WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 24, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), alongside Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez and other officials, will speak at the induction of Frank Kameny into the Department of Labor’s Hall of Honor today, Tuesday, June 23, 2015, at 3:00 p.m., at the Department of Labor’s Frances Perkins Building (200 Constitution Ave NW). Norton said her friend Frank Kameny was a once-in-a-generation human rights leader and pioneer of the national and local LGBT community. Kameny was instrumental in ending the federal government’s discriminatory employment practices based on sexual orientation. Norton spoke at the Capitol Hill and the District of Columbia memorial services for Kameny after he passed away in 2011. Norton also introduced a congressional record statement honoring Kameny’s life’s work in fighting injustice against the LGBT community.
“Frank Kameny was a District of Columbia citizen to be reckoned with, and he led his own city and the nation to the better place of recognizing the humanity of the LGBT community,” Norton said. “He did it with equal portions of wit and determination after being fired from the federal service because of his sexual orientation. Above all, Frank understood the universality of human rights. His pioneering work for the right to be free from discrimination because of one’s sexual orientation will now rightfully be honored alongside the nation’s labor and civil rights champions.”
A World War II veteran with a PhD from Harvard, Kameny was fired from his job as an astronomer at the Army Map Service in 1957 because he was gay. Kameny devoted the rest of his life to building the LGBT movement, living to see gay Americans granted security clearances by the federal government and receiving an apology from the Office of Personnel Management, the successor agency to the Civil Service Commission, which fired him for being gay.