Frank Kameny

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Frank Kameny

Frank Kameny in June 2010
Born Franklin Edward Kameny
May 21, 1925(1925-05-21)
New York City, New York, US
Died October 11, 2011(2011-10-11) (aged 86)
Washington, D.C., US
Nationality American
Alma mater Queens College, Harvard University
Known for Fired by US government in 1957 for being gay
Co-founder of Mattachine Society, Washington D.C.

Franklin Edward "Frank" Kameny (May 21, 1925 – October 11, 2011)[1] was an important person in the American gay rights movement.[2][3]

Early life[change | change source]

Kameny was born on May 21, 1925 in New York City, New York. He studied at Richmond Hill High School and at Queens College.

1957 incident[change | change source]

In 1957, Kameny was fired from his position as an astronomer in the U.S. Army's Army Map Service in Washington, D.C. because of his homosexuality.[4] This helped him to begin "a Herculean struggle with the American establishment" that would help a rights movement of the early 1960s for homosexuals.[5]

Kameny protested his firing by the U.S. Civil Service Commission due to his homosexuality, and argued this case to the United States Supreme Court in 1961.[6] Although the court denied his petition, it is notable as the first civil rights claim based on sexual orientation.[7]

Death[change | change source]

Kameny died on October 11, 2011 in Washington, D.C. from heart disease. He was 86 years old.[8]

Legacy[change | change source]

Following Kameny's death, the giant rainbow flag on the tall flagpole at the corner of Market Street and Castro Street in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco was flown at half-staff for 24 hours beginning on the afternoon of October 12, 2011 at the request of the creator of the rainbow flag, Gilbert Baker.[9]

On November 2, 2011, Kameny's house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[10][11]

On July 3 2012, Minor Planet (40463) Frankkameny was named in Kameny's honor by the International Astronomical Union and the Minor Planet Center.[12][13][14][15][16][17]

References[change | change source]

  1. David W. Dunlap (October 12, 2011). "Franklin Kameny, Gay Rights Pioneer, Dies at 86". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/13/us/franklin-kameny-gay-rights-pioneer-dies-at-86.html?_r=1&ref=deathsobituaries.
  2. Bullough, Vern L. (2002), Bullough, Vern L., ed., Before Stonewall: Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Historical Context, New York: The Haworth Press, pp. 207, ISBN 1-56023-193-9
  3. Longtime gay activist Frank Kameny passes on
  4. Chibbaro Jr., Lou (2006-10-04). "Kameny's work finds new home". Washington Blade. https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.thetaskforce.org/TF_in_news/06_1012/stories/34_WashBlade_Kameny.pdf. Retrieved 2008-03-28.
  5. Johnson, David K. (2002), "Franklin E. Kameny (1925-)", in Bullough, Vern L., Before Stonewall: Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Historical Context, New York: The Haworth Press, pp. 209–218, ISBN 1-56023-193-9
  6. USA Today: Gay rights epicenter named landmark
  7. Gaynair, Gillian (06-08-2009). "DC pride festival honors gay rights pioneer Kameny". Associated Press. http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2009312960_apuscapitalpride.html. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
  8. Medical Examiner says Kameny died of heart disease
  9. –"Gay Pioneer Frank Kameny Dies" by Bob Roehr—Obituary in the Bay Area Reporter October 13, 2011
  10. National Register to Accept Kameny House
  11. Mark Meinke (July 22, 2006). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Dr. Franklin E. Kameny Residence" (PDF). National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/feature/weekly_features/2011/KamenyResidence.pdf. Retrieved 2011-11-22. (__ pages, with __ figures and __ photos)
  12. "Minor Planets Circular 79711" (PDF). Minor Planets Center. July 3, 2012. http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/ECS/MPCArchive/2012/MPC_20120703.pdf. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  13. US: Gay rights campaigner Frank Kameny has asteroid named for him, Pink News, 10 July 2012
  14. Asteroid between Mars, Jupiter named for US gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny, The Washington Post, July 10, 2012
  15. Brett Zongker, Asteroid named for gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny, Business Week, July 10, 2012
  16. Andrew Davis, Canadian names asteroid for Kameny; Anderson Cooper inspires Chinese, Windy City Times, 2012-07-10
  17. Freya Petersen, Canadian astronomer names asteroid after gay rights activist, Alaska Dispatch, July 11, 2012

Other websites[change | change source]