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Ronald Reagan


 

During Spring quarter of 1970 the Gay Students Union announced that they were sponsoring a dance in Pauley Ballroom on the evening of May 22nd ó the first openly-gay dance ever held on the Berkeley campus. News of the landmark event reached the press, and a KQED reporter earnestly asked Governor Ronald Reagan his reaction to the idea of homosexuals dancing in a University facility. Caught off guard by the question, Reagan ad-libbed, ďI havenít been invited yet!Ē As soon as Reaganís comment reached the GSU, a form letter was mimeographed and handed out in Sproul Plaza. Gay students were encouraged to sign the form and send it to Sacramento:

GAY STUDENTS UNION
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA

Governor and Mrs. Ronald Reagan
Governorís Mansion
Sacramento, California

Dear Governor and Mrs. Reagan,

I was sorry to hear that you had not yet received an invitation to the Peopleís Dance sponsored by the Gay Students Union at UC Berkeley next Friday, May 22, 1970 in Pauley Ballroom at 9:00 P.M.

I am sure the members in no way meant to slight you, and I hereby extend my personal invitation for you both to attend, with sincere apologies and a promise that this wonít happen again.

Tickets are $1.50 per person, and all proceeds are going to be donated to the Free Clinic, a commendable organization in Berkeley which has for several years now made free medical services available to the poor people of Berkeley and Oakland.

If you find you are unable to attend, I hope you will consider donating the price of two tickets to the Free Clinic as a token of your concern not only for the clinic but for the age-old oppression of gay people of which this dance symbolizes the end.

Sincerely yours,

May 15, 1970

Read More About It

  • Social Protest Collection, Container 8, Gay Movement (BANC MSS 86/157c), The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
 
 

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Copyright 2002 Regents of the University of California. Email: benemann@law.berkeley.edu.