WASHINGTON - Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, issued the following statement regarding the passing of GLBT rights activist Barbara Gittings:
"Barbara Gittings was a true pioneer for our community. From founding the New York chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis, our nation's first lesbian organization, in 1958, to campaigning to get homosexuality removed from the American Psychological Association's list of mental disorders, to advocating for the inclusion of GLBT topics in public libraries, Ms. Gittings' impact on the lives of GLBT Americans has been felt for nearly five decades.
"We mourn the loss of a courageous friend and fellow activist. We know that future generations of civil rights advocates will learn from the shining example Ms. Gittings set. Our thoughts and prayers are with her longtime partner, Kay Lahusen, and with the couple's families and friends."
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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