This article focuses on how the trajectories of gay and lesbian police-reform efforts in Los Angeles model a transition from a politics of sanctuary to the production of safe space. The production of safe space is conditioned by the multiplication of discourses of race, gender, and sexuality emblematized by the rise of identity-based neighborhood politics throughout the postwar period, and how these politics interface with the reterritorialization of the welfare state and the advent of community policing. The article historicizes several Stonewall-era gay organizations, showing how activists enacted a politics of sanctuary that helped to decriminalize gay and lesbian identity, and then arguing that this politics of sanctuary was drawn into the production of safe space. This writing invites possibilities for abolitionist organizing by demonstrating the life cycle of law and order that circumscribes urban, identity-based, antiviolence, and neighborhood-based politics.
In this article, I historicize gay police-reform activism in Los Angeles to outline the production of safe space from a politics of sanctuary, following A. Naomi Paik’s articulation of a politics of sanctuary as indexing a range of antiviolence efforts that challenge the bounds of citizenship using civil disobedience, advocacy, and legal and policy activism.1 Sanctuary politics deform and reform dominant boundaries of belonging in order to lodge a demand for inclusion that requires dominant structures, paradigms, and practices of governance to qualitatively change. In that sense, sanctuary politics can be understood as a trajectory of antiviolence organizing, and gay and lesbian police reform can be read as an instantiation of sanctuary politics. Considering gay and lesbian police-reform politics in Los Angeles offers a radical approach to the history of sanctuary that opens the space to think across the disciplinary and discursive bounds that often separate historiographies of antiviolence organizing from what is more normatively understood as “the sanctuary movement.” In the first part of this article, drawing from sanctuary literature, I will demonstrate how gay and lesbian police-reform activists enacted a politics of sanctuary by (1) protesting laws deemed unjust, using the moral authority of religious institutions to intervene in common sense or public discourse;2 (2) building identity-based advocacy institutions that protect and define an injured group;3 (3) devising mechanisms to subvert the legal system and coming up with protection systems;4 and (4) creating territory within the material and political landscape of Los Angeles.5
Thinking about a politics of sanctuary in relationship to gay and lesbian police-reform efforts is informed by both the historical and ethnographic work done on the sanctuary movement and abolitionist historiographies of antiviolence activism that consider how the production of relational differential value flows through identity-based and neighborhood politics.6 Relational differential value as a concept asks us to consider how social value is contoured through the expansion of criminalization and punishment. Racism, or “the state-sanctioned and/or extralegal production and exploitation of group-differentiation vulnerability to premature death,”7 and race, the political, ethical, legal, and symbolic arsenal produced through racism, are the primary methods of producing social value. In her study of racialization, criminality, and the production of social value in US politics and culture, Lisa Marie Cacho argues that recuperating social value in US political and juridical discourse requires the reproduction of disavowed otherness, a condition of being surplus to legality and legal protection. Disavowed otherness highlights how the re-articulation of social deviance through violence and punishment acts a mechanism of class composition through the terms of racial capitalism.8 Relational differential value as a concept outlines how claims for rights and political protection are subtended by both criminalization and the preservation of group difference as an undergirding ideology of social and spatial organization. Dynamic abolitionist approaches have to continually reckon with relational differential value when interfacing with juridical power. How do we craft political demands for protection and safety that do not condemn others to vulnerability to premature death? How do we use state capacity without reconstructing racial enclosures?8
Sanctuary politics have historically functioned to define and criticize premature death and name and challenge the systems that support it. When sanctuary politics are transcoded into safe space, however, the impetus to protect people from extralegal and state-sanctioned vulnerability to premature death becomes entwined with the reproduction of relational differential value.9 There are several moves that highlight the transformation of a politics of sanctuary into the production of safe space. I will highlight three of these moves: the move from networks of struggle to resegmented populations, the move from spaces of dependence to racial enclosures, and the move from analogized suffering to protected status. In the second part of this essay, I will show how these moves are evinced in the trajectory of gay and lesbian police-reform efforts in Los Angeles in the context of the transition from military Keynesianism to post-Keynesian militarism.
Rather than offering a normative history of gay police-reform activism or the sanctuary movement in Los Angeles, which have both already been done, my approach expands our understanding of the interplay between neighborhood politics, policing, and the reterritorialization of the welfare state. The reterritorialization of the welfare state at the national and county levels works alongside LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department) community-policing strategies to entwine the politics of solidarity with the impetus to articulate oneself as a minoritized group. The effect of this is the preservation of race as a mode of sociospatial differentiation and the preservation of the discretionary power of the police. Systems of relational differential value adapt to and incorporate oppositional strategies of power into their domains. As racial capitalism innovates, so too must abolitionist strategies meant to oppose the violent imposition of relational differential value.
The Sanctuary Politics of Gay and Lesbian Police Reform
Police targeting of gay and lesbian people began to increase in Los Angeles in 1950. Efforts to contain gay and lesbian sociality were often headed by the LAPD’s vice squad, which before the 1950s refined its tactics of violence, harassment, and abuse in what is now known as South Central throughout the late 1930s and 1940s, when Black migration to Los Angeles rose dramatically.10 LAPD vice squad officers often made arrests based on the penal codes for lewd vagrancy, sex perversion, and an constellation of prostitution-related penal codes: offering, solicitation, and facilitation.11 The earliest attempt to address antigay policing, the Citizens’ Committee to Outlaw Entrapment (CCOE), was started by members of the Los Angeles chapter of the Mattachine Society in the spring of 1952, in response to increased arrests in parks and clubs for lewd vagrancy and LAPD vice squad entrapment tactics, after Mattachine member Dale Jennings was arrested for lewd vagrancy in MacArthur Park. Mattachine members created the CCOE as the public face of the campaign to raise awareness and funds for Jennings’s legal defense. Jennings refused to accept a plea bargain and admitted to being a homosexual but refused to admit that he had committed a crime. After the jury remained deadlocked for ten days, the judge dismissed the charges. This was an unprecedented victory, especially in the homophobic climate of the 1950s that linked homosexuality to the threat of communism. Mattachine published news of the legal victory, emphasizing that the victory was not just for homosexuals but for “all citizens interested in equal justice under the law.”12 The society made connections between antigay and racist policing, citing a case of LAPD vice officers shooting teenager William Rubio in the course of trying to entrap Rubio and four of his friends in a public restroom.13 As news of the legal victory grew, Mattachine ranks quickly swelled. However, rumors that the five founders had communist ties and complaints of the secrecy of the organizational structure forced the founders and member John Gruber out of the organization.14 The excision of these members ended the tentative relationship with the Civil Rights Congress that CCOE had been building around the issue of police harassment. The fragmentation of Mattachine around communism, and anticommunism in general, stymied the development of antiracism in gay and lesbian politics and an organized gay and lesbian left until the mid-1970s. Anticommunism also forestalled the development of gay and lesbian organizing in response to policing until the late 1960s. The general trajectory of gay and lesbian police reform from the late 1960s onward reflects what has already been documented in historical accounts of gay and lesbian organizing against criminalization in the United States between the late 1960s and 1980s.15 This literature emphasizes that gay and lesbian activist efforts addressed at policing often evolved in proximity and coalition with antiracist social movements, and eventually taper off between the late 1970s and 1980s as social attitudes and local and national policing priorities change.
