Scope and Content of Collection
Title: American Civil Liberties Union of Southern
California Lesbian & Gay Rights Chapter records
Bulk Dates: (bulk
Collection number: Coll2007-013
American Civil Liberties Union of Southern
California Lesbian & Gay Rights Chapter
Collection Size: 25 archive boxes + 1 oversize
archive box. 13 linear feet.
ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives.
Los Angeles, California 90007
Abstract: 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.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection:
The collection is open to researchers. There are no access
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).
American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California Lesbian & Gay
Rights Chapter records, Coll2007-013, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives,
Los Angeles, California.
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
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
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 McGrievy, 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,
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 McGrievy; 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
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.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this
collection in the library's online public access catalog.
ACLU Lesbian and Gay Rights
ACLU Foundation of
Liberties Union Foundation
Liberties Union of Southern California
Davidson, Jon W.
Gay and lesbian rights
Gay Rights Chapter
Judge, Peter Thomas
Lesbian and Gay Rights
Reynolds, Michael E.