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Finding aid of the Southern California Council on Religion and the Homophile Records
Coll2008-057  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Official records for the Southern California Council on Religion and the Homophile for the years 1965-1968, including copies of the articles of incorporation and by-laws; minutes of the pre-foundation planning committee and of the Board of Trustees and general membership meetings from June 1965 to August 1968; and several contemporary membership lists. The collection also contains a notebook of the Rev. Ken Wahrenbrock, Secretary of the organization, and manuscript materials from the papers of gay activist and journalist Jim Kepner, a founder of the organization, who served as Wahrenbrock's pro-tem and later succeeded him as Secretary. These include his detailed handwritten notes of Board meetings for the years 1965-1972; a file on the 4th North American Conference of Homophile Organizations (NACHO) in 1968, to which Kepner served as a delegate; and a file of notes on the early history of the organization and its parent, the Council on Religion and the Homosexual, in San Francisco. The collection also contains a file of correspondence; informational brochures; flyers and announcements of the organization's monthly meetings and other activities; and copies of the nine issues of the organization's newsletter, Concern, published irregularly from 1966 through 1969.
Background
The Southern California Council on Religion and the Homophile (SCCRH) traces its origins to a June 1, 1965, meeting of 20 individuals in the Westchester YMCA called by the Council on Religion and the Homosexual, of San Francisco, which had been founded in 1964. The purposes of SCCRH were "to open the avenues of communication and understanding between churchmen and homophiles; to investigate and implement ways for meeting the spiritual needs and social responsibilities of homophiles; to encourage more satisfactory climate of opinion within the community on broad matters of sex and morals; [and] to seek just social treatment of the homophile community". The articles of incorporation submitted to the California Secretary of State in April 1966 were signed by the Rev. Alexander Smith, director of the Downtown Service Bureau of the Los Angeles Missionary Society of the Methodist Church; W. Dorr Legg, of ONE Institute; the Rev. Kenneth Wahrenbrock, of the First Methodist Church in Glendale; the Rev. Marjorie Likins; and the gay activist and journalist Jim Kepner. The SCCRH provided an extensive program of monthly lectures, discussion groups, and informal meetings of clergymen, church members, and members of the GLBT community; retreats and conferences exploring homosexuality and religion; "exposure education" for non-gay clergymen and church members to learn about such aspects of GLBT culture as gay bars, clubs, and organizations; assistance to churches developing policies relating to homosexuality and religion and to homosexual law reform; and training for counselors, teachers, clergymen, and others who counseled homosexuals. The organization originally utilized the mailing address of the Rev. Smith's Downtown Service Bureau; by 1970 it used the address of the Los Angeles Council of Churches on West Adams Blvd.; and by February 1971 the Venice Blvd. address of ONE Institute, of which both Legg and Kepner were officers.
Restrictions
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).
Availability
The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.