American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California Lesbian and Gay Rights Chapter records
Scope and Content of Collection
The collection comprises minutes, meeting agendas, financial records, correspondence, memoranda, reports, press releases, newsletters, publications, legal papers, subject files, notes, photographs, ephemera, and a videocassette relating to the activities and operations of the Lesbian & Gay Rights Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California (ACLU-LGRC), in Los Angeles. Materials in this collection date from before the founding of LGRC in August 1976 through 2004. However, the bulk of materials come from the years 1976 to 1995. The collection is divided into six series: (1) Administration, (2) Programs and Events, (3) Publications, (4) Subject Files, (5) Photographs, and (6) Ephemera.
The first series, Administration, consists of materials related to the general day-to-day administrative activities of the Lesbian & Gay Rights Chapter of the ACLU and is divided into six subseries: (1) General, (2) Committees and Board of Directors, (3) Publicity/Public Relations, (4) Services, (5) Correspondence, and (6) Memoranda. The first subseries, General, consists of contracts, bylaws, resumes, financial records, bequests, personnel files, documents, handwritten notes and miscellany pertaining to the general day-to-day operations of the LGRC. Included in this subseries are the Chapter's mission statement, organizational history and bylaws; its IRS status; treasurer's reports; and information about the organization's personnel, real estate, finances and general office operations. The second subseries, Committees and Board of Directors, consists of minutes, agendas and reports from meetings for the committees and board of directors of the LGRC. It is this subseries that contains the earliest materials in the collection, including records from the Gay Rights Panel and the Rights of Homosexuals Committee of the ACLU of Southern California. The third subseries, Publicity / Public Relations, consists of press releases, press listings, notes and a pamphlet design draft pertaining to LGRC's publicity and media relations. The content of the press releases range from notices for LGRC's special events to announcements about current events significant to the gay and lesbian community. The fourth subseries, Services, consists of administrative papers and microfiche pertaining to general services of the LGRC, which includes legal and community resource referral information. Also included in this subseries are information about LGRC's membership, complaint intake logs (1989 - 1994), surveys, and questionnaires. The fifth subseries, Correspondence, consists of letters, notes and faxes sent or received by LGRC, its officers, or the ACLU of Southern California. Arranged chronologically by year, it includes--but is not limited to--personal correspondence of Peter Thomas Judge, Charlotte Innes, Michael Reynolds, and Susan McGreivy; complaint intake letters; and general letters to the LGRC membership at large. The sixth and last subseries, Memoranda, consists of internal memoranda of the LGRC, its officers, and/or the ACLU of Southern California. They are also arranged chronologically by year.
The second series, Programs and Events, consists of press releases, correspondence, memoranda, graphic design drafts, program books, flyers, notes, financial records, award certificates and miscellany related to public programs and events of the LGRC or ACLU. Included in this series are materials related to the LGRC's monthly General Meeting and its annual event, the Human Rights Awards. Also included in this series are reports and documents from the ACLU's National Biennial Conferences.
The third series, Publications, compiles distributed newsletters, documents and reports created by the LGRC, the ACLU of Southern California or the national ACLU. The first part of the series contains the monthly newsletters of the Chapter, which the Chapter began distributing in 1977. The remaining publications report on the local and national activities of the ACLU, including those pertaining to AIDS and gay- and lesbian-related legislation.
The fourth series, Subject Files, compiles reports, clippings, court documents, publications, correspondence, flyers, typescripts, notes, and a videocassette organized in subject files created by the LGRC. The topics in the subject files relate to the LGRC's on-going activism involving AIDS, discrimination, adoption, domestic partnership, legislation, litigation, media, military policies, police practices, violence, hate crimes, among others.
The fifth series, Photographs, comprises photographs and negatives--circa 1974 to 1990--taken of programs organized by the LGRC or those in which the LGRC participated.
