Clarenbach House Dinner Social
 
LGBT Senior Alliance Winter Dinner Social
Legacy of the Clarenbach House
Thursday, February 15th, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Madison Senior Center, 330 W Mifflin St

 

Join us on Thursday, February 15th, for a catered dinner at 6:00 pm, followed by an engaging presentation at 6:30 pm by historian Gary Tipler on the accomplishments of Clarenbach and other young men and women who undertook ground-breaking work resulting in LGBTQ civil rights work and legislation at the city and county level in the 1970s and 80s

The house at 123 West Gilman Street is significant in Madison, in Wisconsin, and in the nation for the advancement of civil liberties, particularly gay and lesbian rights, and was a center of a network of young people who were self-identified as gay, lesbian or bi-sexual, and involved in progressive politics and community activism from the July 1973 through May 1987.

Jim Yeadon lived at 123 West Gilman from fall 1976 to September 1977 and became the first openly gay elected official in Wisconsin and was only the fourth in the nation. After helping forge a new ordinance to include protection for additional classes of discrimination, he served on the Equal Opportunities Commission, then was elected to the 8th District seat of the Madison Common Council.

Martha Crawford and Lisa Wuennenberg organized meetings of the fledgling Women's Transit Authority, a free nighttime rape prevention service for women organized in 1973, by holding volunteer meetings at the house. Martha Crawford and Steve LaVake with the leadership of Carol Wuennenberg organized meetings around the "saving the Y", the Brooks Street YMCA, and developing community use and housing. Early tenants of the re-programmed University Y included the Lesbian Switchboard and the Main Course, Madison's first vegetarian restaurant.

From 1977-1982 David Clarenbach, 78th District State Assembly Representative, took up residence. He was primarily responsible for the passage of the first state law in the country (1982) prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation. He also accomplished the majority of work on the Consenting Adults law, which was signed into law by Governor Tony Earl in 1983.

From 1982-1987 as the residence of Dane County Supervisor Lynn Haanen and later Earl Bricker and Kevin Topper it was the scene of political organizing for LGBT efforts for county board business, notably pertaining to opposing the Family Protection Act. Also noteworthy were Haanen and Bricker's activities ancillary to their work in Gov. Tony Earl's office of constituent services; Bricker's work in Tony Earl's Council on Lesbian & Gay Issues; election campaign planning and activities for campaigns, including those of Haanen, Bob Kastenmeier, Anne Monks, Governor Tony Earl's re-election campaign and Tammy Baldwin's first run for Dane County Board supervisor.

The people who lived at 123 West Gilman, individually and collectively along with their networks of politically active friends and neighbors enriched the political environment, changed the outcome of governance locally and statewide, as well as, contributed to the advancement of civil rights locally, statewide, at the national and international levels.

The activities occurred during a time when the growth of a social movement relied on, and was strengthened by, proximity and in-person communication among friends and neighbors -- an integral part of community building and interaction. That level of neighborhood intimacy and interaction would not easily happen today.

A suggested donation of $10 is requested. For more info, phone Steve or Angie at OutReach 608-255-8582.
E-mail angier@lgbtoutreach.org