NCLR Mourns the Loss of Dr. Frank Kameny

October 11, 2011

(San Francisco, CA, October 11, 2011)—One of the most prominent leaders of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality movement—Dr. Frank Kameny—passed away at his Washington D.C.-area home today. He was 86.

In 1957, Kameny was dismissed from his position as an astronomer in the Army Map Service because he was gay, motivating him at the time to become a leading voice in the movement for equality and justice. He protested his firing and appealed his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, becoming the first known gay person to file a gay-related case before the high court.

Although the court denied his petition, the decision prompted Kameny to devote much of his life to LGBT advocacy.

Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.:

“Frank Kameny is among a small group of brave and uncompromising men and women without whom the modern civil rights movement for LGBT equality would have faltered. At a time when most lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals lived deeply shadowed and closeted lives, he stepped into the bright glare of public scrutiny and hostility and demanded respect and cultural evolution. It is fitting that his passing would happen on Coming Out Day. Were it not for his coming out, many of us would still be living a lie.”

Media Contact:

NCLR Communications Director Erik Olvera | Office: 415.392.6257 x324 | EOlvera@NCLRights.org


NCLR Mourns the Loss of Longtime LGBT Leader and Visionary, Paula Ettelbrick

October 7, 2011

(San Francisco, CA, October 7, 2011)—Today, we mourn the loss of a fearless leader and visionary in the  movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality—Paula Ettelbrick. She was 56.

Over the course of her career that spanned more than two decades, Ettelbrick worked for a number of organizations to further LGBT equality, including the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (serving as policy director from 1993-1994), the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Empire State Pride Agenda, and the Stonewall Community Foundation.

Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell:

“Paula was possessed of singular intelligence, integrity, ferocity and wit. She was also unfailingly generous and open-hearted.  She will be missed as a tireless advocate of the most disenfranchised. But at this moment what I miss most is her passionate and inspiring friendship. We wish her family, especially Marianne, Suzanne, Adam, and Julia, much love and comfort at this very difficult time.”

Media Contact:

NCLR Communications Director Erik Olvera | Office: 415.392.6257 x324 | EOlvera@NCLRights.org


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