Stonewall-era efforts at police reform in Los Angeles grew in response to LAPD raids, harassments, and murders. Gay and lesbian Angelenos formed spaces of dependence, or “those more-or-less localized social relations upon which we depend for the realization of essential interests,”16 to create sanctuary for gay and lesbian life. These organizations included US Mission, a gay religious service organization founded in 1962; Homophile Effort for Legal Protection (HELP), an AAA-style bail and bar protection service established in 1968 that grew to address police harassment of gay bars, particularly venues that catered to the leather community; Gay Liberation Front, the Los Angeles chapter of the national organization established in 1969; Gay Community Alliance (GCA), a fraternal political lobby and direct action caucus established in 1971; and the Gay Community Services Center, established in 1969, now the LA Gay and Lesbian Center, one of the oldest and largest LGBT nonprofit organizations in the world. No single gay and lesbian police-reform organization can claim responsibility for a decisive victory against LAPD vice policing. Instead, gay and lesbian activists decriminalized gay and lesbian identity by enacting a politics of sanctuary that included (1) protesting laws deemed unjust, using the moral authority of religious institutes to intervene in common sense or public discourse; (2) building identity-based advocacy institutions and defining and articulating an identity-based group that was being targeted by the state; (3) devising mechanisms to subvert the legal system, coming up with protection systems; and (4) creating gay territory within the material and political landscape of Los Angeles.
Protesting Laws Deemed Unjust and Abuses of Power, Using the Moral Authority of Religious Institutions and the Trope of Innocence to Intervene in Common Sense or Public Discourse
We can witness how these organizations formed spaces of dependence in the way they responded to spectacular acts of violence such as the murders of Howard Efland, a Jewish gay man who was beaten to death by vice cops in 1969, and Larry Laverne Turner, a Black, gender-nonconforming person who was shot and killed by undercover LAPD vice officers in 1970, on the anniversary of Efland’s murder.17 These two murders were galvanizing events that brought gay and lesbian activists together around the issue of police reform.
Hours after Larry Laverne Turner was pronounced dead, 200 to 250 protestors, unaware of Turner’s murder and led by several gay and lesbian organizations including Gay Liberation Front, US Mission, and Metropolitan Community Church, marched from Civic Center Plaza to the downtown LAPD headquarters, demanding government intervention into vice policing. The mobilization was planned to commemorate Efland’s 1969 murder. After Turner’s murder was made public, the Reverend Robert Humphries of US Mission reached out to Turner’s family and held a special memorial service for Turner (as he had done for Efland), which Turner’s family attended. US Mission also held a service for Efland, whose family denied that he was gay and obfuscated how he died at the service they held for him. Humphries claimed Turner as a “homosexual brother” in printed materials like flyers and press releases. In both public statements and press releases from US Mission, the critique of criminalization focused on the uniqueness of sexual difference and the narrative of victimless crimes. “His only crime was love,” was repeatedly invoked by Rev. Bob Humphries in public speeches and press statements made about both Turner and Efland.18
US Mission used its designation as a religious institution to argue that antigay vice policies reflected only a subset of religious beliefs and thus violated their right to religious freedom as a queer-friendly church.19 US Mission contributed to police-reform efforts by raising public awareness around the deaths of several gay and queer people who were murdered by the LAPD between 1969 and 1971. US Mission issued press releases for each murder, narrating the events surrounding the deaths. Activists used testimony in order to expose the violence of LAPD vice policing and also to highlight the paradigm of erasure that circumscribed anti-queer police violence. US Mission couched its critique of vice policing in the rhetoric of self-expression and individual rights. It deployed refuge as an outward-facing narrative to appeal to people who fell outside the purview of family-oriented social services. US Mission also worked to transform everyday homophobia by writing and publishing gay religious tracts for public dissemination. To US Mission, vice policing worked to socially stigmatize gays and lesbians and alienate them from civil society. Alienation from civil society, in Humphries’s view, increased gay and lesbian people’s vulnerability to poverty and antisocial behavior. For US Mission, ending vice policing was the first step in creating an environment where gays and lesbians had the freedom of self-expression and could therefore pursue self-actualization without social ostracism. US Mission’s work made a decisive connection between the politics of sanctuary and the infrastructure and tax status of religious organizations.
While gay liberal organizations were beginning to focus their efforts against policing in Hollywood, and after setting up their call line, Gay Liberation Front (GLF) members began to receive complaints about homophobic policing in the Rampart division and began to organize there in addition to Hollywood. To commemorate the LAPD murders of Howard Efland, LaVerne Turner, and Virginia Gallegos, GLF organized a march on March 7, 1971, asking participants to bring a small tin can and pencil to make noise as a part of an exorcism, designed to levitate the Rampart division police station “at least several feet in the air.”20 Marchers walked from MacArthur Park to the Rampart station in a procession, carrying floral wreathes and a pig’s head on a silver platter.
Gay Community Alliance (GCA) used direct protest to challenge the LAPD more than any other gay police-reform organization. Members claimed Hollywood as gay territory, frequently using Hollywood High as a rallying point for marches and rallies against LAPD vice policing. When GCA was first founded, they worked with Homophile Effort for Legal Protection (HELP) to compile information on police harassment of gay people and gay establishments. GCA members sought to increase police accountability to the gay community by regularly attending LAPD Police Commission meetings and filing grievances at those meetings based on the information they collected. In October 1973, GCA’s persistence paid off when the Los Angeles Police Commission ruled that it would now schedule special meetings, open to the public, where a group spokesperson could file grievances on behalf of individual members of that group. The ruling, supported by Mayor Tom Bradley, was described by David Glascock, former GCA president, as “a victory for all minorities with gay liberation in the vanguard.”21 By 1972, GCA boasted of “having involved over 4000 gay people in the Los Angeles area in politics,”22 in a letter campaign aimed at building relationships with local and national politicians. In the letter, GCA members distanced themselves from the more confrontational gay liberationist crowd: “Though we oppose anti-homosexual policies by every appropriate means, we are not inflexibly anti-police or anti-establishment.”23 GCA eschewed nonprofit status and service provision so it could focus on political campaigning, but it relied on the Metropolitan Community Church for hosting all of its public events, meetings, and forums.
