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Finding aid to the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California Lesbian & Gay Rights Chapter records

Finding aid prepared by Loni Shibuyama, © 2007

Summary Information

Repository
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Creator
American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California Lesbian & Gay Rights Chapter
Title
American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California Lesbian & Gay Rights Chapter records
Collection no.
Coll2007.013
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1976-1995
Date [inclusive]
1970-2004
Extent
13.0 linear feet., 25 archive boxes + 1 oversize archive box.
Language
English
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.

Preferred Citation

American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California Lesbian & Gay Rights Chapter records, Coll2007-013, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

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Administrative History

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 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, California.

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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 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.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
© 2007
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, California, 90007
(213) 821-2771
askone@usc.edu

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).

Acquisition Information

Donor and date of gift unknown.

Processing Information

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.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • ACLU Foundation of Southern California
  • ACLU Lesbian and Gay Rights Chapter
  • ACLU
  • American Civil Liberties Union Foundation
  • American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Gay Rights Chapter
  • Lesbian and Gay Rights Chapter

Personal Name(s)

  • Davidson, Jon W.
  • Judge, Peter Thomas
  • McGreivy, Susan D., 1939-
  • Reynolds, Michael E.

Subject(s)

  • Gay and lesbian rights
  • Gays--Civil rights
  • Gays--Services for
  • Homosexuality--Law and legislation--California
  • Homosexuality--Law and legislation--United States
  • Lesbians--Civil rights
  • Lesbians--Services for

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Collection Inventory

Series 1:  Series 1. Administration 1970-1997   5.2 linear feet.

Series Scope and Content

This series consists of materials related to the general day-to-day administrative activities of the Lesbian & Gay Rights Chapter of the ACLU. It includes minutes, correspondence, memoranda, reports, press releases, contracts, administrative documents, microfiche and miscellany that date from before the founding of the LGRC through 1997. The series is divided into six subseries: (1) General, (2) Committees and Board of Directors, (3) Publicity/Public Relations, (4) Services, (5) Correspondence, and (6) Memoranda.

 Subseries 1.1. General 1976-1995   0.4 linear feet.

Subseries Scope and Content

This subseries 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.

Box Folder

 Mission Statement and Organizational History ca. 1976 - 1991 

1 1

 Bylaws 1982 - 1991 

24 1 [Oversize]

 IRS Status 1976 

1 2

 ACLU Affiliates 1991 - 1995 

1 3

 Personnel Information 1979 - 1995 

1 4

 Personnel - Michael E. Reynolds 1989 

1 5

 Personnel - Charlotte Innes 1990 

1 6

 California Federal Community Room Agreement 1979 - 1980 

24 2 [Oversize]

 Office Administration ca. 1976 - 1995 

1 7

 Treasurer's Reports 1978 - 1991 

5 1

 General Financial Records ca. 1976 - 2000 

5 2

 Bequests 1990 - 1992 

5 3 - 4

 Miscellaneous ca. 1976 - 1995 

1 8

 Subseries 1.2. Committees and Board of Directors 1970-1995   1.5 linear feet.

Subseries Scope and Content

This subseries 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.

