Minutes, membership applications and lists,
lawyer referral reports, newsletters, newspapers, and related ephemera of the
Homophile Effort For Legal Protection, Incorporated (HELP, Inc.). The
organization was formed in 1968, in response to the subjective and aggressive
behavior of the Los Angeles Police Department Vice Detail. Members were offered
general legal assistance and if arrested for "homosexual activities" they were
provided bail bonds and lawyer referral services. By the late 1970s, societal
changes practically eliminated the need for many of the services HELP
The organization that was to become the Homophile Effort for Legal
Protection, Incorporated (HELP, Inc.), began with a proposal developed in early
1968. The first known meeting of the American Federation for the Advancement
and Defense of Homophile Society (AFADHS) organizers was in September 1968 at
The Patch, a bar in Wilmington, a neighborhood of Los Angeles. The organizers
proposed the establishment of an alliance of bar owners, personnel, and patrons
to defend against harassment and provide legal assistance in the form of bail
bonds and attorney referrals. In a period of several weeks the AFADHS became
the less ambiguous Homophile Effort for Legal Protection, Incorporated. HELP
provided bail bond service and lawyer referrals to its members and those vouched for
by existing members. The primary focus of the organization was to provide
support when its members were arrested for "homosexual activities." The
aggressive prosecution of victimless crimes by the Los Angeles Police
Department and the change in political climate led to the organization's rapid
growth. HELP also supported the California State Committee on Sexual Law Reform
to change the laws regarding sex between consenting adults.
5 archive cartons, 1 archive
half-carton, and 1 oversize box. 3.3 linear feet.
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