State Archives of Florida, Series S1486
An advertisement for the report "Homosexuality and Citizenship in Florida" (The Purple Pamphlet) that was completed by the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee, also know as the Johns Committee.
The Johns Committee was formed in 1956 during the Lavender Scare, when anti-homosexual campaigns led to investigations and mass firings of gay people. The committee published the report 'Homosexuality and Citizenship in Florida' in January 1964, which was meant to disparage homosexuals and warn the public against homosexual activity. Two-thousand copies of the report were published, but only 300 were distributed. The booklet contained pornographic images and a glossary of terms used in the gay community. Due to its explicit content, there was a backlash against the booklet in the community and the committee was subsequently disbanded.
[Image of cover of report with the following text visible:
"HOMOSEXUALITY AND CITIZENSHIP IN FLORIDA
a report of the florida legislative investigation committee
january, 1964 tallahassee, florida"]
FLORIDA'S PURPLE REPORT!
On 17 March the so-called John's Committee of the Florida Legislature issued its long awaited report. What a report and what a reaction!!!
The entire State of Florida was in a state of shock and once even the slightest recovery set in, the last thing anyone wanted was for this report to be circulated. As a result, only 300 of the 2,000 copies were distributed and despite the initial offer to sell copies for 25 cents each, all money is now returned with the excuse that there are only enough copies to fill Florida needs!
The report opens with a picture of two nude males passionately kissing each other. A few pages further we are treated to a handsome boy bound with ropes to a rack. Then, for the only scene such as this that we have ever seen in print anywhere, we see an action photograph of a restroom "glory hole" scene that is unbelievable. The photographic presentation closes with a reproduction of a Capital Studio catalog on Bobby Pell with the conclusion being drawn that this is evidence of frequent homosexual fixation upon youth.
There is an eight page glossary of homosexual terms that is not even alphabetized, and the opus concludes with a bibliography of more than 300 items on all forms of sexual deviation.
"... It will become the object of curiosity in every school in the state and could engender perversion," Dade County State Attorney Richard Gerstien, after directing the committee to keep the manual out of the G r e a t e r Miami area or face possible prosecution!
"... The physical make-up of the book ... the far-out covers and location of the pictures without real interpretation of what the pictures represent, in my opinion was in poor taste ..." State Senator C.W. Young
The text of the report is simply beyond all belief. We are told that homosexuals spend most of their time trying to win young boys over into the ranks of homosexuality. The old nonsense about all physique photographers supplying hard core pornography is repeated, and only the Post Office lie about the little boy who orders an airplane model and is deluged with offers of pornography is omitted.
This is the most amazing book we have ever seen come from any public body. This is a facsimile reproduction; purple cover, glory hole scene and all.
Please send me __ copies of HOMOSEXUALITY AND CITIZENSHIP IN FLORIDA at $2.00 per copy.
ENCLOSED IS $
Send Coupon To: GUILD BOOK SERVICE, P.O. BOX 7410, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN STA., WASHINGTON 44, D.C.