Box Folder

 General Notes ca. 1976 - 1981 

1 9

 Board of Directors - Meeting Agendas and Minutes 1979 - 1995 

Box Folder

  1979 - 1983 

1 10

  September 1989 - January 1990 

1 11

  June 1990 - August 1991 

1 12

  September - December 1991 

1 13

  January - April 1992 

2 1

  May - August 1992 

2 2

  September - November 1992 

2 3

  December 1992 - February 1993 

2 4

  March - May 1993 

2 5

  June - August 1993 

2 6

  September - December 1993 

3 1

  January - June 1994 

3 2

  July - December 1994 

3 3

  January - June 1995 

3 4

  July - November 1995 

3 5

  December 1995 

3 6
Box Folder

 Chapter Council - Agenda 1993 - 1994 

4 1

 Executive Committee 1976 

4 2

 Gay Rights Panel of ACLU Southern California 1975 - 1976 

4 3

 Legal Committee ca. 1975 - 1980 

4 4

 Legislative Committee 1976 - 1979 

4 5

 Lesbian Rights Committee 1977 - 1978 

4 6

 Membership Committee 1976 - 1978 

4 7

 Nomination Committee 1976 - 1995 

4 8 - 9

 Police Practices Committee 1977 - 1979 

4 10

 Publicity / Public Relations (and Newsletter) Committee 1970 - 1978 

4 11

 Rights of Homosexuals / Gay Rights Committee of ACLU Southern California 1973 - 1976 

4 12

 Speakers Committee 1977 - 1978 

4 13

 Steering Committee 1977 - 1978 

4 14

 Miscellaneous Reports ca. 1977 - 1995 

4 15

 Subseries 1.3. Publicity / Public Relations 1976-1994   0.2 linear feet.

Subseries Scope and Content

This subseries consists of press releases, press listings, notes and a pamphlet design draft pertaining to LGRC's publicity and media relations. The press listings are primarily gay- and lesbian-related publications in the Los Angeles area, and the content for the press releases range from notices for LGRC's special events to announcements about current events significant to the gay and lesbian community.

Box Folder

 Press Releases 1976 - 1993 

5 5

 Los Angeles Area Press Lists ca. 1976 - 1989 

5 6

 CityChannel 8 Bulletin Board Requests 1990 - 1993 

5 7

 Pamphlet Drawing 1989 

24 3 [Oversize]

 General Notes 1979 - 1994 

24 4 [Oversize]

 Subseries 1.4. Services 1980-1994   0.5 linear feet.

Subseries Scope and Content

This subseries 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.

Box Folder

 Membership Services Information 1980 - 1994 

5 8

 Membership Services [Microfiche] ca. 1990 

5 9

 Legal Referral Information 1992 - 1994 

6 1

 Community Resources ca. 1980 - 1985 

6 2

 Intake Log 1989 - 1992 

6 3 - 5

 Questionnaires and Surveys Undated 

6 6

 Subseries 1.5. Correspondence 1975-1997   2.0 linear feet.

Subseries Scope and Content

This subseries consists of correspondence 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 chapter presidents Peter Thomas Judge and Michael E. Reynolds and gay rights attorneys Susan McGrievy and Jon Davidson; complaint intake letters; and general letters to the LGRC membership at large. Also included are letters on behalf of the LGRC to and from public officials regarding current events significant to the gay and lesbian community, in California in particular.

Box Folder

  1975 

6 7

  1976 

6 8

  1977 

7 1 - 2

  1978 

7 3 - 6

  1979 

8 1 - 3

  1980 

8 4

  1981 

8 5 - 6

  1982 

9 1

  1983 

9 2 - 3

  1984 

9 4

  1985 

9 5

  1987 

9 6

  1989 

9 7

  1990 

24 5

  1991 

9 8-9

  1991 

10 1-2

  1992 

10 3 - 5

  1993 

11 1 - 2

  1994 

11 3

  1995 

11 4

  1996 

11 5

  1997 

11 6

  Undated 

11 7

 Subseries 1.6. Memoranda 1976-1996   0.6 linear feet.

Subseries Scope and Content

This subseries consists of internal memoranda of the LGRC, its officers, and/or the ACLU of Southern California. They are arranged chronologically by year.

Box Folder

  1976 - 1990 

11 8

  1991 

11 9 - 10

  1992 

12 1 - 2

  1993 

12 3

  1994 

12 4 - 5

  1995 - 1996 

12 6

  Undated 

12 7

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Series 2:  Series 2. Programs and Events 1976-1995   3.4 linear feet.

