Scroll To Top
World

L.A. gay center
sues IRS over access to old documents

L.A. gay center
sues IRS over access to old documents

The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center has sued the IRS for copies of its original request for nonprofit status back in the early 1970s--files it claims are being withheld because they show a shameful history of antigay discrimination.

The suit was filed in U.S. district court on Tuesday and claims the IRS failed to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request. "As the center celebrates its 35th anniversary, we're especially interested in learning more about our history, including the federal government's blatant discrimination against the first openly gay organization to seek nonprofit status," Lorri Jean, the center's chief executive officer, said in a statement. "It is clear that the IRS is reluctant to release these documents because it does not want this shameful and discriminatory chapter in its history to be made public." The request for the documents was filed under the FOIA a year and a half ago, according to the center. In October 2005, FOIA officer Symeria Rascoe confirmed the documents were located and were being reviewed by the IRS Office of Collection Policy. However, the center has received no documents to date. The L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center was the first organization to use the word "gay" in its name to apply for nonprofit status. The IRS initially rejected the center's application to become a nonprofit organization, citing that it was not "organized and operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes." In August 1974 the federal agency reversed the decision and allowed the center to receive nonprofit organization status. However, the IRS only approved the status upon the condition that the center would not "contend that homosexuality is normal" and also that the center's "officers and directors are not avowed homosexuals." (The Advocate)

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories