Legendary Gay Rights Activist Applauds D.C. | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Legendary Gay Rights Activist Applauds D.C.

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By Rebecca Sheir

A historic figure in the gay rights movement is applauding Washington's first same-sex marriages. But Dr. Frank Kameny says there's still work to be done.

In 1957, long before "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," Frank Kameny was fired from his position as an Army Map Service astronomer because he was gay.

Four years later, Kameny co-founded the Mattachine Society of Washington, one of the earliest LGBT advocacy groups in the U.S.

Kameny spoke at a news conference after some of D.C.'s first same-sex weddings were held.

"This represents a major victory," he said, "One that has been in the making for 35 to 40 years, although back then we never remotely thought it would really come to pass," says Kameny.

Kameny says other victories are in the making, but they'll require a lot of work. And as a man who helped overturn the American Psychiatric Association's definition of homosexuality as a mental illness, and who pressed the federal government to stop refusing security clearances to homosexuals, Kameny knows it's difficult, but not impossible to get the work done.

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