Building Identity-Based Political Advocacy Institutions to Protect a Defined Group That Was Being Targeted by the State
US Mission was started by members of a gay religious coterie called Order of the Androgyne, headed primarily by white gay men including Morris Kight and Pat Rocco. Kight’s and Rocco’s involvement is notable because Kight was a founding member of Gay Liberation Front Los Angeles, and both Kight and Rocco were a part of the formation of the Gay Community Services Center. By 1970, US Mission was expanding its aid program into San Francisco. After 1972, US Mission recedes as a visible presence in the struggle to reform vice policing in Los Angeles. However it provided a vital organizational hub in the beginnings of gay organizing around vice policing in Los Angeles at a time when other gay liberal organizations and containers for organizing, like the Gay Community Services Center, were still in their formative stages.
Gay Community Alliance (GCA) was founded in 1971 out of frustration over the consistent failure of the Brown Bill, which would have legalized all consenting adult sexual behavior. GCA members sought to create a group focused solely on building gay political power. They defined the scope of their work early on, saying that they were “Activist, Political, Male-Oriented, Educational, Local, and Fraternal.”24 In their call to action, members write, “GCA is Male-Oriented. Focusing on the pressing legal and political needs of male homosexuals and seeking a social atmosphere liberating to males, but GCA is sympathetic to the separate problems of Gay Women and Transsexuals.”25 GCA started a political forum in 1971, inviting city and state politicians and lawyers to dialogue with the gay public about gay civil rights, and educating members about their rights and what to do in case of arrest. Because it eschewed nonprofit status, GCA was able to lobby for political candidates. For the 1973 city elections, GCA endorsed Tom Bradley for mayor, Burt Pines for city attorney, and Robert Stevenson for city council in District 13. GCA also endorsed a slate of candidates for the Board of Education and Board of Trustees in City Council District 3. Both HELP and GCA supported Pines for city attorney and vetted him through the GCA political forum. Pines was an attractive candidate to gay liberal organizations because he promised to minimize prosecution of nonviolent sex crimes arrests if elected. Once elected, Pines did in fact go on record and say that he planned to shift the priorities of the city attorney’s office in relation to gay-related arrests.26 While it had a short organizational lifespan, GCA formed an ardent force of nonviolent direct action against the LAPD that often worked in conjunction with organizations like HELP and the Gay Community Service Center, which focused more on building membership and service provision in the early 1970s. Incomplete records make it difficult to know how many members GCA had at its height, although undated membership rosters list forty different names and addresses. Gay Community Alliance devoted a significant amount of time to building gay political power.
After Pines’s 1973 election, LAPD arrests for lewd conduct, sex perversion (fellatio), and sodomy did decrease, from 3,783 arrests in 1973 to 2,950 arrests in 1974. The dispositions of sex crimes arrests also became less severe, as felony dispositions decreased from 304 to 277 between 1973 and 1974. Sex crimes arrests continued to decrease throughout the 1970s and rise again in the 1980s. However, for any given year between 1970 and 1990, prostitution arrests always exceeded sex crimes arrests, particularly in Hollywood, as gay and lesbian organizations began to claim West Hollywood and Hollywood as “Gay LA.” Furthermore, in the years leading up to Pines’s election to city attorney, arrests for sex crimes downtown exceeded arrests in Hollywood (734 and 400, respectively). It is only after 1973, as Hollywood was being territorialized as a gay district, that arrests for sex crimes in Hollywood exceeded sex crimes arrests in the downtown and Rampart divisions.
By 1973, after two years of existence, the Gay Community Services Center (GCSC) had at least thirteen ongoing daily social service programs, including emergency and temporary housing, a venereal disease clinic, a women’s health clinic, couples and individual counseling, drug and alcohol counseling, employment and job training programs for women and trans people, a “Systems Assistance Project” or reentry program for formerly incarcerated people that included job training and welfare counseling, and a program for gay and lesbian runaways who found themselves stranded in Hollywood. Gay and lesbian police-reform activists relied on the language of racialized and gendered risk and precarity secured through the protected categories that emerged from the 1964 Civil Rights Act to argue for funding dollars.
Gay police-reform organizations were able to convince everyday people, other organizations, and city officials that gays and lesbians formed a unique cluster of risk and reward that should be included in the political and economic milieu of community and nonprofit governance. As a result, some of these organizations, like US Mission and the GCSC, now the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, were able to build themselves into large, long-standing institutions. Other organizations, like HELP and GCA, rose and fell as internal organizational goals became less clear. The demands, framing, and internal struggles of these organizations illustrate how policing forced people to posit the connections between race, gender, and sexuality and struggle over the meaning and function of gay and lesbian identity and politics.
Devising Mechanisms to Subvert Legal Systems, Coming up with Protection Systems
In August 1968, LAPD vice officers raided the Patch, a gay bar in Wilmington near Los Angeles Harbor, demanding to see identification and arresting patrons. Bar owner Lee Glaze took to the stage and encouraged patrons to resist the LAPD’s tactics, saying, “It’s not a crime to be in a gay bar.”27 A rally ensued, with patrons chanting, “We’re Americans, too!”28 Patrons then proceeded to march to the Harbor Division police station after obtaining flowers from a local florist, also a patron of the Patch, demanding the release of all those arrested. After the raid on the Patch, several patrons, frustrated with the lack of momentum and political action around police entrapment, formed Homophile Effort for Legal Protection (HELP) in 1970. HELP was an AAA-type service for gay men, gay and lesbian bars, and increasingly members of and bars associated with the leather community. The bail service included a twenty-four-hour call line, bail service, and legal referrals. The annual rate for individual HELP membership in 1971 was $15. The benefits of membership included twenty-four-hour free legal advice on any subject, and immediate bail for any misdemeanor charges and/or the felony charges of oral copulation or sodomy. Bail was required to be repaid by the individual to HELP at a rate of 10 percent per week, interest free. If an individual member was arrested in a member establishment, then bail was provided for free. Later on, HELP members amended membership rules and created two forms of individual membership: general membership ($10 annual fee) and voting membership ($60 annual fee). Meeting minutes from March 28, 1973, indicate that HELP membership reached an all-time high that year, with 750 paid members.29 HELP also organized the Tavern and Guild Association; bars and taverns could pay a membership fee of $60 that included free legal assistance for issues like licensing and permits and legal assistance for any bar patron arrested in the establishment, even if the individual was not a HELP member. The bar membership also designated the owner or manager as an individual member and covered up to four on-duty employees. For a fee of $100, bars and taverns could enjoy all of the above benefits plus coverage for up to nine on-duty employees.30
When HELP first began offering these services, it had six member establishments, and by the beginning of the next year, bar and tavern membership had grown to include fifty different establishments, as well as several organizational affiliates. HELP’s protection strategy paid off, for example, in August 1972, when the Black Pipe, a newer leather bar, was raided by the police. HELP mobilized its attorneys and bondsmen and had all twenty-one arrestees bailed out immediately and, eventually, twenty of the twenty-one exonerated of all charges.31 HELP subsequently filed a $100,000 lawsuit against the LAPD for damages, arguing the arrests jeopardized the “reputation and standing of the conservative legal aid organization, resulting from the false arrests of many persons.”32 HELP organized gay and/or gay-friendly attorneys to offer discounted legal services for people arrested for sex crimes. HELP quoted the market rate for a lewd conduct defense at $800 to $1,200. With a HELP membership, however, the price was reduced to $150 to $300. What HELP sought to do was consolidate gay capital and leverage it to train the legal system to decriminalize gays by making sure that gays arrested for particular sex crimes offenses didn’t spend significant time in jail or go bankrupt defending themselves. The offenses included PC 286, Sodomy; PC 288(a), Oral Copulation; PC 314, Lewd or Obscene Conduct; PC 647(a), Solicitation of Lewd Conduct. Although membership did entitle one to bail assistance for any misdemeanor, HELP’s focus on sex crimes automatically streamlined their audience to focus on white gay men. Lesbians, and women in general, were more often arrested for prostitution-related codes, which HELP organizing left untouched, than for the collection of penal codes described as sex crimes. Incomplete records make it difficult to estimate how many bails and legal references HELP arranged during the peak of its years of activity, 1970–74, but scattered records from a few months in 1971 show at least sixty individual cases from the months of October, December, April, and May combined. HELP did negotiate with the LAPD at times, especially on the issue of “own recognizance” release for misdemeanor sex crime bookings. Organizers put a majority of their capacity into building a base of gay capital that could be leveraged to meet the needs of individuals and businesses on a case-by-case basis.
HELP innovated strategies of advocacy and expansive networks of protection and support as it tried to turn bars and clubs into sanctuaries for nonnormative economies of desire. Although HELP operated primarily on volunteer labor, the organization was led by a board, and leadership was composed mostly of white men and sometimes white women. The leadership diversified throughout the 1970s, and HELP was slightly more multiracial by the late 1970s, near its official end in 1980.33
Creating Gay Territory within the Material and Political Landscape of Los Angeles
The passage of AB489, the consenting adult sex bill, in 1975, a version of the Brown Bill introduced in 1970, repealed the legal ban against sodomy. This caused a pause in direct confrontations and organizing between gay and lesbian police-reform groups and the police. By 1975, GCA, HELP, and the Gay Liberation Front were inactive. The radical survival programs developed by the Gay Liberation Front had been incorporated by Kight and GSCS co-director Donald Kilhefner into the service provision work of the Gay Community Services Center. The passage of the Brown Bill marked the ascendancy of certain gay male leaders into municipal governance and the territorialization of West Hollywood and Hollywood as “Gay LA.” In 1975, the Gay Community Services Center moved from its Westlake office to Hollywood, in a decisive move by Morris Kight to make the area the new “epicenter” of gay Los Angeles, and because Westlake had increased crime and poverty that was distasteful to leadership.34 The conditions of white flight that lessened the area’s appeal to Kight set the stage for the area to become predominantly Central American, Cuban, and South American by 1980.35
In January 1975, former Gay Community Alliance president David Glascock was hired by District 3 county supervisor Ed Edelman to work at Edelman’s new West Hollywood branch office specifically on issues impacting gays and lesbians. Estimating that between sixty thousand and one hundred thousand gays and lesbians lived in District 3, Supervisor Edelman saw himself as ahead of the curve on gay and lesbian issues. He remarked, “Other than City Atty. Burt Pines, I’m one of the first public officials to seek representation in the gay community. This large segment has unique problems which have been neglected” (emphasis mine).36 While many gay police-reform organizations did not have long organizational life spans, they created a space of dependence that successfully inserted gay activists into the city’s political infrastructure.
Activists learned throughout the tail end of the 1970s that the Brown Bill was not as effective as they hoped, since the LAPD mostly used the lewd conduct penal code to criminalize gay people and places. A year after the Brown Bill had gone into effect, sex crimes arrests increased from 2,580 arrests in 1976 to 2,858 in 1977, with 50 percent of that increase being in the Hollywood police division, although the number of felony dispositions of these arrests decrease. Gay liberal organizations had effectively dented city council’s support for LAPD Police Chief Ed Davis and for vice policing, and had helped elect the more gay-friendly city attorney Burt Pines. Gay liberal organizations had also made political inroads with Lieutenant Governor Mervyn Dymally toward overturning the lewd conduct code. However, police harassment and entrapment of gays continued, because lewd conduct hinged on the LAPD’s discretionary power to discern gay and lesbian sociality as lewd in spite of the Brown Bill’s passage in the 1975–76 legislative session as A.B. 489. In 1978, GCSC organizational files show that the board began circulating a memo to try to bring together a coalition of organizations to address the homophobic tenor of vice policing that continued despite A.B. 489’s passage. By this time, LAPD Chief Ed Davis had retired and was replaced by Daryl Gates, who quickly became critiqued for his aggressive policing tactics, particularly against Black and Latino young people, increasingly labeled as gang members. Although the Civil Service Commission removed the ban on homosexuality in the requirements to be a police officer, there had still been no movement by LAPD officials to hire gay and lesbian police officers.
The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Police Task Advisory Force (Task Force) took up this issue as a central concern in its organizing, along with education and training of LAPD officers on gay and lesbian issues. The Task Force formally began in August 1981, after several members gave testimony in front of the Police Commission, reiterating the longtime demands of gay liberal police-reform activists: the designation of a gay community police liaison, reform of vice policing, and hiring of gay and lesbian police officers. Daryl Gates acquiesced to some of these demands and appointed officer Ken Hickman as liaison. The Task Force was member driven but led by cochairs Jim La Maida and lesbian activist Ivy Bottini. The group had monthly general meetings and working committees that met as needed. The Task Force acted as the political bargaining unit for the gay and lesbian community, especially as other organizations disintegrated. Its primary goal was to get official recognition from the LAPD as the political voice of the gay and lesbian community, and then use that status to implement departmental reforms. The Task Force was officially recognized by the LAPD on April 14, 1982. Task Force members used the LAPD liaison, Ken Hickman, as a conduit to channel complaints about police harassment of gays and lesbians directly to the LAPD administration. They collected complaints from gay and lesbian people and businesses, held public forums, and in turn addressed complaints received by the LAPD that might heighten policing of the gay and lesbian nightlife crowd. For example, in 1983, Task Force members began an alley patrol with the purpose of reducing complaints to the LAPD from property owners and residents near West Hollywood area bars. In June 1983 they began to pass out leaflets that read: “We all know that gay sex is wonderful. It just should not be happening in the backyards of residential neighborhoods. We would appreciate your cooperation in making social contact in a safe and suitable place.”37 The Task Force’s tenuous relationship with the LAPD encouraged Task Force members to forward a model gay consumer who could enjoy the nightlife but also had access to housing or real estate in order to keep sex off the streets. The LAPD liaison also tacitly encouraged the Task Force not to work in coalitions with “other” groups working on police reform, in this case antiracist and Black- and Latino-led organizations.38 The Task Force assented to this demand and continued to push for recruitment of gay and lesbian officers and gay and lesbian liaisons at each of the eighteen police divisions, and for participation from Task Force members in LAPD officer training. They hoped that having openly gay and lesbian officers would intervene in the LAPD’s discretionary use of the lewd conduct code to criminalize gays and lesbians. Gates agreed to the inclusion of Task Force members in sensitivity training right away. Members began to develop their own training program called “Gay and Lesbian Cultural Awareness Training for Law Enforcement.”39 The group was eventually destroyed by infighting that ended in all the people-of-color organizations being expelled from the Task Force at an April 1989 meeting, in front of LAPD representatives.40
In their efforts to reform the LAPD, gay and lesbian activists intervened in the 1973 election that reorganized the city’s political landscape. Both Efland and Turner, whose deaths sparked outrage and organizing, were killed in Central and South Central Los Angeles, places that gay organizing and protest gradually retreated from between 1970 and 1980. Gay police-reform activism entwined sexuality as an identity category into liberal praxis through the production of space. The leveraging of political power through service provision, exemplified by US Mission, HELP, and GCSC, created a sociospatial narrative for the public, city officials, and other gays and lesbians to understand gays and lesbians as constituting an oppressed minority group targeted for a victimless crime. For example, a favorable Times article on the issue of decriminalizing consensual adult sexual behavior reads: “Aside from an occasional clash with Chief Davis—to which the Gay Libbers apply the maximum dramatic flair—the Gay community also is involved in a number social programs as staid and respectable as the Salvation Army.”41 Similarly, US Mission’s service programs were lauded by the likes of Tom Bradley, Dianne Feinstein, Pete Wilson, and Governor Deukmejian.42
Reviewing some of the early grants that the GCSC applied for reveals its astute understanding of the spatial, racialized, and gendered politics of precarity. For example, in 1975, the GCSC applied to the Echo Park/Silver Lake Regional Drug Coalition for a grant to start a detoxification and residential treatment center. The proposal justified the need for the grant based on the precarity of people residing within the catchment area.43 The proposal lists high rates of substance abuse, a large Latino population, some of the highest suicide rates in Los Angeles County, low median family income levels compared to the whole county, a high concentration of people with mental illnesses, and a high infant mortality rate as characterizing features of the population living in the catchment area. While gays and lesbians were fighting to make sexual difference a legible category in city politics, it was the racialized, gendered, and classed categories of precarity that activists used to script themselves into the nonprofit service provision, which provided organizations with increased fiscal stability and social legitimacy. While activists reorganized the meaning of sexual and gender deviance through an identity politics of sanctuary, their efforts were drawn into the production of safe space. When federal voluntary sector funds fell through at the end of the 1980s, GCSC became more reliant on private funding and began to act as a force of redevelopment.44
The Production of Safe Space
Gay and lesbian police-reform activism in Los Angeles does not simply end in the 1980s. Gay and lesbian activists, along with other activists, are scripted into the reterritorialization of the welfare state and therefore into discourses of relational differential value and the life cycles of criminalization that rely on the coordination of the administrative and disciplinary capacities of the state and ruling class. Gay and lesbian police reform in this instance moved from a politics of sanctuary to a politics of safe space. The production of safe space demonstrates how activists were scripted into the project of community policing and underscores the importance of abolitionist approaches to criminalization that also work against the “impossible politics of difference.” Rather than a repudiation of identity politics, this account shows both how identity politics expose the limits of the social and spatial categories meant to keep people in place, and how the territorialization of identity can become sequestered into the reproduction of the administrative and disciplinary capacities of the state and ruling class.
Christina Hanhardt offers the concept of safe space to index how the place-making efforts of LGBT activists confronted neoliberal transformations in welfare state and carceral state governance at both the municipal and federal scale.45 Value becomes important as identity-based groups’ desire for safety and protection gets fashioned into a proxy for social value, which gets recruited into schemes of renewing urban land (value) as a proxy for redistributing capital, land, and power to working-class people. Gay street patrols in 1970s New York, for example, first began in response to homophobic attacks, but then became complicit in neoliberal quality-of-life policing strategies that targeted youth of color, including queer and trans youth of color, to clear the land and make it safe for a middle-class, consumptive, and largely white gay and lesbian gentry.46
Safe spaces are often conceived through a politics of sanctuary as creative interventions crafted by everyday people to sustain movement culture or to respond to the cycles of violence of racial capitalism. Safe space underscores how neoliberal capital’s speculative violence attempts to delink representation, recognition, affective connection, awareness, and “consciousness raising” from any substantive and durable redistributions of money or property that might abolish the relational differential value that circumscribe the world we live in.47
Gay and lesbian police-reform activism is also shaped by what geographer Ruth Wilson Gilmore has termed a shift from military Keynesianism, or a mode of state capacity in which the profits from war making are channeled into the development of a welfare state, to post-Keynesian militarism, a mode of state capacity centered on the preservation of warfare as a mode of accumulation coupled with the planned abandonment of welfare state infrastructure and focus on work and personal responsibility.48 Planned abandonment of social services did not just look like simply getting rid of them completely but also transferring the responsibility of administering them to other entities, often those looking to create refuge through a politics of grassroots self-determination. By 1982, 56 percent of social services provision was being delivered by voluntary sector organizations, 4 percent by the private sector, and 40 percent by official state entities.49 The contradiction of organized efforts for safety, sanctuary, and refuge in this era is that through the reterritorialization of welfare state governance, spaces of refuge can also be secure spaces for surplus racial capital and for the renewal of state capacity, the ability of the state to act as the state. Safe spaces expand through the aegis of the reterritorialization of welfare state governance and in concert with community policing throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Safe space is a neoliberal strategy of racial enclosure, one that encloses collective strategies of providing mutual aid in the racializing terms of group difference, population, and risk management.
