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Ernest L. Horne Papers

Identifier: UP001642

Scope and Content

The Ernest L. Horne Collection documents the activities of the gay and lesbian liberation movement in Detroit from 1984 through 1996, primarily through the records of three organizations: Association of Suburban People (ASP), South Eastern Michigan Gay and Lesbian Association (SEMGLA), and Detroit Area Gay and Lesbian Council (DAGLC). The collection includes minutes, financial reports, calendars of events, planning and activities, documentation of several years of the annual PrideFest Celebration, and related publications.

Important Subjects: Gay community—History—20th Century Gay liberation movement—Michigan Gay men—Michigan Gay rights—Michigan Gays—Michigan Homophobia Homosexuality—Michigan Lesbians—Michigan Michigan Organization for Human Rights Substance Abuse Violence

Series Description: Series I: Association of Suburban People (ASP), 1981-1985 Calendars of events; charter and bylaws; financial information, including articles of incorporation and proposed budgets; minutes; membership lists and directories; newsletters (beginning with June, 1983); promotional materials. Bulk of information is from the early 1980’s and demonstrates ASP’s prominence as a welcome social outlet for its members. ASP was regarded as a serious business endeavor by its members and was incorporated as a non-profit organization with an established charter and bylaws.

Series II: South Eastern Michigan Gay and Lesbian Association (SEMGLA), 1985-1988 Brochures and promotional material; financial reports; newsletters; personnel lists; notices for events; and a short biography of Ernest Horne when he ran for President of SEMGLA. Financial reports reveal SEMGLA’s support of its mission, to promote interaction through social activity and to support the civil rights of gays and lesbians. The Phone Tree Project is included which was created to monitor the defamation of gays and lesbians in the media. Ernest Horne served as treasurer for SEMGLA.

Series III: Detroit Area Gay and Lesbian Council (DAGLC), 1984-1996 Council and board meeting minutes from 1984-1995; calendars; business correspondence; tracking of constitution and bylaw development; and goals and purpose statements. Also included are financial statements from 1986-1996; membership lists and committees including the important Anti-Violence Task Force; Pride Fest planning under DAGLC guidance; and other DAGLC supported organizations, activities, and committees in the Detroit area. There are flyers promoting DAGLC social and fundraising events as well as promotional brochures. The financial records reveal a struggle for membership and income at times. These records also give insight into the types of social activities that were planned, to whom DAGLC donated, and the professional investment of its members into running the organization. Goal and purpose statements were worked and reworked until the gay or lesbian’s place in the community could be defined and the importance of unity among all gay and lesbian organizations established.

Series IV: Other Organizations, 1980’s-1990’s Events information, flyers, and promotional material for other gay, lesbian, and some general civil rights organizations in the Detroit area. Children’s Immune Disorder (CID), GLEAM, and Triangle are highlighted. Events and flyers include theatrical events, AIDS benefits, the 1993 March on Washington, DAGLC fundraisers, and newsletters from other organizations such as The Spare Tire and Dignity Detroit.

Series V: Publications, 1970’s-1990’s Event publications for the Detroit metro area such as CRUISE, Michigan Pride Guide, and the Greater Motown International Rodeo. Literature includes articles, newsletters, and reports on the status of gays and lesbians in society, from the viewpoint of religious organizations, gay pride, and civil rights issues. Also included is a report on homosexuality and recommended study guide for gays from the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. There is an official support statement on Gay Civil Rights by the National Gay Task Force, 1977.

Series VI: Clippings, 1970’s-1990’s 18 subject files relating to events and gay and lesbian issues in the news, mainly from the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News for the Detroit metro area. Subjects include but are not limited to AIDS, marriage, violence against gays, homosexuality in religion, gays in the military, and legislation.


  • 1975 - 2000
  • Majority of material found within 1987 - 1995


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Personal names in the collection are restricted from publication until 2019, unless released by permission of Phil O’Jibway or Ernest Horne.


Ernest L. Horne, a retired General Motors Research Laboratory Librarian and Archivist, has been a known activist in the Detroit gay civil rights movement since 1979, when he became a member of SEMGLA (South Eastern Michigan Gay and Lesbian Association). He was also a member of ASP (Association of Suburban People), an organization in which he served as Vice-President at least as early as 1983. With the DAGLC (Detroit Area Gay and Lesbian Council), he served as a delegate representing SEMGLA, then as Vice-President and chair, and later as President and board member for several years. He is presently (2009) a member of the Board of Advisors for the Triangle Foundation.

