Gay Activists Alliance
(known since 1986 as the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance)
a local, all-volunteer, non-partisan, non-profit political organization to advance the equal rights of gay men and lesbians in Washington, DC
The David Aiken collection contains as resources many documents of other organizations in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Many of Aiken's files preserve flyers, reports, and other documents of the Gay Activists Alliance, later renamed the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance.
The Gay Activists Alliance organized in April 1971, following Dr. Franklin Kameny's run for office in DC. The campaign committee reconstituted itself as the Gay Activists Alliance - DC on April 20, 1971 and dedicated itself to serving as "a local, all-volunteer, non-partisan, non-profit political organization to advance the equal rights of gay men and lesbians in Washington, DC." Renamed GLAA in 1986, the organization is the nation's oldest continuously active gay and lesbian civil rights organization. For over 30 decades, members of GAA/GLAA have advanced the legal rights of Washington, DC's GLBT community.
Documents from the Aiken collection include:NEW GAA Report of Projects for 1974 and 1975
Issues with the Metropolitan Police DepartmentNEW In 1972, Bob Jonson addressed police entrapment at the Iwo Jima memorial
Police Entrapment & Harassment flyer
NEW In 1975, the Gay Activists Alliance addressed a letter to Mayor Washington about police behavior.
NEW Craig Howell statement before the DC Police Chief Selection Committee, September 28, 1974
In February 1975, Cade Ware and Craig Howell, of the Gay Activists Alliance, and Tim Corbett, of the Gay Men's VD Clinic, testified before the DC Council Budget committee urging more funding for the Gay Men's VD Clinic and for the Office of Human Rights (to support enforcement of Title 34) and requesting a ban on funding police plainclothes detectives investigating sodomy and solicitation and cutting off funding of the Prostitution, Perversion, and Obscenity branch of the Metropolitan Police Department's Morals Division.Marriage & Child Custody IssuesIn 1975, DC Councilmember Arrington Dixon introduced a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriages, prohibited discrimination by courts against gay parents seeking child custody, and created a no-fault divorce system. Among Aiken's papers are flyers from GAA and a report on a November 1975 GAA meeting called to discuss the Dixon bill.Mayoral AppointmentsA 1980 GAA brochure cites progress to date on getting gay men and lesbians appointed to public offices and urges support for further appointments as an answer to Mayor Barry's challenge for more people to come forward.
NEW Project Turnaround
In 1974 and 1975, GAA launched Project Turnaround to influence the local DC broadcast media and to seek more frequent coverage and a fairer non-stereotypical portrayal of the community and its issues.Project Turnaround brochure1974 Elections
Principles for motion picture and television treatment of homosexuality
Project report of April 22, 1975
Letter to WMAL and report of meeting with WTOPCandidate questionnaire for the 1974 elections (click here)
Craig Howell's assessment of the 1974 Mayoral and City Council elections
NEW Walter WashingtonLetter from Cade Ware to newly elected Mayor Washington, January 13, 1974.NEW Teacher Awareness Project
In 1974, GAA proposed a series of seminars to familiarize DC Schools teachers with gay issues and to sensitize teachers to the gay community
NEW Discrimination in gay clubs
In January 1975, Cade Ware addressed a letter to James Baldwin, Office of Human Rights, on the discriminatory practices of the Grand Central club in SE.
NEW David Aiken draft articles on GAA topics
David Aiken, a founder of the Gay Liberation Front - DC, co-founder of Friends Radio, and board member of Black and White Men Together was a journalist who wrote for
The Advocate and other gay publications on national and local issues. The items following are drafts of his articles.GAA & THE DC COUNCIL.January 21, 1976 - In a lengthy article, Aiken examined the status of gays in DC and the role of the local Gay Activists Alliance in pressing and winning many local issues.GAA CONFERENCE ON GAYS & THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.March 10, 1975 - Aiken reported plans by Washington, DC's Gay Activist Alliance for a national conference on federal treatment of gays.GAY RIGHTS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIANovember 24, 1974 - Aiken saw a major expansion of local gay political influence as a meeting with Mayor Washington moved six major issues forward.POLICE RELATIONS.May 3, 1975 - Aiken reported the initial success of the Gay Activists Alliance in removing funding for the Metropolitan Police Department's Prostitution, Perversion and Obscenity squad which had entrapped many homosexuals. The article demonstrates the use of the budget process for securing LGBT civil rights/social goals.SENSITIVITY TRAINING.
March 26, 1976 - Aiken assessed the results of a meeting between Mayor Washington and the Gay Activists Alliance in the wake of a police raid on the Club Baths the previous month.November 24, 1974 - Aiken reported the new 'awareness seminars' organized by the Gay Activists Alliance to eliminate stereotypes and ignorance about gays in the DC Public Schools.