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Jean Huffey papers

Identifier: IWA0303

Scope and Contents

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.


  • 1989-2006


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical / Historical

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.


10.00 linear inches


Substitute schoolteacher; active in PFLAG.

Method of Acquisition

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

Other Descriptive Information
Sarah Freed, 1997; June Silliman and Sharon Lake, 2007.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)