Gay Rights Pioneer Frank Kameny Honored on Thursday

Died at age 86

Thursday, Nov 3, 2011  |  Updated 11:17 AM EDT
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President Barack Obama hands the pen to Frank Kameny, gay rights activist, during a signing ceremony for a presidential memorandum that provides some benefits to the same-sex partners of federal government employees in 2009.

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One of the central figures of the gay rights movement will be remembered and honored on Thursday.

Dr. Frank Kameny will lay in state at the Carnegie Library on Mount Vernon Square from 3 to 8 p.m.

He died on October 11 at the age of 86.

Kameny helped pioneer the gay rights movement in 1957 when he was fired from his job at the Army Map Service because he was gay.  He sued, and the discrimination suit went all the way to the Supreme Court.

Kameny ultimately lost, but his case was the first civil rights claim based on sexual orientation and eventually paved the way for the fight for equality.

In addition to the public viewing, Kameny received another honor posthumously.

The National Park Service placed his home on the National Register of Historic Places.

They released a statement saying the home served as “a meeting place, archives, informal, counseling center, headquarters of the Mattachine Society, and a safe haven for visiting gay and lesbian activities.

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