Read today's eNewspaper

U.S. Department of State

Cardin seeks apology from State for 'lavender scare'

Cardin seeks apology from State for 'lavender scare'

Sen. Ben Cardin has called on Secretary of State John Kerry to formally apologize to hundreds of federal government employees who were fired decades ago for their perceived sexual orientation in what came to be known as the lavender scare.

"There is little we can do to undo hurts and wrongs of the past," Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote to Kerry in a letter dated Nov. 29 and released publicly on Friday. "But we can take steps to assure that the lessons of these episodes are learned and remembered."

A 2004 study found that at least 1,000 employees at the State Department were fired in the 1950s and 1960s for alleged...