Gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny was honored Tuesday with a Capitol Hill memorial service, gay weekly the Washington Blade reported.

Kameny, who died last month at the age of 86 of natural causes in his Washington D.C. home, was fired by the United States government because he was gay. The instance prompted him to co-found the Mattachine Society of Washington, one of America's earliest gay rights groups. He is also credited for coining the phrase “Gay is good.”

The November 15 service coincided with the 50th anniversary of Kameny's co-founding of the Mattachine Society.

Kameny was memorialized in the same room where the House Un-American Activities Committee once targeted gays in 1968.

“Frank broke the silence,” U.S. Office of Personnel Management director John Berry told the crowd. “We have lost one of the great champions of truth.”

Berry credited Kameny for paving the path for him to become the highest ranking openly gay person in the Obama administration.

“His life cleared the path that I and countless others followed into public service,” he said.

Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, who is openly gay, said Kameny had served as a role model for him.

Also attending the service were U.S. Reps. Jared Polis of Colorado, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and David Cicilline of Rhode Island.

“Frank didn't live to see our dream of full equality for LGBT Americans,” said Balwin, who is openly lesbian. “It is up to all of us to pick up the trail where he left off.”