October 12, 2011

Gay Rights Pioneer Franklin Kameny, 1925-2011

One of the first proponents of equal rights for gays and lesbians, Franklin Kameny of Washington DC died yesterday at his home.  He was 86 years old and there is a full obituary at the Washington Blade's website today.

In 1958, after being discharged from the Army for being gay, Kameny started fighting the fight and rounding up protestors in respectable ties and jackets to picket the White House for equal rights.   In a time when "homosexuals" were considered deviant and their activities criminal, Kameny took to the streets in the spirits of the '60s to make his case for equal rights.

I wrote about Kameny last year when he attended President Obama's signing of the bill to end the military's discriminatory policy against gays and lesbians. And it's amazing that he died just a couple weeks after witnessing the official end of that policy which made him an activist.  He was a true pioneer for equal rights for gays and lesbians.