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Hands Off Washington, Whatcom County Coalition Council records, 1988-1996

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Hands Off Washington (Organization). Whatcom County Coalition Council
Title
Hands Off Washington, Whatcom County Coalition Council records
Dates
1988-1996 (inclusive)
1994-1995 (inclusive)
Quantity
4 linear feet
Collection Number
XOE_CPNWS0139handsoff (collection)
Summary
The organization Hands Off Washington (HOW) was created to defeat Washington State initiatives 608 and 610 which threatened the civil rights of state and local public employees based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation. The Whatcom County HOW Coalition Council records date from 1989 to 1996 and consists of the organization's financial records, press releases, fundraising events, emails, office logs, pamphlets, newsletters and other printed materials, state level strategies, other like minded groups, subject files relating to gay and lesbian issues, video and audio tapes, opposition files and newspaper clippings, letters to the editor (for and against) the initiatives and gay and lesbian rights, as well as workshop and speaker information.
Repository
Western Washington University, Western Libraries Heritage Resources
516 High St
Bellingham WA
98225-9103
Telephone: 360-650-7534
Heritage.Resources@wwu.edu
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

Languages
English.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Hands Off Washington (HOW) was a project of the Washington Citizens for Fairness (WCF) which lasted from 1993 to 1997. WCF, a state-wide organization, was a coalition of concerned citizens and organizations with the specific aim of preserving the civil rights of all Washington citizens. HOW was created to specifically oppose initiatives 608 and 610, which sought to limit the rights of Washington citizens and legalize discrimination based on sexual orientation. Quoting from the official ballot summaries:

Initiative 608, sponsored by the Equal Rights, Not Special Rights Committee. “This measure would prohibit the state of Washington and its political subdivisions from enacting or enforcing any law or policy that grants protection against discrimination or that recognizes or provides any benefit, right, standing, or privilege to homosexuals or other persons on the basis of sexual orientation. This measure also would bar common schools, their employees, volunteers, and guests from discussing or presenting homosexuality, bisexuality, transexuality, or transvestism as appropriate, positive, or healthy in any respect.”-Initiate 608 Summary, 1994-03-29

Initiative 610, was sponsored by the Citizens Alliance of Washington. “This measure would prohibit governments from according rights, status or protection from discrimination based on homosexuality; from expending funds through governmental or educational institutions to promote, approve, or present homosexuality as a positive, healthy, or acceptable condition; from recognizing same-sex marriages and gender change alterations; and from awarding homosexuals custody of their own or other children in adoption or other child custody proceedings. The measure would grant enforcement standing to residents and non-profit entities.” -Initiative 610 Summary, 1994-03-29

Hands Off Washington Whatcom County Coalition Council was a county branch of the state-wide HOW project. Originally, this branch encompassed only Whatcom County, but in 1995, it incorporated both Whatcom and Skagit Counties. This branch contributed to the statewide effort to oppose discriminatory initiatives and prevent them from getting on the ballot. Through community involvement, strategic planning, fundraisers, and a public education campaign, the initiatives never received the necessary signatures to appear on the ballot. Initiatives 608 and 610 reappeared a year later as initiatives 166 and 167 only to fail for a second time, like their predecessors. In 1995, HOW mobilized a campaign to put their own gay rights initiative on the ballot. However, it was shot down by legislators who claimed it was unconstitutional for citizens to vote on the civil rights of a minority. This right, opponents claimed, should be reserved for legislators. Two years later, HOW proposed another initiative, 677, which would have banned employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. This initiative, however, was voted on by Washington citizens and defeated. Unlike earlier defensive measures, this proactive approach received mixed support from the gay and lesbian community throughout the state. After this defeat, HOW ceased to be and changed their name to Equality Washington.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

These records contain documents relating to the Hands Off Washington (HOW) campaign in Whatcom County. These records span from 1988 to 1996. However, the bulk of the material ranges from 1994 to 1995. Contained in these records are administrative and financial records as well as a large amount of subject and reference material relating to gay and lesbian issues, but not specifically limited to either Whatcom County or Washington State. The campaigns against anti-gay rights initiatives such as 608 and 610 as well as 167 and 166 are very well documented in these records. They, however, contain less information concerning later issues such as HOW's gay rights initiative and the organization's dissolution.

