Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Windy City Times article on the history of gay marriage

Windy City Times has done a great service to its readers by being, as far as I know, the first of the lgbt media to actually try to give a short history of the community/movement attitudes on same sex marriage.

It has been ignored by most of the general press and the glbt press that there has been controversy about how to view marriage from the very start of the movement to gain equal rights for homosexuals-in 1950 with early/first Mattachine.

And when members of Mattachine realized that, despite the tremendous expansion of the organization from one to dozens of meetings each week, they were only reaching local people, some members moved to become public and publish a magazine to educate everyone,-homosexual and non-homosexual- on the issues. Thus, despite the wording in the article, ONE was THE first public publication, not "among" the first. And although the magazine was the reason/impetus, from the start it was realized that if successful, there would be a need for educational efforts and social service efforts and work to push research on the subject, so in each of these fields ONE was first.

And, from the start, founders being human, there was tension over which of the parts was the more important, and that led to a separation of the organization in 1965. Windy City Times published a review of the only book/record (Pre-Gay L. A., by C. Todd White) of the history of this organization, which published these articles on marriage, and held discussions about it. So it is misleading for the unknown author of this article to fail to mention that although ONE archives deserves all the credit given in the article, it is only a part of the original ONE Inc archives/library. There is no way an article about ONE Archives can be covered without covering the other part of the collection, that of the Homosexual Information Center.

If the article merely limited itself to the issue of marriage and referred to the ONE Magazine articles, perhaps it would not be valid or relevant to point this historic fact out. But you and the people at ONE Archives open the issue when they claim to be founded in 1952—which they were NOT. ONE Inc was and they are not and have never been ONE, Inc. They were given the collection that the Dorr Legg faction of ONE had and they were in a sense taken over by the third part of the collection, that of major ONE person Jim Kepner who left ONE and formed his own archives, which after Dorr's death was joined by the ONE part-that is why at first it was called the ONE/IGLA Collection and for a short time the ONE/ILGA/HIC collection, reuniting all parts of the ONE Inc collection.

ONE Archives was not incorporated in 1952, ONE, Inc was and in about 1965 ONE Inc formed a tax-exempt part, ISHR-the Institute for the Study of Human Resources, which eventually took over ONE, Inc. Today neither exist, except for probable errors in the state of California records. But those records show when ONE Archives was incorporated and that was not in 1952. It was after the Homosexual Information Center was incorporated and after ILGA (International Gay & Lesbian Archives) was.

It is strange that there is no mention of the editor of ONE Magazine, Don Slater, ONE co-founder and main co-founder of the Homosexual Information Center along with Jim Schneider, who was kicked out as board member of ONE Inc for his efforts to keep the organization whole, and then became a board member of the ONE Archives and probably is the main reason ONE Archives was able to actually get the building housing ONE Archives available for occupation before he was kicked out again, and this writer.

In a sense, both parts of the archives can claim to be founded in 1952, as that is when the collection began. Not the organizations controlling them today, but the material-material which all three men get credit or, yet are not mentioned in the article, yet it is they who got these articles published.

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