Gay and lesbian police-reform organizations were conditioned by neoliberal transformations at several spatial scales. Sexual liberalism flourished throughout the late 1950s and 1960s. Legal victories at the close of the 1950s around homosexual free speech (ONE Inc. v. Olesen, 1958) and around what counts as obscene (Roth v. United States and Alberts v. California, 1957) supported the multiplication of sexual subcultures by removing content restrictions on publications that were circulated via mail. This was important then and now, as the archive that informs this article relies heavily on newsletters and newspapers that circulated through the mail. In Los Angeles however, sexual liberalism that was enforced federally by the Supreme Court was met locally with a police crackdown on obscenity, public nudity, and lewd behavior. It is important to recognize that policing preserves the social relations of racial capitalism via racial-sexual management even during periods of social and political liberalism.
While gay police reform was getting off the ground organizationally in 1969, the LAPD and the FBI were waging a war on the Black Panther Party (BPP) in Los Angeles. Between 1968 and 1969, LAPD officers shot and killed at least four Panthers, raided the Black Panther Party office at 41st and Central (blocks away from where Larry LaVerne Turner was murdered by the LAPD) several times, drew guns on children in the BPP childcare program on the grounds of investigating a landlord nuisance complaint, and raided the BPP breakfast program in Watts under a directive from the FBI to destroy BPP survival programs. This war on the Black Panthers culminated in a December 8, 1969, shootout between BPP members and four hundred LAPD officers. The fact that GLF’s survival programs, modeled on the Panther’s survival programs, became enshrined in the milieu of voluntary sector governance vis-à-vis the Gay Community Services Center while those of the Panthers were systematically destroyed underscores how relational differential value is coordinated between the administrative and disciplinary capacities of the state and ruling class.50 Dismantling of the Black Panther Party in Los Angeles was as much about disciplining blackness as it was about disciplining politics in general by directing it into racializing forms that governments could regulate and control.51 Gates’s response to the Task Force also exemplifies how community policing developed in the 1970s and 1980s in the LAPD as a neoliberal strategy of racial enclosure. While LAPD Chief William Parker (1950–65) preferred a top-down style of policing, his successors, such as Thomas Reddin and Ed Davis, while iron-fisted with the gay and lesbian community, evolved the velvet glove approach of the LAPD. Reddin expanded the Community Relations Department from a staff of four to over one hundred after the Watts uprising. By 1971, LAPD had over seventy-one community relations programs including youth programs, storefront substations, citizens’ watch groups, and programs for formerly incarcerated people. During Ed Davis’s tenure as chief, he expanded community policing through the Basic Car Plan, which divided the city into ninety-five subdistricts and assigned a permanent police car and officer to each subdistrict. Davis’s tenure also saw the development of a team-policing experiment in the Black and Latino Oakwood community in Venice.52 Davis also authorized the formation of the Community Resources against Street Hoodlums (CRASH) unit, which became vital in the criminalization of Latino immigrants in Los Angeles during the 1990s. CRASH, which was originally devised to target Black youth in South Central, was repurposed in the late 1990s to criminalize and deport Latino youth, in spite of Special Order 40, a mandate made in 1979 by the LAPD and Los Angeles City Council that police officers not question people for the sole purpose of determining or obtaining that person’s immigration status. Special Order 40 was supposed to prevent the LAPD from operating as immigration enforcement agents but was constantly flouted and LAPD continued to collaborate with INS (now ICE) to identify and criminalize immigrants after Special Order 40 was drafted.
The mayoral administration of Tom Bradley from 1973 to 1993 marked the beginning of a period of reform liberalism in city politics. Bradley’s tenuous political bloc, however, tempered his ability to adequately redistribute wealth and resources by shifting city budget priorities. Instead, Bradley’s strategy was to leverage outside funding to fund social services and reinvest in South Central, and then foster longer term economic growth and jobs through redeveloping downtown and creating pathways for foreign investment by assembling a pro-business city hall.53 Within the first month of Bradley’s election, he successfully lobbied for a leftover half-million dollars in US Department of Health, Education and Welfare funds and used it as seed money for the development of the City Volunteer Corps through a grant from federal ACTION funds, and for local job-training programs through a grant from the US Department of Labor. By fiscal year 1978, grants to the city totaled $412.7 million, up from $99.1 million in fiscal year 1972, the year before Bradley’s election. Federal grants became the means to deliver on campaign promises made to poor people, without upsetting the business alliance through increased taxation. The LAPD budget peaked during the Sam Yorty mayoral administration at 22 percent of the total budget in 1972. Bradley was able to rein in the LAPD budget by 17 percent, but he did so primarily by capping police pensions and limiting equipment purchases, not by significantly decreasing or limiting the number of sworn officers.54
At the federal level, the Bradley administration’s ability to fund social services through contingent and external funding sources was enhanced by the general revenue sharing program. General revenue sharing (GRS) was a funding scheme developed by US Keynesian economist Walter Heller and signed into law by President Nixon in October 1972. Through the GRS program, federal tax dollars were distributed to state and local governments to fund programs or cover budget deficits. The GRS program lasted until 1986, and during that time, $85 billion in federal revenues was distributed to states and municipalities. It is in this context that gay liberal institutions used service provision as a tactic to incorporate themselves into the political milieu of city and county politics. The GRS program and Bradley’s enthusiasm for a “self-help” approach to funding social services created an opportunity for community organizations to boost their organizational capacity with federal funding. The trade-off was that funding guidelines required community organizations to adopt a professional structure. For example, to be eligible for GRS funds through Los Angeles County, organizations had to provide a mission statement, organizational bylaws, a description of the organization’s structure, an organizational history, and an itemized budget describing how funds would be spent. Organizations also had to explain how their work addressed federally defined high-need or high-risk service areas and/or populations. The pressure to narrate and organize identity through the rhetoric of population and geographic computations of risk tends toward reifying race as a sociospatial mode of territorialization.55
While War on Poverty programs invited community organizations to participate in shaping community development, tax revolts and the shift in state capacity toward post-Keynesian militarism evinced by federal programs like GRS pitted community organizations against municipalities over distribution of limited funds. While the federal government did mandate specific service areas and at-risk populations, Los Angeles City Council was able to successfully funnel federal grants into every council district in spite of federal regulations and restrictions.56 Mayor Bradley, who was leveraging GRS funds to deliver on campaign promises, had planned to redistribute the majority of GRS money among city and county governmental agencies. Gay Community Services Center director Donald Kilhefner found this out and helped to organize the Community Coalition for Equitable Revenue Sharing, a coalition of three hundred Los Angeles area community organizations, each representing a particular group or population. In 1972 the coalition successfully lobbied the Bradley administration to distribute GRS funds to community organizations as well as governmental agencies. While this coalitional work is a testament to how organized people can shift city politics, we should be wary of the ways that such coalitional models reified the fragmentation of geographies of struggle into service delivery zones, which themselves only reflected and naturalized the history of racist spatial development in Los Angeles.