The administrative records document both the coordination of meetings and committees of this organization and the financial, such as donations and expenditures. The meeting minutes include both steering committee agendas as well as executive council minutes. They deal with topics such as newsletter information, youth, campus and rural outreach, fundraising, local media monitoring, volunteer coordination, retreats, and events. These records also contain forms that HOW used for potential financial donors, members and general information gathering.

The newsletters, while not a complete run, nevertheless document the official position and news of this HOW branch. They span from July of 1994 to June 1996. Missing issues include July and November of 1995 and April of 1996. Also included in this series are a few other newsletters from other HOW county coalitions.

Speaker and workshop files record the training of both organizational members and educational speakers. Speaker training packets constitute the majority of this series; they contain question and answer sections, samples speeches, newspaper articles, speaking techniques and advice, and other resources pertinent for the training of HOW educational speakers. These files illustrate one method by which HOW ensured that discriminatory initiatives, such as 608 and 610, did not make it on the ballot. With the assistance of public speaking engagements along with public events, and education, they successfully prohibited these initiatives.

The most extensive of the HOW, Whatcom County Coalition Council records are the subject files. Subjects cover a wide spectrum of gay and lesbian issues from HIV/AIDS and sexual orientation research to supportive religious statements and other like minded organizations. HOW also amassed a wide variety of materials pertaining to oppositional organizations. These materials consist of both local and national organizations from conservative groups like Focus on the Family, Lynden Youth Action Coalition, Colorado for Family Values and Paul Cameron to Newt Gingrich, Militias, and other hate groups. Formats in this series include articles, pamphlets, newspaper and magazine clippings, emails, press releases, activity fliers, and other printed material. Subject files were maintained in the order that HOW originally utilized them. They are coded in parentheses from 100 to 1000 and arranged by subject.

The reference files are mostly articles, organized by title. They contain many of the same themes contained within the subject files. Articles such as “Ideas for Handling Distress Patterns and Attacks” and “Dealing with Homophobia” are found in these files. Similar to the subject files, the reference files contain information from and about conservative oppositional organizations. Opposition materials, such as “Violence and the Far Right” and “The Right’s Agenda,” make up the majority of the reference files. Also included in these files are various reports, workshop information, and newspaper clippings about gay and lesbian issues.

There is also ephemera which contain banners, buttons and stickers relating to HOW and their public outreach campaign. The audio visual material contains video tapes and audio cassettes of programs pertaining to gay and lesbian issues.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

Hands Off Washington, Whatcom County Coalition Council records, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Heritage Resources, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series I:  Administrative Records, 1989-1995 Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
Hands Off Washington Office Log
1995
1/2
Meeting minutes
1994-1995
1/3
Washington Citizens for Fairness/Hands Off Washington—Coalition Council
1994-1995
1/4
Treasury Files (1)
1995 July -1995 December
1/5
Treasury Files (2)
1995 January - 1995 June
1/6
Public Relations, Press Secretary Notebook
1994-1995
1/7
Washington Citizens for Fairness Affiliate
1995
1/8
HOW Steering Committee
undated
1/9
HOW Steering Committee—media monitoring
1995 January
1/10
Voter ID & Voter Targeting
undated
1/11
Model Field Plan Outline
1995
1/12
HOW/Washington Citizens for Fairness Information Request Forms
undated
1/13
HOW Endorsement and Monthly Pledge Form
undated
1/14
HOW Endorsement List
undated

Series II:  Newsletters,  1994-1996Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/15
HOW Newsletters
1994-1995
1/16
HOW Newsletters
1995-1996
1/17
HOW Newsletters-other branches
1995

Series III:  Speaker and Workshop Information, 1988-1995 Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/18
Decline to Sign Workshop
1995 June 10
1/19
Master Copies for Speakers
1994-1995
1/20
Speaker Bureau Lists and Questionnaires
1994-1995
1/21
Speaker Bureau Resource Manual
undated
1/22
Speaker Bureau Resource Manual
1992-1994
1/23
Speaker Information and Model Field Plan Outline
undated
1/24
Speaker Packet
1994-1995
1/25
Speaker Packet
1994
1/26
Speaker Training
1994
1/27
Speaker Training packet
1994
1/28
Training Packet (Seattle Office)
1994
1/29
Workshop Informational kit
1988-1993
1/30
Workshop Informational kit
1988-1993

