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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Jean Huffey papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1989-2006
Creator: Huffey, Jean (1932-)
Extent: 10.00 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0303
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Substitute schoolteacher; active in PFLAG.

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 417) were donated by Jean Huffey in 1997 and subsequent years.

Preferred Citation: Jean Huffey papers, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason
Email: lib-women@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/iwa

Jean Boess Huffey, a school teacher, farm wife, and gay rights activist, was born to Delia and George Boess in rural Hawkeye, Iowa, in 1932. Jean Boess was raised on a farm and attended country schools. She received a teaching certificate from the Iowa State Teacher's College (now the University of Northern Iowa). In 1953, she married George Huffey, and, over the next ten years, the couple had six children. The Huffey family lived on a Century Farm in northeast Iowa near Waterville, Iowa. Jean Huffey was active in many organizations, including her Lutheran church, Old East Paint Church. After Huffey learned that one of her children was gay in the mid-1980s, she began to educate herself about homosexuality. The Huffeys became active in both Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and Lutherans Concerned, a group that advocates civil and social justice within the church. A major focus of Huffey's work has been to end discrimination against gays and lesbians within the Lutheran (and other Protestant) churches. In March 1996, Jean Huffey founded a chapter of PFLAG in Waukon, Iowa. Later, she joined Soulforce, an interfaith group working to end discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexual, and transgendered individuals within religious organizations. In 2001, Huffey attended the Lutheran Churchwide Assembly in Indianapolis where she and other Soulforce members engaged in direct action protests against the Lutheran church's policy requiring gay clergy to take a vow of celibacy.

The Jean Huffey papers date from 1989 to 2006 and measure 10 linear inches. The bulk of the papers consists of materials related to Huffey's work to secure greater social and legal rights for homosexuals, and especially to raise awareness within the Lutheran church. The papers include brochures distributed by PFLAG, the American Psychological Association, and Lutherans Concerned; correspondence concerning gay issues between Jean Huffey and various people, including one folder of correspondence with elected officials; letters to the editor, many written by Huffey; and newspaper clippings concerning gay issues. Also included are the March 1995 issue of Lutheran Woman Today, which reprinted an article by columnist Deb Price about Jean Huffey's struggle to come to terms with her child's homosexuality, and the June issue, in which readers responded to the Price article.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Biographical information (photograph)
  • Affirmation ceremony (photographs) - 1998
  • Allamakee Community Schools - 1998
  • Boycott - 1990
  • Brochures (folder 1)
  • Brochures (folder 2)
  • Brochures (folder 3)
  • Civil rights bills in US Senate - 1989-2005
  • Community Connections - 2006
  • Conference materials - 1991-2000
  • Correspondence (folder 1) - 1988-1999
  • Correspondence (folder 2) - 1988-1999
  • Correspondence (folder 3) - 1988-1999
  • Des Moines public schools - 1995
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA): Assembly in Indianapolis (photographs) (folder 1) - 2001
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA): Assembly in Indianapolis (photographs) (folder 2) - 2001
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA): Bishops - 1987-1996
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA): Correspondence - 1988-1993
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA): Lutheran Northwestern Theological Seminary - 1989
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA): Lutheran Social Service of Iowa - 1995
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA): Lutheran Woman Today - 1995
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA): Lutherans Concerned - 1989-1990
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA): Meetings and conferences - 1996
  • Box 2:
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA): Old East Paint Lutheran Church - 1993
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA): Ordination of Anita Hill - 2001
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA): Pastors' Forum - 1993
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA): Printed materials - 1987-1994
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA): Resolution on study of ministry - 1993
  • Gays in military - 1993
  • Hate sign (photograph) - 1998
  • Iowa House Joint Resolution 1 - 2005
    [defining marriage as a contract between a man and a woman]
  • Letters to the editor and newspaper clippings - 1992-2001
  • March on Washington (folder 1) - 1993
  • March on Washington (folder 2) - 1993
  • Newspaper clippings - 1989-1998
  • Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) - 1987-1998
  • Pat and Michael Maloney - 1996
  • Speeches - 1990-2000
  • Waukon school newspaper - 2001