Police pressure from LAPD chief Daryl Gates for the Task Force to distance itself from race-based groups marks the limit of identity politics in the context of neoliberal governance. Gates’s play to court the gay and lesbian community at a time when he was receiving harsh criticism from antiracist and progressive groups over the 1979 murder of Eulia Love over a $22 unpaid gas bill and LAPD choke hold deaths typifies how inclusion is leveraged to channel dissent into manageable forms. It is in this light that we should understand the often lauded Special Order 40 measure, which was crafted by Gates in 1979. Special Order 40 amended the LAPD training manual to state that LAPD officers would not initiate police action for the sole purpose of obtaining someone’s citizenship status, nor would they notify immigration enforcement of having arrested an undocumented person unless that person was being arrested for multiple misdemeanors, a “high grade” misdemeanor or felony, or being arrested for a second time. This policy, which was praised as a sanctuary measure,57 was offered as a strategy of counterinsurgent governance to appease a faction of the growing dissent to LAPD brutality,58 similarly to how the Task Force was given a special status in relationship to the LAPD to prevent members from aligning themselves politically with the growing Coalition Against Police Abuse (CAPA). Gates was able to effectively leverage the police department’s discretionary power to channel networks of struggle over police power into manageable sociospatial forms that were inherently racialized and/or territorial.
In this account we can witness safe space develop as a strategy of counterinsurgent governance in the shift from post-Keynesian militarism in the late sixties to neoliberalism by the mid-seventies. The trajectory of gay and lesbian police reform evinces several moves in the production of safe space from a politics of sanctuary. First, the move from networks of struggle to resegmented populations can be seen in the general trajectory of reform efforts beginning with the Citizen’s Committee to Outlaw Entrapment, which drew from material connections with antiracist and labor organizing, and ending with GCSC’s police task force, which drew primarily from strategic partnerships with and representation from within other identity-based formations. Also, the Gay Community Alliance’s and HELP’s insistence on single-issue politics that affected mostly gay men created semiprotected statuses and zones of decriminalization that were tenuous at best. While gay police reform created a cultural shift, it did not displace police discretionary power, which enabled Davis to instruct LAPD officers to approach gay culture as lewd and vagrant. By 1975, people like Efland and Turner, whose murders galvanized gay and lesbian police reform, were not any less legally vulnerable to police abuse than they had been in 1969 and 1970, or than they are now. The LAPD still uses lewd conduct codes in undercover stings and mass arrests of LGBT people.
The spatial clustering of organizations and protest in West Hollywood and Hollywood began as an effort to create a space of dependence. Over time the production of safe space turns gay neighborhoods into racial enclosures in which racialization forms the criteria of difference that guides the exercise of police discretionary power. We see these organizations each become racial enclosures as they are drawn into the reterritorializing welfare state and into the work of community policing. The trajectory of gay and lesbian police reform addressed only a subset of the penal codes used to criminalize gender and sexual nonconformity, making police reform only reflective of the people who had the power to spatially imbricate their visions and versions of identity and politics. The move from analogized suffering to protected status is witnessed in the general way that gay and lesbian police-reform activists often analogized police violence in relationship to racialized people and places, but then also articulated gay and lesbian identity through the trope of innocence, arguing that they were not the real criminals and were targets of discrimination and thus eligible for protection as a minority group. LGBT people didn’t gain official protected federal status until more than a decade later, but these organizers used political pluralism as a strategy to gain provisional protection through electoral politics, political bargaining, and protest. They also accomplished this by distancing their legislative activism from sex work, despite that fact the prostitution arrests always exceeded lewd conduct, sodomy, and oral copulation arrests. This was and remains specifically impactful on sex workers, despite how instrumental anti–sex work codes continue to be for criminalizing LGBT people.59 Organizers also encouraged gays and lesbians to privatize their sexual practices. In the move from analogized suffering to protected status, the discretionary power of the police is implicitly reified around the racialized enclosures of political activism. What scholars and writers who study past and present sanctuary movements have narrated as an overreliance on liberal strategies was not just a poor choice but a flexible cultural project of neoliberal racial capitalism designed to securitize sanctuary.60
Paik, “Abolitionist Futures and the US Sanctuary Movement.”
On protesting laws deemed unjust as a sanctuary strategy that is supported by the infrastructure and moral authority of the church, see Kotin, Dyrness, and Irazábal, “Immigration and Integration”; Freeland, “Negotiating Place, Space, and Borders”; Hamilton and Chinchilla, Seeking Community in a Global City, 223–24; Zilberg, “Disquieting Complicities,” 13; Yukich, “Constructing the Model Immigrant”; and Zilberg, Space of Detention, 25–30.
On building advocacy organizations and networks that protect and define an injured group as a sanctuary movement strategy, see Chinchilla and Hamilton, “Changing Networks and Alliances in a Transnational Context”; Nicholls, “Forging a ‘New’ Organizational Infrastructure”; Terriquez, “Intersectional Mobilization, Social Movement Spillover”; Loyd and Burridge, “La Gran Marcha”; Stuelke, “The Reparative Politics of Central America Solidarity Movement Culture”; and Pastor, “How Immigrant Activists Changed LA.”
Subverting the legal system and legal protections as a sanctuary strategy: Perla and Coutin, “Legacies and Origins of the 1980s US-Central American Sanctuary Movement”; Loyd and Burridge, “La Gran Marcha”; and Gonzales, “The 2006 Mega Marchas in Greater Los Angeles.”
