Lambda Rights Network Records, 1987-1993


Lambda Rights Network (LRN) formed in 1987 in response to the proposed Senate Bill 301/Assembly Bill 527, widely known as the "Rawhide Amendment" after its main proponent, the Rawhide Boys Ranch. This proposed legislation sought to exclude religious non-profits from Wisconsin's Fair Employment Law. Despite the efforts of LRN and other groups and individuals, the Wisconsin Legislature adopted the religious exemption in February 1988 (Assembly Bill 916). LRN incorporated in 1989 and continued operating until 1993. During this period, the group dedicated itself to promoting equality under the law in many areas: alternative families, criminal justice, health care, housing, political participation, and public accommodations. LRN sponsored "Community Speak Outs" that brought together public officials and members of the gay and lesbian community; held candidate forums for federal, state, and local races; gathered information about local hate crimes; met with public officials; and networked with other local gay and lesbian organizations. Additionally, LRN initiated a hotline to report incidences of violence against gays and lesbians, and conducted surveys to assess the needs of LRN members and the community as a whole.