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Reh (Lawrence), Los Angeles City Council Liaison to the Gay Community Records
Coll2016-005  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biography
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Scope and Contents
  • Conditions Governing Use

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
    Title: Lawrence Reh Los Angeles City Council Liaison to the Gay Community records
    creator: Reh, Lawrence
    Identifier/Call Number: Coll2016-005
    Physical Description: 0.4 Linear Feet 1 box
    Date (inclusive): 1975-1977
    Abstract: Correspondence, press releases, meeting minutes, to-do lists, clippings and flyers written and/or collected by Lawrence A. Reh while he served as Liaison to the Gay Community, Offices of the City Council, 13th District, Los Angeles, California, from 1975 to 1977. The records document the activity of Councilperson Peggy Stevenson's office, most notably regarding job discrimination based upon sexual orientation, and to a lesser degree the activities of various political committees and LGBT organizations.
    Container: 1

    Biography

    Lawrence A. Reh was born in Chicago, Illinois, but raised in a small downstate farming community. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Bradley University with dual majors in psychology and political science, and minors in journalism, Russian language and English literature. He did graduate study in adolescent psychology at Western Illinois University and later earned a Master of Divinity degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary.
    Reh's multi-career resume includes five years as a journalist-photographer with the Decatur (Illinois) Review (Lindsay-Schaub Newspapers), winning several awards from the Associated Press and the Inland Daily Press Association, and two years each as news editor of The Advocate (while in its original format as a biweekly national newspaper) and NewsWest, both Transgender, Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual community publications in Los Angeles. While in Illinois, Reh served as public information officer for the newly-created state Environmental Protection Agency. His first community activism was in the Springfield Gay and Lesbian Alliance and also as a founding member of Illinois Gays for Legislative Action, in which capacity he lobbied publicly to gain TLGB job security in state government, lost the confidence of a newly-elected governor and, though officially protected by Civil Service law, was relieved of any meaningful EPA duties. He moved to California, spent a brief time in the San Francisco Bay Area, then accepted the editorship of the Advocate in Los Angeles. When that publication was sold and moved to San Mateo, he stayed in Los Angeles to work with other remaining colleagues, founded the short-lived community paper Entertainment West with John Rowberry, then became news editor of the fledgling community paper NewsWest, from which post he was later recruited by Councilwoman Peggy Stevenson's office to become her gay community liaison, a post funded by a federal grant. He was let go from that position when the grant expired, under mutual agreement that his scope of authority and responsibilities was insufficient to justify continuation in a period of political hostility, challenge and change.
    During his Los Angeles years, he was active with community leaders – Morris Kight, Troy Perry, Jeanne Cordova, Don Kilhefner, Jim Kepner, Teresa DeCrescenzo, Betty Berzon and many others – in challenging police oppression and corruption, working with homeless TLGB youth, and lobbying for greater acceptance and recognition. He moved back to the Bay Area in 1979 to work in legal research and services unconnected with TLGB activism, but was involved in providing early logistical support for response to the emerging AIDS crisis in the early 1980s through the law offices of Dinkelspiel & Dinkelspiel.
    In growing dissatisfaction with politics, Reh concluded that one of the greatest obstacles to community progress was the promotion of anti-gay attitudes by religious groups, and he revived his very early youthful attraction to parish ministry. At San Francisco Theological Seminary, he organized a cross-denominational full-semester class for credit through the Berkeley-centered Graduate Theological Union, entitled "Lesbian and Gay in Church and Society," with nationally-noted guest lecturers and required community field experiences. He received his Master of Divinity degree in 1994 and worked with activists in several denominations, especially the Presbyterian Church (USA), to broaden acceptance and support for TLGB caucuses in their midst, and access to ordination. He was particularly active in Presbyterians for Lesbian and Gay Concerns, That All May Freely Serve, and More Light Presbyterians. In 1999 he founded First Light Ministries, an online outreach to excluded and disaffected TLGB spiritual seekers, which eventually claimed some 500 members in 14 countries who regarded it as their "church." Though nominally in retirement, he continues those efforts in the San Francisco Bay Area as of April, 2016. He has written for a wide variety of periodicals and has preached, taught classes and led seminars at several universities. He has also published a volume of his poetry, If I Could Crown Your Hills with Gold (1978).
    Reh, Lawrence. Your Papers At ONE Archives. March 25, 2016. E-mail.

    Conditions Governing Access

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

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Date and method of acquisition unknown.

    Preferred Citation

    [Box 1, folder #,] Lawrence Reh Los Angeles City Council Liaison to the Gay Community Records, Coll2016-005, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Joseph Klice, April 2016.

    Scope and Contents

    Correspondence, press releases, meeting minutes, to-do lists, clippings, and flyers written and/or collected by Lawrence A. Reh while he served as Liaison to the Gay Community, Offices of the City Council, 13th District, Los Angeles, California, from 1975 to 1977. The records document the activity of Councilperson Peggy Stevenson's office, most notably regarding job discrimination based upon sexual orientation, and to a lesser degree the activities of various political committees and LGBT organizations.

    Conditions Governing Use

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Discrimination in employment -- California -- Los Angeles
    Correspondence
    Gay activists
    Stevenson, Peggy