Lambda LegalBayard Rustin, the openly gay labor organizer who eventually served as advisor to Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and architect of the 1963 March on Washington, was a civil rights icon and hero to LGBTQ and Black communities in the United States. Earlier this week, he was posthumously pardoned by California’s Governor Gavin Newsom for a 1953 charge of “vagrancy” for having consensual sex with other men, which resulted in a criminal conviction, 50 days of jail time, and having to register as a sex offender.


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