Series IV:  Subject Files, 1989-1996Return to Top

The number in parentheses is the filing system that Hands Off Washington, Whatcom County Coalition Council used in the organization of their records.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
2/1
HOW State Information (100)
undated
2/2
Masters HOW/Washington Citizens for Fairness Generated Forms and Graphics (200)
undated
2/3
Relevant Information Initiatives 166 &167 (201)
1995
2/4
Resources (205)
1993
2/5
Action Alert (207)
1993-1995
2/6
HOW Initiative (208)
1993-1995
2/7
Initiative Process (210)
1995
2/8
Letters to the Editor and Columns (211)
1993-1995
2/9
Publicity Ideas (212)
1994
2/10
House Bill 1171 (214)
undated
2/11
Internet Lists (255)
1994-1995
2/12
Media Watch –Washington State (301)
1993-1995
2/13
Rural Issues/Strategies (302)
undated
2/14
1994 November Elections – Endorsements/Results (303)
1994
2/15
Political Cartoons (304)
1994
2/16
Past Proposed Legislation (Old) Texts (306)
1994-1996
2/17
House Bill 1443 (305)
1994
2/18
Initiatives 608 & 610 – Clippings and Articles (307)
1994
2/19
Miscellaneous States (400)
1994-1995
2/20
Colorado (404)
1995
2/21
Idaho (405)
1993-1995
2/22
Ohio (406)
1993-1995
2/23
Oregon (407)
1993-1995
2/24
Understanding The Religious Right: General (501),
1994-1995
2/25
Understanding The Religious Right 2: General (501)
1994-1995
2/26
Militias (500)
1994-1995
2/27
Paul Cameron (540)
1994
2/28
Citizens Alliance of Washington (550)
1994
2/29
Colorado For Family Values (553)
1994-1995
2/30
Focus on the Family Colorado (554)
1994
2/31
Gingrich, Newt (555)
1995
2/32
Equal Rights Not Special Rights; Initiative 608 & 166 (556)
1994-1995
2/33
Youth Action Coalition Lynden – The Smalls (559)
1994
2/34
Lynden (561)
1994
2/35
Concerned Women for America (563)
1994-1995
2/36
National Legislation (700)
1994-1995
2/37
Affirmative Action (701)
1994-1995
2/38
Educational Issues (703)
1995
2/39
Employment Non-discrimination Policy –Federal (705)
1993-1994
2/40
Job Discrimination (706)
1993-1995
2/41
National News Hate Crimes (707)
1994-1995
2/42
Military (708)
1993-1995
2/43
Visual Media (709)
1994-1995
2/44
Aids/HIV (801)
1991-1995
2/45
Civil Rights Constitutional Issues (802)
1993-1995
2/46
Countering Homophobia—Questionnaire Regarding Lesbians and Gays (802)
undated
3/1
Hate Crimes – Violence (804),
1993-1995
3/2
Families (805)
1994-1995
3/3
Gay Income (806)
1994
3/4
Marriage (807)
1994-1995
3/5
Symbols and Iconography (808)
1994
3/6
Domestic Partner Benefits (809)
1991-1995
3/7
Religious Statements – Supportive (811)
1994-1995
3/8
Gay Youth (812)
1993-1995
3/9
Sexual Orientation Research (813),
1992-1996
3/10
Heroes (815)
1993-1995
3/11
Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) (900)
1995
3/12
Human Rights Task Force Whatcom County (900),
1994-1995
3/13
Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment (NWCAMH) (902)
1994-1995
3/14
Human Rights Campaign Fund (903)
1994-1995
3/15
Ex-Gays (904)
1994-1995
3/16
Newsletter Ideas (1000)
1994
3/17
International News (1100)
1994