Series Scope and Content

This series 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 General Meeting held monthly at the Center, which usually featured a talk or discussion panel highlighting topics relevant to the gay and lesbian community, including but not limited to discrimination, national and state legislation, health, police practices, hate crimes, military, child custody and equal rights. The series also contains administrative and program material for the LGRC's annual event, the Human Rights Awards--an award dinner held since 1977 in which the LGRC honors members of the community who have contributed to the advance of lesbian and gay activism and civil liberties. The LGRC's other regularly-held events include a leadership retreat and holiday parties. Also included in this series are reports and documents from the ACLU's National Biennial Conferences. The materials in this series are categorized by event and arranged chronologically.

 General Monthly Meetings 1976 - 1995 


    Box Folder Folder
Mixed Materials   12 8 ; 13 1 - 6

 Human Rights Awards 1978 - 1994 

Box Folder

  1978 

13 7

  1979 

13 8

  1980 

14 1

  1981 

14 2

  1984 

14 3

  1986 

14 4

  1987 

14 5

  1988 

14 6

  1989 

14 7

  1990 

14 8 - 12

  1991 

15 1 - 5
Box

  1991 Program Book Materials 

26 : 1 [Oversize]
Box Folder

  1992 

15 6 - 9

  1992 Publicity Material 

26 2 [Oversize]

  1993 

15 10 - 11

  1994 

15 12
Box Folder

 Gay Constituency Day 1979 

16 1

 Chapter Activist Award 1986 

16 2

 Annual Retreat 1990 - 1994 

Box Folder

  1990 

16 3

  1992 

16 4

  1994 

16 5

 ACLU Biennial Conference 1991 - 1993 

Box Folder

  1991 

16 6 - 8

  1993 

16 9
Box Folder

 Bill of Rights Bicentennial Dinner 1991 

16 10

 Holiday Rights Party 1994 

16 11

 Miscellaneous Programs and Events 1976 - 1993 

16 12

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Series 3:  Series 3. Publications 1976-2004   1.5 linear feet.

Series Scope and Content

This series compiles publications 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-- arranged chronologically--which the Chapter began distributing in 1977. Several issues of the newsletters, between the years 1997 to 2004, are missing. The remaining publications are arranged alphabetically and report on the local and national activities of the ACLU, including those pertaining to AIDS and gay- and lesbian-related legislation.

 Newsletter of the Lesbian and Gay Rights Chapter 1976 - 2004 

Box Envelope

  1976 - 1977 

17 1
Box Folder

  1978 

17 2

  1979 

17 3

  1980 

24 6 [Oversize]

  1981 

24 7 [Oversize]

  1982 

24 8 [Oversize]

  1983 

24 9 [Oversize]

  1984 

24 10 [Oversize]

  1985 

17 4

  1986 

17 5

  1987 

17 6

  1988 

17 7

  1989 

17 8

  1991 

18 1

  1993 

18 3

  1992 

18 2

  1994 

18 4

  1995 

18 5

  1996 

18 6

  1997 

18 7

  1998 

18 8

  1990 

17 9

  1999 

18 9

  2000 

18 10

  2001 

18 11

  2002 

18 12

  2003 

18 13

  2004 

18 14
Box Folder

 ACLU - 1989 in Review 1989 

18 15

 AIDS Project Dockets 1991 - 1996 

19 1

 Anti-gay Ballot Initiatives Briefing Book 1993 

19 2 - 3

 Civil Liberties in Crisis: Los Angeles During the Emergency 1992 

19 4

 International Civil Liberties Report 1992 

19 5

 Lesbian and Gay Rights Project Dockets 1991 - 1996 

19 6

 Of the Community And For the Community: Racial and Gender Integration in Southern California Police and Fire Departments 1994 

19 7

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Series 4:  Series 4. Subject Files 1976-2001   1.5 linear feet.

