Scope and arrangement
The papers of Morty Manford span the years 1962 to 1986 and chiefly document his activities as a leading gay activist and ideologist of the gay and lesbian rights movement. Included are correspondence with other gay activists, gay organizations, and politicians; name and subject files; writings by Manford and others on gay and other subjects; computer printouts; artifacts; and personal papers.
The Morty Manford papers are arranged in ten series:
With organizations and individuals involved in the gay and lesbian rights movement, city, state, and federal government departments and officials, and friends and relatives. The bulk of the correspondence reflects the development of the gay rights movement and the role that Manford played in it. Organized by year.
Included in this series are files of the Chelsea Gay Association, Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights, Gay Activists Alliance, Gay Community Services Center of Los Angeles, Gay Liberation Front of London, Gay Nazis, Gay People at Columbia, Lesbian Feminist Liberation of New York City, Maine Task Force, National Coalition of Gay Activists, National Gay Task Force, New York State Coalition of Gay Organizations, the Study Group, and other gay political groups, and non-gay organizations that supported the movement; files on topics of special interest to Manford and other gay men and lesbians, such as the changing attitudes to homosexuality, the episode of the television program, Marcus Welby, M.D., depicting the aftermath of the rape of a young boy by a homosexual, the ideological position of the Socialist Workers' Party on the gay movement, the stereotyping of gay men in American films, the mass murders in Houston, Texas in 1973, lesbian mothers and child custody, the Anita Bryant campaign against homosexuals, gay marriage, gay pride and the development throughout the country of organizations to help homosexuals come out, gay rights bills, especially in the New York City Council, and gay political strategy, and the Inner Circle affair, relating to the aftermath of a demonstration at which Manford was assaulted and which led to an important court case; files of leading activists in the gay rights movement such as Ethan Geto, Jean O'Leary, Jim Owles, Michele de Milly, Edward Egan, John Paul Hudson, Morris Kight, Sarah Montgomery (who was instrumental in the creation of Parents of Gays and Lesbians) and others; and files of gay and other publications including Advocate, Fifth Freedom, Insight On Ice, Oz, Radical Queen, and Us...,writings from prisons..
Titles of publications are italicized.
Includes articles by Manford on gay and other subjects such as bi-sexuality in the movement, the Jim Owles campaign for the New York City Council, the gay political movement in New York City, gay students at Columbia, a research project on homophobia, and a comparative study of Eugene Debs and Douglas Fraser. In this series there are also writings by others on gay and non-gay subjects such as Tina Crosby on the Stonewall riot, Arthur Evans on the oppression of gays, the screenplay of William Friedkin's film, Cruising, John Lauritsen and David Thorstad on the gay rights movement, and Marcia Tremmel's Marxist critique of the gay and feminist liberation movements.
The clippings and releases relate almost exclusively to gay subjects.
This material is shelved separately from the rest of the collection, and must be accessed using the Control Number provided in the Audio Name List. Many of the recordings were made by Manford using nonprofessional equipment and as a consequence the audio quality varies from tape to tape. The recordings include street talks with gays on the state of the movement; interviews with Tom Duane, Jean O'Leary, Sarah Montgomery, Ken Sherrill, Jim Shenton, and others; interviews and speeches at the National Gay Conference held in Chicago in 1972, at which one of the speakers was Dr. Benjamin Spock; marchers at the Coalition of Lesbian and Gay Rights march and rally, 1978; speech by, and interview with Doug Fraser, President of the United Auto Workers; interview on the Pat Collins radio show with Jeanne Manford, Jules Manford, and Sarah Montgomery concerning parents of gays; a taped telephone conversation between Manford and Mario Cuomo regarding the alleged homophobic and anti-Italian nature of the New York City Democratic Party mayoral primary race of 1977; a talk by Rosaline Davies on the difficulties facing lesbians who apply forth legal custody of children; a discussion about the Study Group by Lee Solomon and callers on radio station WBAI; and Manford speeches at the University of Texas-Austin, and the Gay Activists Alliance of New Jersey.
Statistical analysis of reactions to gays and a statistical survey relating to the Dade County, Florida vote in 1977.
T-shirts and balloons relating to gay subjects; eye patch; pink triangle armband; banner used in the Reno City Revolt, June 1970; shoulder patches; buttons.
Files relating to Manford's high school and college education, his law degree and preparation for the New York State Bar, and his employment. Photographs of Manford as a child, of his parents, and friends.