 and runs
through January 20, 2019. Admission is $5, free for members of the
GLBT Historical Society.
Proposition Six, also known as the
Briggs Initiative, was sponsored by state Senator John Briggs.
Californians overwhelmingly voted down
the measure on November 7, 1978.
“The No on Six campaign was the first
to succeed in stopping anti-gay forces in the voting booth,” the
Museum said in announcing the exhibit.
Harvey Milk, the first openly gay
elected official in California, campaigned heavily against the
measure, attending every Proposition Six event Briggs hosted.
Briggs argued that the law was needed
to protect children from homosexuals, whom he accused of abusing and
"This exhibition will bring a
scary time for LGBTQ people zinging back for those of us who were
there, reminding us that we can fight the forces of anti-LGBTQ
discrimination and win even against long odds," co-curator Sue
Englander said. "And if you weren't here 40 years ago, the story
will sear itself into your consciousness. The differences between
1978 and today aren't as big as they may look.”