Series Scope and Content

This series 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 on-going activities of the LGRC involving AIDS, discrimination, adoption, domestic partnership, legislation, litigation, media, military policies, police practices, violence, hate crimes, among others. This series also includes materials from organizations with which the LGRC has collaborated with, such as LIFE: League for Individual Freedom and Equality, the Lawyers for Human Rights, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The subject files are arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder

 Affirmative Action 1990 - 1992 

19 8

 AIDS 1984 - 1994 

 AIDS Legislation and Litigation 1984 - 1994 


    Box Folder Folder
Mixed Materials   19 9 ; 20 1 - 2

Box Folder

 AIDS and Women 1990 - 1993 

20 3

 California Department of Health Services: Task Force on HIV/AIDS 1994 

20 4

 Department of Health and Human Services: AIDS Discrimination in Employment 1989 

20 5

 Santa Barbara AIDS Advocacy Program 1991 

20 6
Box Folder

 Cable Access: Window to the People Undated 

20 7

 California State Legislation on Gay and Lesbian Issues 1977 - 1993 

20 8

 Discrimination 1979 - 1992 

Box Folder

 Employment Discrimination 1990 - 1992 

20 9

 Employment and Housing Discrimination 1979 - 1990 

20 10

 Curran vs. Mt. Diablo Council (Boy Scouts of America) 1990 

20 11

 Family 1990 - 1994 

Box Folder

 Adoption and Custody Battles 1992 - 1993 

21 1

 Domestic Partnership: Issues and Legislation 1992 

21 2

 Domestic Partnership and Marriage 1990 - 1994 

21 3 - 4

 Gay and Lesbian Parenting 1991 - 1993 

21 5
Box Folder

 Gay and Lesbian History 1980 - 1994 

21 6

 Heterosexual Privilege 1992 

21 7

 Lawyers for Human Rights 1992 - 1994 

21 8

 LEAGUE America 1994 

21 9

 LIFE: League for Individual Freedom & Equality 1987 - 1995 

21 10

 Media Watch 1978 - 1992 

22 1

 Military 1979 - 1994 

Box Folder

 Department of Defense and U.S. Military Policies on Homosexuality 1992 

22 2

 Gay and Lesbian Issues in the U.S. Military 1979 - 1993 

22 3

 Sexual Orientation and U.S. Military Personnel Policy 1993 

22 4 - 5

 Stout vs. Westbourne Ventures 1988 

22 6 - 7

 Swann/ACLU vs. Department of Navy Video Highlights 1992 - 1994   1 videocassette (VHS)

23 11
Box Folder

 National Center for Lesbian Rights 1993 

22 8

 National Gay and Lesbian Social Surveys 1992 - 1994 

22 9

 Police Issues 1978 - 1994 

23 1 - 2

 Transsexuals Undated 

23 3

 Violence and Hate Crimes 1992 - 1994 

23 4

 Miscellaneous Clippings 1976 - 2001 

23 5

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Series 5:  Series 5. Photographs ca. 1974-1990   0.1 linear feet.

Series Scope and Content

This series comprises photographs and negatives--circa 1974 to 1990--taken of programs organized by the LGRC or those in which the LGRC participated. Events documented in these photographs include "A Conference on Sex and the Law" in 1981, the 1990 Christopher Street West Gay Pride Parade and other unidentified LGRC events. In most cases, the people in the photographs have not been identified.

Box Folder

 Photographs ca. 1974 - 1990 

23 6 - 8

 Black & White Negatives ca. 1981 

23 9

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Series 6:  Series 6. Ephemera ca. 1975-1995   0.6 linear feet.

Series Scope and Content

This series 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 printed materials created by the LGRC or the ACLU include pamphlets and flyers related to the organization's general activities.

Box Folder

 Flyers and Pamphlets ca. 1975 - 1995 

24 11 [Oversize]

 Guestbook 1990 

23 10
Box

 Stamp - "Gay Flag = Yes" Undated 

25

 Ribbon - "Gay Pride Parade 1983 Vehicular Award" 1983 

25

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