The 2012 documentary Lewd & Lascivious recounts then now infamous 1965 police raid on California Hall, the aftermath of which crystallized an inter-faith alliance against the SFPD’s discriminatory harassment. The “New Year’s Mardi Gras Ball” was conceived as a private party and fundraiser for the newly organized Council on Religion and the Homosexual. Ordained Protestant denominational clergy had previously met with members of the San Francisco Police Department as plans for the dance were developed. In spite of those contacts, the SFPD severely harassed the dance and eventually arrested six people: three attorneys for moral turpitude, a straight married woman for interfering with police, and two gay men for “lewd and lascivious” conduct. The resulting court trial and its findings forever changed the police response to the emerging lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community. In addition, it helped to make possible the recognition, acceptance, and full participation of LGBTQ individuals into the life of the Lutheran Church through such organizations like ReconcilingWorks.
Following the screening, the Rev. Dr. Megan Rohrer will host a panel featuring Ms. Joanne Chadwick, Executive Director Emeritus for the Commission for Women, ELCA and The Rev. Charles Lewis, ELCA San Francisco Night Minister Emeritus, both of whom were present at the dance and featured in the film. Rohrer is the first openly transgender pastor ordained in the Lutheran church and the pastor of Grace Lutheran in the Sunset. Pastor Megan received a Doctorate in Ministry for research on LGBTQ issues and the pastor serving in the Tenderloin during the 60's and 70's.
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