The modern gay and lesbian liberation movement began in New York’s Greenwich Village on the night of June 27, 1969, when gay and lesbian patrons of the Stonewall Inn violently resisted police harassment. Unjustified raids on gay establishments were common at that time and often resulted in beatings and arrests, but this was the first time patrons had dared fight back. Outraged crowds gathered on subsequent nights to protest the historical mistreatment of the gay community. Known as the Stonewall Rebellion, the uprising served as a catalyst for the evolution of gay and lesbian liberation movement.

With the motivating forces of the Stonewall Rebellion and the fertile ground for radical movement already established in Detroit, several gay and lesbian organizations sprang up in the 1970’s. Established in 1970, the Michigan Organization for Human Rights (MOHR) was one of the first. While created for the purpose of eliminating all discrimination, gay and lesbian rights were strongly emphasized.

The Association of Suburban People (ASP) was established sometime prior to 1979, defining itself as a “social and political rights organization for metro Detroit gay people”. With a goal to “advance and defend the legal and civil rights of persons whose sexual or affectional orientations have subjected them to social and legal discrimination “, they pursued social, athletic, and civic involvement programs, community education and continuing self-education, and social interaction. ASP changed its name to the South Eastern Michigan Gay and Lesbian Association (SEMGLA) in 1985, and was dedicated to social activities and political action. The Detroit Area Gay and Lesbian Council (DAGLC) was founded in 1981, as an umbrella organization and forum for the approximately 20-25 gay and lesbian organizations in metro Detroit. Each member organization was allowed two delegates to serve on DAGLC and council meetings were open to everyone. Following these early leaders, several other organizations developed in the 1980’s. Gay/Lesbian Educators of Michigan (GLEAM), a social support group for all educators, was established in 1988, and Affirmations Gay/Lesbian Community, dedicated to the development of positive self image, in 1989. The Triangle Foundation, established in 1991 as an outcrop of MOHR, survives today (2009). Dedicated to promoting the education, awareness, and understanding of the lives of gay men and lesbians, it also serves as an official reporting agency on anti-gay violence and hate crime.

An annual pride march and festival spotlighting the gay and lesbian experience and designed as a show of unity for and by all gay and lesbian members of the community, has been celebrated for many years. While the gay pride march in Detroit can be traced back to 1972, the first ‘officially recognized’ gay and lesbian march in Detroit took place in 1986, sponsored by MOHR. DAGLC took over in 1989 with the first Gay and Lesbian Pride Festival when MOHR moved its festivities to Lansing to garner the attention of legislators. In 1992, South East Michigan Pride sponsored and renamed the festival PrideFest Celebration, and then in 2002, Triangle Foundation took control and the Ferndale Festival remains known today (2009) as Motor City Pride.


4 Linear Feet (4 SB)


Ernest L. Horne, a retired General Motors Research Laboratory Librarian and Archivist, has been a known activist in the Detroit gay civil rights movement since 1979, holding membership and leadership positions in several area GBLT organizations. His papers document the activities of the gay and lesbian liberation movement in Detroit, primarily through the records of three organizations: The Association of Suburban People (ASP), South East Gay and Lesbian Council (SEMGLA), and Detroit Area Gay and Lesbian Council (DAGLC).


The Ernest L. Horne Collection is arranged into six series. Box 1 contains Series I, Series II, and part of Series III. Box 2 contains the rest of Series III, and all of Series IV. Box 3 contains Series V and approximately half of Series VI. Box 4 contains the remainder of Series VI. Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject and then chronologically by calendar year, unless otherwise noted.


The Ernest L. Horne Papers were first deposited at the Reuther Library in October, 1995, with a subsequent deposit in August, 2001.

Related Materials

Reuther Library Collections: Toni Swanger Papers; Detroit Commission on Community Relations/Human Rights Department Records; Detroit Feminist Women’s Health Center Records. University of Michigan, Bentley Library: Affirmations Lesbian/Gay Community Center Records; Triangle Foundation Records; Michigan Organization for Human Rights records; Daniel R. Sivil Papers; Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Collections: Periodicals


Select items were transferred to the Reuther’s Audiovisual Department: two oversize, hand painted DAGLC banners, a Pridefest ’90 poster, two photographs of artwork, an Ernie for President 1987-1988 badge; a 1993 Pewabic tile, and a Making Love movie poster.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Anne Johns and edited by Deborah Rice in August 2009.
Guide to the Ernest L. Horne Papers
Processed by Anne Johns.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA