Frank Kameny

IMG_1Frank Kameny was born May 21, 1925 in New York City. He obtained a B.S. in Physics from Queens College in 1948, a M.A. and Ph.D. in Astronomy from Harvard University in 1949 and 1956.

In 1957, Kameny commenced an 18 year effort to overturn the US Civil Service Commission ban on the employment of gays. In 1975, the ban was eliminated. President Clinton formalized that non-discrimination policy in Executive Order 13087.

Frank helped initiate gay activism in Washington in 1961. In 1963, he helped initiate the effort to reverse the classification by the American Psychiatric Association of homosexuality as a mental illness. In 1973, that classification was eliminated. In 1993, a law that Kameny drafted overturned the DC sodomy law. He helped organize the first annual demonstrations by gays and lesbians in 1965 through 1969 in Washington, DC, New York City and Philadelphia. In 1968, Kameny coined the phrase “Gay is Good”.

Franklin Kameny is recognized as the authority on security clearances for gays and lesbians. He handled many cases and was responsible for the 1975 reversal of the ban on security clearances for gays and lesbians. He worked with the American Bar Association on recommendations, which led to Clinton Executive Order 12968 banning anti-gay discrimination in the issuance of security clearances.
In 1971, Kameny ran for Congress from Washington DC as the second openly gay candidate for public office in the nation and the first for national office. The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington (GLAA) was formed from the nucleus of the campaign committee. He was also one of the founders of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF).

In 1975 and 1976, he helped found the Gay Rights National Lobby from which the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) was formed and the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club in Washington, DC. In 1981, Franklin Kameny was elected from Washington, DC Ward 3 as Delegate to DC Statehood Constitutional Convention.

Frank_Kameny_in_June_2009Kameny has published articles, book chapters, editorial commentaries and letters. He continues to be involved in a variety of gay-related issues and DC-related politics.

In June of 2010 Washington D.C. honored Dr. Kameny by naming a street along DuPont Circle at 17th St. NW “Frank Kameny Way” in honor of Dr. Kameny’s lifetime achievements.

Dr. Frank Kameny passed away on October 11, 2011 but in memorium he will always be listed as a member of the staff of LGBT-Today in spirit. Although the entire media failed to note it LGBT-Today was the only publication that Dr. Kameny wrote for exclusively during the last year of his life.

He will be missed.

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