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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 1: PapersAdd to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Barcode: 642322
Folder 1: Miscellaneous Issues and Organizations, 1982, 1985-1986, 1990-1993, 1996, June 9, 2000Add to your cart.
Contains correspondence with the Round Up Saloon concerning their inequitable dress policy (1985), Community Arts Foundation and Community Productions items, Sexual Privacy Project (1985) of the Lousiana ACLU, LAGPAC and LLDEF, a timeline of gays throughout history, an article titled Sticks and Stones: Homosexuals and Gays by Phil Johnson (April 11th, 1991), an article titled Turtle Creek Chorale Benefits Fort Worth Community Outreach (April,1991), an article titled MCCR Offers Course on Homosexuality and the Bible (April 11th, 1991), an article titled GLAAD/USA Sets Next Meeting in Dallas (April 11th, 1991), an article titled MCC Dallas Reveals Plans for Cathedral of Hope (April 11th, 1991), a brochure for the Third Annual Texas Gay Rodeo (November 14th, 1986) with correspondence from Don Baker (July 2nd, 1986), an article titled A Brief History of the Metropolitan Community Church of Dallas from the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Archives by Phil Johnson (August 19th, 1992), a brochure titled Christian Words to a Homosexual by Pittinger, correspondence from Don Baker to Alan Ross concerning the Tavern Guild, correspondence from Peter Brooks to the LGPC (Lesbian/Gay Political Caucus) concerning the endorsement of McDaniel and Oakley in the city council election (April 7th, 1993), a press release for the Metroplex Republicans of Dallas fundraiser, a brochure for the Texas Gay Leaders Conference (August 16th, 1986), workshop materials from the Texas Lesbian and Gay Leadership Conference in Lubbock, Texas, a telephone and address directory for Dallas 1982, a letter from Judge Jerry Buchmeyer to the State Board of Texas concerning their decision not to allow creation of a section on gay-lesbian issues (October 23rd, 1996), correspondence and press clippings on the Mica England litigation, and an article from the Dallas Voice titled Houston Appeals Court Rules Sodomy Statute Violates State's Constitution (June 9th, 2000),
Folder 2: Planning and Management of Baker vs. Wade Litigation by Texas Human Rights Foundation, 1985-1986Add to your cart.
Folder 3: DGPC, DGA, DGLA Items, 1976-1978, 1981-1983, 1985-1986, 1991, 1996-1997Add to your cart.
Contains planning documents, brochures, correspondence, publications, a D Magazine article, announcements and membership lists for the Dallas Gay Political Caucus, Dallas Gay Alliance and the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance.
Folder 4: Photography, 1970, 1982, 1985-1986Add to your cart.
Contains both black and white as well as color photography with images of Don Baker's family, Baker speaking, a Black Tie Dinner photograph with B.J. Anderson and others, a Dallas Gay Rodeo photograph, a slide of Don Baker in the Navy, as well as images of Louise Young, Vivienne Armstrong, Dick Peeples, Phil Johnson, Jack Pettit and Baker at the memorial service for Steve Wilkins.
Folder 5: Gays in Education, Gay Teachers, 1981-04, 2000-07Add to your cart.
Contains correspondence concerning the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, an article by Don Baker titled Are High School Teachers Ready for Homosexual Students?, a Dallas Times Herald article titled Educating the Educators About Homosexuality and a written response from Harryette Ehrhardt (a member on the board of the Dallas Independent School District).
Folder 6: AIDS Efforts, May 1983, 1987-1988, July 18, 1995Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Parkland Hospital Debate, 1987-1988Add to your cart.
Contains correspondence and clippings concerning the debate over Parkland Hospital's treatment of PWAs (persons with AIDS). Letters from William Waybourn, John Thomas, as well as Baker's correspondence to the press and others is included.
Folder 8: Publications and Press Clippings 1, 1979-1980, 1982-1986, 2000Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Publications and Press Clippings 2, 1980-1984, 1986, 1996-1998Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Writings, Non-Correspondence Writings Including Press Releases, 1982, 1985Add to your cart.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Barcode: 704220
Folder 1: Blue Notebook, Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance, Transparencies, 1976-1982Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Personal: Don Baker, December 13 & 14, 1987Add to your cart.
Contains Don Baker's Curriculum Vitae along with personal correspondence from Michael.
Folder 3: Gayteenth Poster, Third Annual Texas Gay Rodeo, August 1982, November 1986Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Court Filings, RE: Baker vs. Wade, 1982, 1985Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Correspondence, RE: Baker vs. Wade and Penal Code Article 21.06, 1985-1986, 1996Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Correspondence, RE: Baker vs. Wade and Penal Code Article 21.06, 1985-1986Add to your cart.
Folder 7: LLDEF Items, Lambda Legal and Baker vs. Wade, 1985-1987Add to your cart.
Contains an official memoranda concerning litigation against sodomy laws with the inclusion of Baker vs. Wade, Lambda Roundtable information and Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund (LLDEF) publications.
Folder 8: Awards, Certificates, 1971-1972, 1974-1976, 1978-1981, 1983, 1985-1986, 1988, 1996Add to your cart.
NOTE: Contains some items which may be restricted. Please contact the Special Collections Department for more information. Contains teacher certificates, the Texas Gay Rodeo's Grand Marshal and Hall of Fame certificates, a city board appointment, delegate badges to democratic party conventions, democratic party precinct chair papers, a State University of New York transcript, admission to Southern Methodist University's Masters of Education program in Secondary Education, an honorable discharge from the United States Navy, a certificate of recogniton from the Gay Academic Union, Inc., the Texas Human Rights Foundation's Robert Schwab Awards (1996), which includes an address by Don Baker as well as a notification of "Profiles in Courage" award from Hector Garcia, a biography, a notification of selection as Grand Marshal for the 1986 Texas Freedom Parade by Alan Ross and a Gittings-Hay Awards Dinner brochure.
Folder 9: Non-Baker vs. Wade Correspondence, 1984-1990, 1993, 1996-1997Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Gavel History, 1963-1976Add to your cart.
Contains a photocopied list of past recipients of the gavel which Don Baker used as president of the Dallas Gay Alliance.

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