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Donald F. Baker Collection (The Dallas Way), 1975-2000 | University of North Texas Special Collections

By S. Ivie and H. LaRock

Collection Overview

Title: Donald F. Baker Collection (The Dallas Way), 1975-2000Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Predominant Dates:1985-1996
ID: 01/AR0843
Extent: 4.0 Boxes
Arrangement: 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.
Languages: English

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This collection contains the papers, photographs, publications and artifacts of Donald F. Baker, a gay rights activist in Dallas, TX.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection contains the papers, photographs, publications and artifacts of Donald F. Baker, a gay rights activist in Dallas, TX. Items also include correspondence, workshop materials, brochures, press clippings, court filings, awards, certificates, newsletters, and plaques related to Baker's work with the Dallas Way and the local LGBT community in Dallas.

Collection Historical Note

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.

Administrative Information

Repository: University of North Texas Special Collections
Access Restrictions: Some items in this collection may be restricted to protect sensitive information.
Use Restrictions: 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.
Physical Access Note: This collection is stored off-site and requires a minimum of 24 hours notice prior to use. The entirety of the collection has been digitized and is available in the Portal to Texas History. Blue text represents a hyperlink to the digitized materials in the Portal.
Related Materials: Resource Center LGBT Collection of the UNT Libraries
Preferred Citation: Donald F. Baker Collection, University of North Texas Special Collections

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

Series 3: ArtifactsAdd to your cart.
Box 4: Dallas Gay Alliance President's Gavel, Dallas Gay Alliance Recognition Plaque, Grand Marshal Plaque for the Texas Freedom Parade, 1981, 1986Add to your cart.
Contains three artifacts including the Dallas Gay Alliance President's Gavel (1981), a Dallas Gay Alliance Recognition Plaque (August 17th, 1986) and a plaque for the 1986 Texas Freedom Parade, Grand Marshal.
Barcode: 642673

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