These materials are arranged into three separate series, which reflects the original order of the collection. Series 1: Papers includes the arrangement of documents, as well as some photographic materials. Series 2: Publications contains issues of the Dallas Voice. Series 3: Artifacts contains three dimensional objects.
Donald F. Baker (1947-2000) was a teacher who lost his job for coming out as a gay man during a television interview in 1977. Baker was a founder of the Dallas Gay Political Caucus along with Louise Young, Dick Peeples, Steve Wilkins and Jerry Ward and he was also president of the Dallas Gay Alliance. Don Baker received widespread acclaim from his involvement as the primary plaintiff (with the backing of the Texas Human Rights Foundation) in the Baker vs. Wade case, which challenged the 21.06 law, a Texas code which bans homosexual conduct of any kind. Baker’s victory in the case was also a huge civil rights victory for the LGBT community and he is hailed as a pioneer for the work he accomplished. This collection features materials from the case including correspondence, interviews, clippings, case files and additional documentation of the case. The law was reinstated in 1986 and it was not until the Lawrence vs. Texas case of 2003 that the 21.06 law was ruled permanently unconstitutional.
In addition to his activist work, Baker also served as director for Community Productions, a Dallas theater and dance group which specialized in performances for the gay community. Materials from this organization are also included in this collection.
After spending most of his years in Dallas, Baker moved to Boston where he lived for the remainder of his life. Beyond the 21.06 ruling, Baker was involved in conferences, presentations and the publishing of articles (included with this collection) which brought more attention to gay rights causes. Don Baker passed away in 2000, after a seven year battle with cancer.
Restrictions: Some items in this collection may be restricted to protect sensitive information.
Rights: Reproduction and publication of materials in this collection are subject to the policies of the UNT Archives and Rare Books department. Copyright restrictions may apply.
Access Notes: Collection is housed in the UNT Archives and Rare Book department vault. The UNT Archives and Rare Book department requires a 24 hour notice from patrons in order to page materials from the vault and ready the materials for use. Please contact the UNT Archives and Rare Book department for further information.