(The pages below are in Adobe
Acrobat format. You will need Acrobat Reader to access them.}
Title 34, the District of Columbia Human Rights Law, was enacted on November 16, 1973 after lengthy discussion, testimony before the District of Columbia Council, and careful wording and rewording of its three subparts. The LGBT community, civil rights advocates, feminists, and others ardently campaigned for its passage. The Act itself was in fact preceded by the establishment in late 1972 of human rights protections, including protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, in the DC Public School system.
Title 34 has been a milestone in the establishment and preservation of civil liberties in the District of Columbia. As protection against discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and the transgendered in Washington, D.C., Title 34 has proven a potent tool for enforcement. Activists in our local history have used the act not only to establish rights to employment, credit, public access, and public amusements but have also used it within the gay and lesbian community itself to fight discrimination by fellow members of our community on the basis of gender, race, and appearance.
In 1977, following the arrival of 'home rule' in the District of Columbia, Title 34 was re-enacted as the city's human rights law. Later attempts to weaken or withdraw it were repelled.
The text of the act is in a pdf file. In the interest of conserving space, the text displayed includes neither the pages of definitions nor the index and supplementary material.
Securing Our Rights: A Rainbow History Project panel discussion, April 15, 2004:Eva Freund and Craig Howell discussed the campaign to pass Title 34, DC's innovative 1973 human rights law that was one of the first in the country to extend civil rights protections to sexual orientation in employment, housing and public accomodations.
Eva Freund's remarks: click here
Craig Howell's remarks: click here
back to Freund main page
None of the papers and articles on the Rainbow History Project website may be copied or quoted
without the permission of the Rainbow History Project and/or the author(s).