A federal magistrate has ordered the FBI to release thousands of documents detailing its surveillance of homosexual organizations since 1950, a civil rights attorney said Saturday.

The documents were sought in 1982 through the Freedom of Information Act by Dan Siminoski, who, at the time, was a political science and history professor at a Texas university and had planned to author a series of articles on the FBI's investigations of homosexual groups.In his ruling Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Ralph Geffen said the FBI's compilation of files on homosexual organizations was "based upon the anti-homosexual bias of the FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover," according to John Heilman, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Neither FBI officials nor the U.S. Attorney's Office could be reached for comment Saturday.