LGBT advocacy group Equality Michigan has received a $3 million donation from co-founder Dr. Henry Messer, reports Lansing State Journal.
Messer, a neurosurgeon, gay rights activist and co-founder of Triangle Foundation, which merged with Michigan Equality to form Equality Michigan in 2010, died in February at the age of 86.
With his partner of more than 60 years Carl House, Messer was a lifelong LGBTQ activist who got involved in the movement after being discharged from the military during World War II.
Equality Michigan announced that more than $1 million was given directly to the statewide anti-violence and political advocacy organization to support policy and victim services work, while another $2 million went to the organization’s endowment.
In a statement, Joy Geng, vice chair of the Equality Michigan board of trustees, said:
"Henry [pictured far right with partner Carl House] was one of the most amazing people I have ever met, and one of my dearest friends. He dedicated his life to helping those most in need and did not just dream of a future where all LGBT people could live safely and openly, but committed his time, talent, and resources to making that dream a reality.
“Out of the tragedy that he did not live to see his dream fulfilled comes an historic opportunity for Equality Michigan to finish the work he started and make that dream come true for future generations. I am confident that our team will not let him down, and that his legacy will live on through the organization he loved so much for decades to come."