MSNBC host Rachel Maddow paid tribute to gay icon Frank Kameny during the Wednesday night broadcast of The Rachel Maddow Show.

Kameny 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 rights groups.

“What do you do when you're fired from your job for being gay and it's 1957?” Maddow rhetorically asked on the program. “If you are pretty much anybody other than Frank Kameny you do nothing, you try to get away from this scandal.”

“But if you are Frank Kameny, you fight it, you fight it all the way to the Supreme Court,” she said.

Kameny lost his fight when the high court decided against hearing his case.

“We all have decisions to make about how to live this one life we have,” Maddow added. “Frank Kameny's choices about how to live his life changed all of our lives, changed the world for all of us and forever.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)

(Related: White House calls Frank Kameny an American hero.)