The Schmooze

Gay Rights Pioneer Franklin Kameny Dies

Franklin Kameny, the pioneering gay rights leader whose Jewish identity inspired some of his historic activism, has died at age 86, the Washington Post reports.

As the Forward wrote last year in an 85th-birthday profile, Kameny “became a vocal activist at a time when other downtrodden and discriminated-against gay people scarcely dared to show their faces in public.” Rather than shrink from revealing his sexual orientation, Kameny “made it plain,” the Washington Post wrote.

Kameny’s death, on National Coming Out Day, occurred in a year in which gay men and lesbians were accorded the right to serve openly in the armed forces, as gay D.C. Council member David A. Catania told the Post last night. Through his efforts over the years, Kameny deserved to be known as one of the fathers of that shift from the policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” Catania told the Post.

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Gay Rights Pioneer Franklin Kameny Dies

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