"The magazines consisted largely of photographs of nude, or nearly nude, male models ... were composed primarily, if not exclusively, for homosexuals and had no literary, scientific or other merit ... [and] would appeal to the 'prurient interests' of such sexual deviants, but would not have any interest for sexually normal individuals ...
In conclusion, nothing in this opinion remotely implies approval of the type of magazines published by the petitions, still less of the sordid motives which prompted their publication. All we decide is that on this record, these magazines are not subject to repression."
In 1953, the Post Office declared One magazine obscene under the Comstock Act and seized it. One magazine was the publication of the Mattachine Society, and contained articles supporting homosexuality. The publisher sued the government and lost. They appealed to the 9th Circuit and the court agreed that One magazine was obscene. The publisher appealed to the Supreme Court. While the court decided not to hear the case, they issued a very tiny opinion that reversed the decision of the lower courts, thereby enabling the Mattachine and other groups like it to use the mail to begin communicating, organizing etc. This was pre-internet and the postal mail was one of the few means of mass communication to do large scale organizing, and because of the impact this ruling offered had on the ability for the LGBTQ community to organize, this short ruling is probably one of the most important lgbt documents.
United States. Supreme Court. United States Reports: Cases Adjudged In the Supreme Court. Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.; For sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. Govt. Print. Off. Retrieved from HathiTrust,