I thought it would be most appropriate in this newspaper to express my deepest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Dr. Frank Kameny. Dr. Kameny, who passed away on Oct. 11, was a leading figure in the LGBT movement and remained a strong advocate for equality up until his death.
Dr. Kameny’s contributions to the gay rights movement here in D.C. and around the country simply cannot be overstated. Dr. Kameny, who lost his federal government job due to his sexual orientation, not only risked everything for what he knew was right but also blazed a trail for those who came after him in an effort to lessen their struggle.
LGBT issues have been a major focus of mine ever since I joined the Council. As the District’s first elected official to support same sex civil marriage, I led the fight to repeal the District’s anti-sodomy law and fought hard for the passage of domestic partnerships. I also co-sponsored the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act, leading to the passage of marriage equality in the District. In June 2010, I was pleased to join then-Mayor Adrian Fenty and other city and community leaders to rename a section of 17th Street in Dupont Circle “Frank Kameny Way,” which was only a small token of the honor Dr. Kameny deserves.
I will continue to work closely with the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit of the District’s Metropolitan Police Department to ensure that enforcement and education remain priorities of the department. I will continue to work with the U.S. Attorney’s office to make sure that hate crimes are identified quickly and criminals prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I will also continue to work with our Department of Health as we identify solutions to combat HIV/AIDS in our community, an issue of great importance to all District residents.
Dr. Kameny will be missed greatly, but his contributions and life’s work undoubtedly will live on. I have served Ward 2 with pride since 1991 and will continue to fight on behalf of the LGBT community to ensure that everyone enjoys equal rights and privileges.