On spatial imbrication and territorialization as a sanctuary strategy, see Perla and Coutin, Legacies and Origins of the 1980s US-Central American Sanctuary Movement”; Nicholls, “Forging a ‘New’ Organizational Infrastructure”; Chinchilla and Hamilton, “Changing Networks and Alliances in a Transnational Context”; Hamilton and Chinchilla, Seeking Community in a Global City, 61–68, 121; and Cruz, “Little San Salvador,” 71.
Hanhardt, Safe Space; Escobar, Captivity beyond Prisons, 173; Richie, Arrested Justice; Lee, Building a Latino Civil Rights Movement; Pulido, “Geographies of Race and Ethnicity II”; and Cacho, Social Death.
Cacho, Social Death, 8–15.
Sexton, “People-of-Color-Blindness”; Stuelke, “The Reparative Politics of Central America Solidarity Movement Culture,” 774; Yukich, “Constructing the Model Immigrant.”
“An Open Letter to Friends of the Citizens’ Committee to Outlaw Entrapment,” 1952 Press Release, Citizen’s Committee to Outlaw Police Entrapment, Box 1:14, Mattachine Society Project Collection, Coll2008–016, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
Los Angeles Free Press, March 20, 1970, “Larry LaVerne Turner,” ONE Subject File collection, Coll2012–001, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California; Undated Press Release on Howard Efland’s murder, United States Mission Collection, Coll2012.125, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
US Mission Press Releases, 1970, “Dover Hotel,” ONE Subject File collection, Coll2012–001, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
Don Jackson, “Crusade against Vice (Officers): Illegal Entrapment of Gays Charged,” Los Angeles Free Press, August 13, 1971.
“Watch LAPD, GLF Is Going to ‘Magick’ You,” The Advocate (Los Angeles, CA), March 3, 1971; and “GLF Gives LAPD a Lift,” The Advocate, March 31, 1971.
“LA Gays Gain Police Board Ear,” The Advocate, October 24, 1973, 1.
Letter to Senator George McGovern, dated January 7, 1972, inviting him to come to address GCA members in Los Angeles. In the letter, President David Glascock promises McGovern an audience of at least eight hundred people. Gay Community Alliance Collection, Coll2011–045, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
Letter to Senator George McGovern, January 7, 1972, Gay Community Alliance Collection, Coll2011–045, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
“An Invitation to Participate,” May 10, 1971, Gay Community Alliance Collection, Coll2011–045, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
“Statement of Purpose and Call to Action,” March, 2, 1971, Gay Community Alliance Collection, Coll2011–045, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
“Pines to Minimize Prosecutions for Activity in Gay Bars,” Los Angeles Times, April 22, 1974.
Faderman and Timmons, Gay LA, 157.
Faderman and Timmons, Gay LA, 158.
Meeting Minutes, March 28, 1973, Box 4:1, Homophile Effort for Legal Protection, Incorporated (HELP, Inc.), Records, Coll2008–052, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
HELP Inc. Newsletter 1:1, September 1970, Box 4:2, Homophile Effort for Legal Protection, Incorporated (HELP, Inc.), Records, Coll2008–052, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
Ima Freeman, “Help Line,” Box 4:6, Homophile Effort for Legal Protection, Incorporated (HELP, Inc.), Records, Coll2008–052, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
Drummer volume 2:3, November 15, 1972, Box 4:5, Homophile Effort for Legal Protection, Incorporated (HELP, Inc.), Records, Coll2008–052, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
Letter to State of California officially disbanding HELP, 1980, Box 1:1, Homophile Effort for Legal Protection, Incorporated (HELP, Inc.), Records, Coll2008–052, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
Hamilton and Chinchilla, Seeking Community in a Global City, 61.
Ray Zeman, “Edelman Hires Assistant to Work in Gay Community,” Los Angeles Times, January 10, 1975, 29.
“Gay and Lesbian Police Advisory Task Force Media Watch,” July 27, 1983, Gay and Lesbian Police Advisory Task Force (Los Angeles) Collection, Coll2011–049, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
Meeting Minutes, September 10, 1981, Gay and Lesbian Police Advisory Task Force (Los Angeles) Collection, Coll2011–049, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
“Gay and Lesbian Cultural Awareness Training for Law Enforcement,” Undated Materials, Gay and Lesbian Police Advisory Task Force (Los Angeles) Collection, Coll2011–049, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
Lloyd Jordon, “Policing the Task Force,” BLK: National Black Lesbian and Gay Newsmagazine, issue 6 (May 1989): 8–12, 10.
Dave Smith, “Homosexual Groups Push Fight for Liberalized Morals Laws,” Los Angeles Times, January 24, 1971, A1.
“Gay? Homeless?” (United States Mission Promotional Brochure), United States Mission Collection, Coll2012.125, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
Echo Park/Silverlake Region Drug Coalition, Detoxification and Residential Treatment Project Funding Proposal, 1974, Box 6:1, L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center records, Coll2007–010, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California, 6.
Ian M. Baldwin, “Family, Housing, and the Political Geography of Gay Liberation in Los Angeles County”; Kenney, Mapping Gay LA, 86–87.
Hanhardt, Safe Space.
Stuelke, “The Reparative Politics of Central America Solidarity Movement Culture,” 774.
Gilmore, “Globalisation and US Prison Growth.”
Salamon, “Of Market Failure, Voluntary Failure, and Third-Party Government.”
Sonenshein, Politics in Black and White.
On the evolution of the discourse of population, see Foucault, Security, Territory, Population. On race, criminality, and the making of population statistics, see Browne, “Race and Surveillance”; and Muhammad, “Where Did All the White Criminals Go?” On the racist underpinnings of population discourse, see Gannett, “Racism and Human Genome Diversity Research”; and Roberts, Fatal Invention.
Sonenshein, Politics in Black and White, 164–69.
Bratton, “The LAPD Fights Crime, Not Illegal Immigration.”
Maya, “To Serve and Protect or to Betray and Neglect,” 1662. Maya notes that at the time Special Order 40 was passed, the LAPD was also facing a lawsuit from two Latino residents who had been falsely arrested on suspicion of being undocumented. Special Order 40 was passed to cover up the fact that, until then, it was LAPD policy to arrest people on noncriminal charges in order to turn them over to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
Jackson and Heineman, “Repeal FOSTA and Decriminalize Sex Work.”
Loyd and Burridge, in “La Gran Marcha,” emphasize how some of the liberal framings coming from the immigrant rights movement, like being tax-paying citizens, were reactions to false ideas like the idea that immigrants do not pay taxes. This account asks us to think about the kinds of organizational models and infrastructures for sustaining organizations that concretize these framings as asymmetric power relations.