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Finding aid of the Homophile Effort for Legal Protection, Incorporated (HELP, Inc.) Records
Coll2008-052  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Minutes, membership applications and lists, lawyer referral reports, newsletters, newspapers, and related ephemera of the Homophile Effort For Legal Protection, Incorporated (HELP, Inc.). The organization was formed in 1968, in response to the subjective and aggressive behavior of the Los Angeles Police Department Vice Detail. Members were offered general legal assistance and if arrested for "homosexual activities" they were provided bail bonds and lawyer referral services. By the late 1970s, societal changes practically eliminated the need for many of the services HELP provided.
Background
The organization that was to become the Homophile Effort for Legal Protection, Incorporated (HELP, Inc.), began with a proposal developed in early 1968. The first known meeting of the American Federation for the Advancement and Defense of Homophile Society (AFADHS) organizers was in September 1968 at The Patch, a bar in Wilmington, a neighborhood of Los Angeles. The organizers proposed the establishment of an alliance of bar owners, personnel, and patrons to defend against harassment and provide legal assistance in the form of bail bonds and attorney referrals. In a period of several weeks the AFADHS became the less ambiguous Homophile Effort for Legal Protection, Incorporated. HELP provided bail bond service and lawyer referrals to its members and those vouched for by existing members. The primary focus of the organization was to provide support when its members were arrested for "homosexual activities." The aggressive prosecution of victimless crimes by the Los Angeles Police Department and the change in political climate led to the organization's rapid growth. HELP also supported the California State Committee on Sexual Law Reform to change the laws regarding sex between consenting adults.
Extent
5 archive cartons, 1 archive half-carton, and 1 oversize box. 3.3 linear feet.
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).
Availability
The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.