Frank Kameny Hub

Frank Kameny Papers on Display for First Time at Library of Congress

If you are in D.C. you may want to swing by the Library of Congress, as a few papers from the collection of gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny have gone on display there, the AP reports:

Frank_kameny The library is showing Kameny's 1961 petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, contesting his firing. Though it was denied, Kameny's was the first petition to the high court for a violation of civil rights based on sexual orientation.

The library also is displaying a 1966 letter from the head of the U.S. Civil Service Commission justifying the firing based on the "revulsion of other employees." It was introduced last year as evidence in the battle over gay rights in California.

Also in the Library's possession are papers related to the American Psychiatric Association’s 1973 removal of homosexuality from its list of mental disorders and the landmark 1974 federal decision to grant an openly gay man a Pentagon security clearance, as well as materials Kameny used in marches and protests from 1965–1969.

No word on how much of it is on display.

(image wapo)

Frank Kameny In Front Row During Signing OF DADT Repeal Into Law

Brave gay rights activist Frank Kameny was front and center when President Obama signed the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" into law last week. CNN runs down on what Kameny has done for the gay rights movement over the last several decades.

6a00d8341c730253ef011571583194970b-pi A seat at the front of the audience was reserved for 85-year-old Frank Kameny, who attended wearing the Combat Infantryman Badge that he was awarded for his service in World War II. Kameny recalls his service fighting in the wake of the Battle of the Bulge by saying, "I dug my way across Europe slit trench by slit trench, practically."

But Kameny was not invited because of any heroism he demonstrated in World War II, but rather for a much greater act of courage than even that conflict had demanded of him. He was invited because it was Kameny who began the assault on the military policy of discharging homosexuals by leading a demonstration at the Pentagon in 1965.

Kameny succeeded to an astonishing degree. He led the fight for tactics such as public demonstrations, went on the attack against the Civil Service Commission for its policy of firing homosexuals and spearheaded an effort to get the homophile movement to take the position that homosexuality was not only not a mental illness but was on a par with heterosexuality. In 1968, he got the only existing national association of gay rights organizations to adopt as its slogan a phrase that Kameny had coined, "Gay Is Good." Kameny himself had been discharged from the Army Map Service in 1957 for being gay.

Story.carter_davidLast year, Kameny received an official apology from the White House Office of Personnel Management for firing him in 1957 because he was gay.

He's also received some much-deserved recognition from the city of Washington, DC. His home in that city has been declared an historic landmark and 17th Street has since been renamed Frank Kameny Way in his honor.

Towleroad Guide to the Tube #682

FRANK KAMENY: The gay rights pioneer turns on to the street recently named for him during the Capital Pride parade over the weekend.

A LETTER FOR OBAMA: Equality Florida's Nadine Smith did some activism at yesterday's White House LGBT Pride reception, delivering a letter to Obama about Florida's gay adoption ban.

GAY BLOOD DONATION BAN: Thomas Roberts seems to be the only one who has the facts right here.

AZ STATE SENATOR JOHN HUPPENTHAL: Schooled by student reporter.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

D.C. Street Named for Gay Rights Pioneer Frank Kameny


Two blocks of 17th Street NW have been renamed 'Frank Kameny Way' in honor of the gay rights pioneer, the Washington Blade reports:

Kameny "D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty was scheduled to preside over a ceremony and the installation of a new street sign Thursday to officially put in place the Frank Kameny Way street designation. The ceremony was to be part of a long list of events associated with Capital Pride, the city’s annual LGBT community celebration. The Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission, which has jurisdiction over the 17th Street strip near Dupont Circle, initiated the Kameny street designation earlier this year. According to ANC Commissioner Mike Silverstein, the commission voted unanimously to ask the city to designate as Frank Kameny Way a section of 17th Street between P and R streets, N.W. “We — and everybody else we talked to — thought this was long overdue,” Silverstein said. Kameny began organizing efforts to secure gay civil rights in the late 1950s after he lost his job as a civilian astronomer with the U.S. Army Map Service when authorities discovered he was gay. He founded the Mattachine Society of Washington in the early 1960s, the city’s first LGBT group. He is credited with playing a leading role in shaping the local and national LGBT rights movement for the next 40 years."

(top image via band of thebes)

Obama White House LGBT Stonewall Fete: Transcript, Guest List, Video


President Obama hosted 250-300 LGBT leaders in the East Room of the White House today, billed as a celebration marking the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion and Pride month. Obama acknowledged gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny, to whom the government recently apologized for firing in 1957, because he was gay. Obama was also interrupted, at one point (above), by a cell phone ringtone which quacked like a duck.

Obamalgbt3 On the issue of action toward his campaign promises, Obama said: "I know that many in this room don't believe that progress has come fast enough, and I understand that.  It's not for me to tell you to be patient, any more than it was for others to counsel patience to African Americans who were petitioning for equal rights a half century ago. But I say this:  We have made progress and we will make more.  And I want you to know that I expect and hope to be judged not by words, not by promises I've made, but by the promises that my administration keeps."

Transcript and list of guests, AFTER THE JUMP...

I'll add full video if and when it's available.


Continue reading "Obama White House LGBT Stonewall Fete: Transcript, Guest List, Video" »

Gay Rights Activist Frank Kameny Gets Apology from U.S. Govt

Yesterday, gay rights activist Frank Kameny received an official apology from White House Office of Personnel Management head, openly gay John Berry, for firing Kameny in 1957 because he was gay, the Washington Blade reports.

Kameny Said the letter, in part: “In what we know today was a shameful action, the United States Civil Service Commission in 1957 upheld your dismissal from your job solely on the basis of your sexual orientation,” the letter states. “… And by virtue of the authority vested in me as Director of the Office Of Personnel Management, it is my duty and great pleasure to inform you that I am adding my support … for the repudiation of the reasoning of the 1957 finding by the United States Civil Service Commission to dismiss you from your job solely on the basis of your sexual orientation. Please accept our apology for the consequences of the previous policy of the United States government.”

Read the full letter at the Blade.

Said Kameny: "Apology accepted."

In February, Kameny's home in Washington D.C. was declared an historic landmark:

"...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."

In 2007, Kameny donated more than 70,000 papers related to gay rights to the Library of Congress, inspiring a hate campaign by wingnuts. A few of his artifacts are now in the Smithsonian as well:

"[Protest signs], plus three campaign buttons, are now in the same case as Joe Louis's boxing gloves, near the glass closet that holds Jackie Kennedy's inaugural gown and in the same shrinelike exhibit...that also has Thomas Jefferson's writing desk and the ruby-red slippers that Dorothy wore on her way to meet the Wizard."


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