The White House on Wednesday called
Frank Kameny an American hero in mourning his death.
died in his Washington D.C. home on Tuesday. Authorities believe
he died in his sleep of natural causes. He was 86.
Kameny, who was fired in 1957 by the
United States government because he was gay, co-founded the
Mattachine Society of Washington, one of America's earliest gay
John Berry, the director of the U.S.
Office of Personnel Management, mourned the loss in a statement.
Berry is openly gay.
“Dr. Frank Kameny was an American
hero who transformed our nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender community (LGBT). His courage, his brilliance, his force
of will led to victory in a decades-long fight for equality. He
helped make it possible for countless patriotic Americans to hold
security clearances and high government positions, including me. And
in so doing, he showed everyone what was possible for every employer
in our country,” Berry wrote.
“He was known for being feisty and
combative, but he was also big-hearted. He honored me personally by
attending my swearing-in, and showed his ability to forgive by
accepting my official apology on behalf of the government for the sad
and discredited termination of his federal employment by the U.S.
Civil Service Commission, the predecessor of the agency I now head.
We presented and he accepted OPM's highest honor, the Theodore
Roosevelt Award, given to those who are courageous in defense of our
nation's Merit Principles.”
“I am grateful for his life, his
service to his nation in WWII, and his passion and persistence in
helping build a more perfect union. He was a great man, and I will
sorely miss him.”