Adele Starr, the founder of the Los
Angeles chapter of the support group Parents and Friends of Lesbians
and Gays (PFLAG), has died at 90 in California, the Los Angeles
Starr died in her sleep on Friday while
recovering from surgery in a hospital.
After her son Philip Starr announced
he's gay in 1974, Adele Starr began attending a support group that
would later become PFLAG.
She overcame her initial hostility to
her son's sexual orientation to become a leading ally in the gay
rights movement. In 1976, she founded the Los Angeles chapter of
PFLAG, and went on to become the group's first president in 1981.
“Adele Starr was one of the pioneers
of PFLAG,” Jody M. Huckaby, executive director of PFLAG, said in a
statement. “It is because of her commitment to organizing the many
people who were working for the common goals of equality for all into
the organization that we now know as PFLAG that we have gained the
strength, prominence and ability to become the voice of parent and
allies united for equality.”
Starr was a vocal supporter of gay
marriage. “We cannot understand those arrogant people who have
decided that a heterosexual lifestyle must be imposed on everyone and
that they have a monopoly on morality,” she and her husband Larry
wrote in a 1998 letter to The Times.
She is survived by her husband and
their five children.