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Sunday, 27 April 2008

Remembering Vern Bullough

The distinguished American professor, historian and sexologist Dr Vern L Bullough was a life-long champion of civil liberties and one of the most prominent figures in the US Humanist movement. In 1992, he received a Distinguished Humanist Service Award from the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), and served as co-chair of IHEU from 1995 to 1996.

Though not himself gay, Bullough always gave staunch support to LGBT rights. He was an occasional contributor to Gay and Lesbian Humanist (G&LH), including this obituary in its Summer 2005 issue of well-known US gay activist and Gay Today editor Jack Nichols.

He had more than fifty books to his name, one of the most significant as far as the LGBT movement is concerned being his Before Stonewall: Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Historical Context (Harrington Park Press, 2002). At the time, it was described by Warren Allen Smith in G&LH (Spring 2003) as “an essential source for understanding one of the most inspiring human rights campaigns of our time”.

In 2001, Bullough appeared in Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon’s Who’s Who In Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History, which I myself reviewed for G&LH in its Summer 2001 issue.

Bullough died in 2006.

UPDATE: You can now see G&LH online since it was relaunched as an Internet-based publication in October 2008.

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