Gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny on Tuesday was inducted into the U.S. Department of Labor's Hall of Honor.

Attending the ceremony were Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, Department of Defense Chief of Staff Eric Fanning and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).

Kameny, who died in 2011 at the age of 86 of natural causes in his Washington D.C. home, was fired by the United States government in 1958 because he was gay. He fought back, taking his case to the Supreme Court, which denied his petition three years later. The instance prompted him to co-found the Mattachine Society of Washington, one of America's earliest gay rights groups. He continued to fight for the federal government, the nation's largest employer, to end discrimination based on sexual orientation in its employment practices. Kameny is also credited for coining the phrase “Gay is good.”

“There's no question Frank was a strong personality, just a little bit opinionated and self-assured,” Perez said at Tuesday's ceremony. “But that's what made him an amazing activist. He would not lay down for injustice – because, he would say, 'I was right, they were wrong.'”

The department's Hall of Honor recognizes the contributions of men and women for the betterment of “work, workers and workplaces in America.”

Previous honorees include Cesar Chavez, Samuel Gompers, Mother Jones, Frances Perkins, Charles Walgreen, Helen Keller and Walter Reuther.