frank kamenyFrank Kameny, one of the most significant figures in the modern LGBT civil rights movement, has died, according to a report in the Washington Blade tonight.

In 1961 Kameny founded the Mattachine Society of Washington – one of the earliest LGBT rights organizations in the U.S. – pre-dating the Stonewall riots by nearly a decade.  Kameny’s activism sprang from his termination from a federal government position because of his sexual orientation.  He received an official apology from the federal government after President Barack Obama took office in 2009.

Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund President and CEO Chuck Wolfe issued the following statement tonight:

“We mourn the loss of a hero and a founding father of the fight to end discrimination against LGBT people.  Dr. Kameny stood up for this community when doing so was considered unthinkable and even shocking, and he continued to do so throughout his life.  He spoke with a clear voice and firm conviction about the humanity and dignity of people who were gay, long before it was safe for him to do so.  All of us who today endeavor to complete the work he began a half century ago are indebted to Dr. Kameny and his remarkable bravery and commitment.”