U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein died
Thursday night. She was 90.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBTQ rights advocate, described Feinstein, the
longest-serving woman in the Senate, as a “champion for LGBTQ+
On Friday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck
Schumer, a Democrat from New York, opened the Senate with a moment of
silence for Feinstein.
“Dianne didn't just push down doors
that were closed for women,” he said. “She held them open for
generations of women after her to follow her.”
Feinstein played a key role in LGBTQ
In November 1978, Feinstein,
then-president of the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors,
announced the murders of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and
Supervisor Harvey Milk by a disgruntled former supervisor, Dan White.
Milk was California's first openly gay
elected official. Feinstein found Milk's body.
As the mayor of San Francisco, Feinstein
led the city at the height of the AIDS crisis.
In the Senate, Feinstein “amassed a
sterling record of support for the LGBTQ+ community,” HRC said in a
Feinstein voted against the Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA), the Federal Marriage Amendment, and “Don't
Ask, Don't Tell.” She was an original cosponsor of the Equality Act
and a lead sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which President
Joe Biden signed into law last year.
California Governor Gavin Newsom will
name her successor.