Series V:  Reference Files,  1989-1996 Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
3/18
“51 Leadership Principles to Remember” article
undated
3/19
Action Kit: Fight the Right
undated
3/20
Acts, Bills, Initiatives
1993-1995
3/21
The Advocate July, October, and November
1992
3/22
“Anti-Gay/Lesbian Violence Fact Sheet”
1993 February
3/23
Bigot Busters
1994-1995
3/24
“Breaking Isolation” article
undated
3/25
Cameron, Paul
undated
3/26
Child Abuse Statistics
undated
3/27
Citizens Alliance of Washington (CAW) information sheet
undated
3/28
Citizens Alliance of Washington (CAW) Statement of Principles
undated
3/29
“Civil Rights, Special Rights and Our Rights” article
undated
3/30
Coalition for a Livable Washington
1994
3/31
Concerns shared by both sides
1992
3/32
“The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and Homosexuals: Rewriting the Moral Tradition” article
1992 September 12
3/33
“The Covert Crusade” article
undated
3/34
“Dealing with Homophobia” information sheet
undated
3/35
Dignity Report 3 no. 1 and 2
1995
3/36
“Divisions that Kill” article
undated
3/37
Fight the Right: March on WA Edition; Oregon Speak Out Project
undated
3/38
General State Legislative Information
1994
3/39
General Newspaper Clippings
1993-1996
3/40
Hands Against Hate fliers
undated
3/41
“How the Right Stirs Black Homophobia” article
1993
3/42
Humor and Reassurance
1995
3/43
“Ideas for Handling Distress Patterns and Attacks” article
undated
3/44
Information kit Opposition and Organization (1 of 2)
1989-1992
3/45
Information kit Opposition and Organization (2 of 2)
1989-1992
3/46
Initiative 166 & 167; 608
1995
3/47
“Lesbian and Gay Families Issues Fact Sheet”
1993 February
3/48
Local Newspaper Clippings
1993-1995
3/49
Local Opposition Information
1994-1995
3/50
The New Republic: Straight America/Gay America
1993 May 10
3/51
“The New Right” article
undated
3/52
Newspaper and Magazine Clippings
1995
3/53
Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment (NWCAMH), Manual “Organizing Against Bigotry”
1995
3/54
Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment (NWCAMH), Newsletter “Northwest Beacon”
1994-1995
4/1
Northwest Imperative
1994
4/2
Opposition Watch
1994
4/3
Peace Work: Violence, Nonviolence, and the 20th Century #232
1993
4/4
“The Price of Democracy,” undated Public Education/Commodity Organization"
1992
4/5
Public Education/Community Organization
1992
4/6
Raising Hell: A Citizen’s Guide to the Fine Art of Investigation
undated
4/7
Reading List: Homosexuality and Christianity Positive Views
undated
4/8
Re-evaluation Council
undated
4/9
“Report of the Secretary’s Task Force on Youth Suicide,”
1989 January
4/10
Resource Notebook I
1989-1994
4/11
Resource Notebook III
1994
4/12
“The Right’s Agenda” article
1994
4/13
Side by Side
1993
4/14
“Spotlight on the Liberty Lobby” Covert Action 50
undated
4/15
Stealth Campaign article
undated
4/16
“Summary of Discussion Points Traditional Values Coalition Videotape ‘Gay Rights/Special Rights,” Fall 1993 and “Lesbian Baiting and Gay Baiting: How Homophobia is a Tool of Sexism,” undated
1993 and undated
4/17
Supportive Denominational Statements
undated
4/18
“Violence and the Far Right” article
undated
4/19
Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs
1993 January – June
4/20
The Gay and Lesbian Address Book
1995

Series VI:  Audio/Visual Material , 1994-1996 Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Subseries 1: Video Cassettes
1996
Box/Folder
4/21
Gay Agenda
1996 May 15
4/22
In the Life
undated
4/23
Straight from the heart
undated
Subseries 2: Audio Cassettes
1994-1996
Box/Folder
4/24
Bonnie Lou and Robert Hawkins; Domestic Partnership on Campus
1995 June 5; 1994 November 11

Series VII:  Ephemera Material, 1995Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
4/25
Posters, Pamphlets, Buttons and Banner
undated
4/26
Bumper Stickers
undated
4/27
HOW Activity Fliers
1995