Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Finding aid of the Homophile Effort for Legal Protection, Incorporated (HELP, Inc.) Records
Coll2008-052  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (126.16 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information
  • Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Homophile Effort for Legal Protection, Incorporated (HELP, Inc.), records
    Dates: 1969-1984
    Bulk Dates: 1970-1975
    Collection number: Coll2008-052
    Creator: H.E.L.P., Incorporated
    Collection Size: 5 archive cartons, 1 archive half-carton, and 1 oversize box. 3.3 linear feet.
    Repository: ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives.
    Los Angeles, California 90007
    Abstract: 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.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Access

    The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

    Publication Rights

    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).

    Preferred Citation

    Box #, folder #, Homophile Effort for Legal Protection, Incorporated (HELP, Inc.), Records, Coll2008-052, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

    Acquisition Information

    Method and date of acquisition unknown.

    Processing Information

    Collection created in September 2008 by Michael C. Oliveira, with the assistance of Richard French, from materials in box 104-34, and in ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives "HELP, Inc. (Homophile Effort for Legal Protection, Incorporated)" subject files.
    Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

    Administrative History

    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.
    However, the organization was plagued by periodic episodes of infighting and was also not able to maintain the on-going support of the bar owners. By the late 1970s, changes in society's attitude toward gays, recognition of gay political power, reforms of California sex laws, and changes in police priorities practically eliminated the need for many of the services HELP provided.
    Sources:
    Colburn, Cal. "Hotline." Magpie, September 27, 1968, 3.
    Richards, Yale. "From under My Soap Box." Magpie, January 1969, 4-10.
    Vincent, Cliff. "What Else Is Happening in L.A.?" Magpie, December 20 1968, 20-24.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection contains the records of the Homophile Effort for Legal Protection, Incorporated (HELP, Inc.), an organization that provided legal assistance in the form of bail bond service and lawyer referral to members for a nominal annual membership fee. The organization coalesced after repeated raids on gay establishments by the Los Angeles Police Department Vice Detail. The collection consists of five series: (1) Administrative Records, (2) Correspondence, (3) Bail Bonds and Attorney Referral Records, (4) Financial, and (5) Printed Materials. The Administrative Records include minutes, membership lists, and applications. The Correspondence Series contains chronologically organized and unorganized correspondence, as well as correspondence subject files. The Bail Bonds and Attorney Referral Records consist of lawyer referral lists and lawyers' reports on the status of defendants' cases. The Financial Records series contains unorganized bills, receipts, and a check register, along with records of fund raising events. The Printed Materials Series contains HELP publications, brochures, and other materials by which the organization informed its membership.

    Arrangement

    The series are arranged chronologically, with the exception of the Bail Bonds and Attorney Referral Records, which are arranged with the attorney referral lists followed by the attorney referral reports, arranged alphabetically by attorney.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    American Federation for the Advancement and Defense of Homophile Society (Los Angeles, Calif.)
    Black Pipe (bar : Los Angeles, Calif.)--Raid, 1972
    Gay clubs--California--Los Angeles
    H.E.L.P., Incorporated
    Homophile Effort for Legal Protection (Los Angeles, Calif.)
    Legal assistance to gays--California--Los Angeles
    Police--Los Angeles Police Dept. (LAPD)--Vice Squad
    Police--Complaints against--California--Los Angeles