HRC Blog

Asteroid Named for LGBT Rights Pioneer Frank Kameny

Frank Kameny​Post submitted by Charlie Joughin, HRC Press Secretary

A Canadian astronomer who recently discovered a number of asteroids has named one after Frank Kameny, a pioneer of the LGBT rights movement. 

According to the Assocated Press:

When astronomer Gary Billings read Kameny’s obituary, he consulted with others in the astronomy world. They decided to submit a citation to the Paris-based International Astronomical Union and Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Mass. to designate Minor Planet 40463 as Frankkameny.

Kameny worked as a U.S. government astronomer in the 1950s until he was fired for being gay. He contested the firing all the way to the Supreme Court and organized the first gay rights protests outside the White House in the 1960s.  Dr.  Kameny led an extraordinary life marked by heroic activism that set a path for the modern LGBT civil rights movement. 

In 2006, Kameny was presented with the National Capital Leadership award at HRC's National Dinner. He said of the honor: "It's always nice to feel that the things that I've worked on have paid off to the extent where they're considered worthy enough to be recognized."

For more on Kameny's legacy, watch this video below from HRC's 2006 National Dinner:

H/T Associated Press

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