Gay Activist Frank Kameny's Home Declared Historic Landmark
Gay rights activist Franklin Kameny's Washington D.C. home was declared a historic landmark yesterday:
"...not because of its gabled roof or side-hall plan, but because, for 13 fiery years, it was the epicenter of the gay rights movement in the nation's capital. It is the home of Franklin E. Kameny, 83, considered by academics and historians to be 'the father of gay activism,' according to the staff report by the Historic Preservation Review Board that recommended the designation. 'Today is D.C.'s recognition of his role, locally and nationally, in turning around discrimination against homosexuals,' said Mark Meinke, chairman of the Rainbow History Project and the driving force behind this architectural designation that has a far weightier social significance. Inside the house, Kameny led an unrelenting pursuit of equal rights for homosexuals long before Harvey Milk had even moved to San Francisco. A collection of Kameny's papers was admitted into the Library of Congress in October 2006, and some of his placards and buttons were put on display in the Smithsonian Museum of American History in 2007...The preservation board unanimously approved the designation yesterday. 'I think it will resonate well, not only with the whole gay community but with everybody,' said board Chairman Tersh Boasberg. 'Everybody will be able to appreciate how incredibly significant Dr. Kameny is.' It is unusual to designate a site as historic while its occupant still lives there."
The designation automatically nominates the site to be a nationally registered historic place.
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