The sixth and final series, Ephemera, comprises printed ephemera, a guestbook, a stamp with the phrase "Gay Flag = Yes," and a "Vehicular Award" ribbon won in the 1983 Gay Pride Parade.
- 1970 - 2004
- American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (Organization)
The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.
Researchers wishing to publish materials must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives as the physical owner. Researchers must also obtain clearance from the holder(s) of any copyrights in the materials. Note that ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold the copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials directly from the copyright holder(s).
Since the early and mid-1960s, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) affiliates took on the cases of founders of the Mattachine Society, members of the Daughters of Bilitis, and publishers of gay and lesbian publications such as ONE Magazine to challenge the federal government's exclusions of lesbians and gay men from civil service jobs, to fight police entrapment and bathhouse raids, and to end post office censorship. In 1966, the ACLU Foundation of Southern California formally affirmed that the right to privacy in sexual relations is a basic constitutional right and defended a public school teacher threatened with the loss of his teaching credentials after he was acquitted of charges of illegal homosexual conduct. In 1970, the ACLU of Southern California went on to obtain an injunction that permitted the first Christopher Street West parade to take place.
In 1973, the ACLU of Southern California began the formation of the Rights for Homosexuals Committee--the first of its kind in the United States. These activities and the organization of the Gay Rights Panel in 1975 ultimately led to the founding of the ACLU of Southern California Gay Rights Chapter on August 16, 1976 with its first president, Peter Thomas Judge. In January 1984, the Chapter officially changed its name to its current one, the Lesbian & Gay Rights Chapter.
Since these early days, due to the work and support of the Lesbian & Gay Rights Chapter and gay and lesbian rights Attorney Susan McGreivy, the ACLU Foundation of Southern California has been at the forefront of the nation's legal battles for lesbian and gay rights. The ACLU/SC has challenged discrimination against lesbians and gay men in public and private employment, in housing, in public accommodations; has fought college campuses' refusals to recognize lesbian and gay student groups; has attacked vague loitering and lewd conduct laws and other forms of police harassment of lesbians and gay men; has battled for lesbian and gay custody and visitation rights; has challenged exclusions of lesbian and gay aliens by the INS; has secured better treatment for lesbian and gay prison inmates; and has required the licensing of lesbian and gay-operated foster homes.
As of October 2007, the Lesbian & Gay Rights Chapter of the ACLU of Southern California continues to operate.
Source: ACLU of Southern California Lesbian & Gay Rights Chapter Records, Coll2007-013, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
13 Linear Feet (26 boxes.)
Language of Materials
This collection comprises minutes, meeting agendas, financial records, correspondence, memoranda, reports, press releases, newsletters, publications, legal papers, subject files, notes, photographs, ephemera, and a videocassette relating to the on-going activities of the Lesbian & Gay Rights Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California (ACLU-LGRC), in Los Angeles. The LGRC is the first ACLU chapter in the United States to address the civil rights of gay men, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people. The earliest materials in the collection date before the founding of the LGRC and document the gay- and lesbian-related activities of the ACLU--including the Rights of Homosexuals Committee (1973 - 1976) and the Gay Rights Panel (1975 - 1976). The collection spans the founding of the LGRC in August 1976 up to 2004. However, the bulk of the materials come from the years 1976 to 1995.
Donor and date of gift unknown.
Formerly housed in box 103-356 and ONE subject files. Collection processed by Loni Shibuyama, October 16, 2007.
Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
- American Civil Liberties Union. Lesbian and Gay Rights Chapter
- Davidson, Jon W.
- Gay and lesbian rights
- Gays -- Civil rights
- Gays -- Services for
- Homosexuality -- Law and legislation -- California
- Homosexuality -- Law and legislation -- United States
- Judge, Peter Thomas
- Lesbians -- Civil rights
- Lesbians -- Services for
- McGreivy, Susan D.
- Reynolds, Michael E.
- Finding aid to the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California Lesbian and Gay Rights Chapter records, 1970-2004
- Loni Shibuyama
- © 2007
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English