Today was the birthday of longtime Gay activist and historian FRANKLIN KAMENY. {d: 2011); Kameny lived in Washington, DC and remained active in Gay politics and community building until his death. In 2006 the Library of Congress formally accepted Kameny’s archives and collection of materials from his groundbreaking protests of the 1960s. It’s the first archive of its kind in the national library.

One of the most significant figures in the American Gay Rights movement, in 1957, Dr. Kameny was dismissed from his position as an astronomer in the Army Map Service in Washington D.C. because of his homosexuality, leading him to begin a herculean struggle with the American establishment that would transform the homophile movement and spearhead a new period of militancy in the homosexual rights movement of the early 1960s”.

In 1961, Kameny argued to the U.S. Supreme Court that a federal policy calling homosexuals a security risk was “no less odious than discrimination based upon religious or racial grounds.” It was the first civil rights claim in a U.S. court based on sexual orientation.