Tom Reeves obituary

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Thomas Reeves - retired professor at Boston's Roxbury Community College who died in Baltimore on Sunday, February 19, 2012, of heart failure at age 72 - was a social activist in many arenas. [...]

As a follow-up to the Boston-Boise Committee, Tom organized a conference on December 2, 1978, on the issue of ages of consent. At that conference, a group later known as the North American Man/Boy Love Association was formed by a caucus of several dozen in attendance. Tom strove over many years to convey the message that sex was something to celebrate, not fear. However moral panics ensued in the 1980s and '90s, fueled by hysterias over the McMartin preschool case, 'Satanic abuse,' and recovered memories. All were shown to be without basis, but were used to hammer NAMBLA. Less radical gays - soon to be mainstream - separated from Tom on this issue. Yet Tom was also a founding member and organizer of groups that would become more mainstream, such as Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), which grew out of the Boston-Boise Committee, and later, in the midst of the AIDS crisis, ACT UP. [...]

Tom suffered a lot for his beliefs in the last quarter century of his life. Not for his religious beliefs, which were conventional enough (he particularly subscribed to the ecumenical Taizé movement), but for his belief in the importance of challenging the U.S.'s ever more punitive sex laws, and particularly sex-offender registries, which he considered analogous to the Puritan scarlet letter.

source: 'Tom Reeves Obituary';;; 24 February 2012