Story at a glance

  • June is celebrated as LGBTQ+ Pride Month ahead of the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots.
  • In honor of Pride Month, Google replaced its logo on the search engine’s home page with a doodle of activist Frank Kameny.
  • Kameny, who was fired for his sexuality, fought for LGBTQ+ protections against discrimination.

Last year, the Supreme Court finally granted LGBTQ+ people protection against discrimination based on their sexuality or gender. The decision came 60 years too late for Frank Kameny, however, who filed the first gay rights appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1961. 

Kameny, an astronomer and LGBTQ+ activist, died in 2011 after a lifetime of fighting for gay rights and representation. In honor of Pride Month, Google replaced the company logo with a doodle of Kameny on the search engine’s home page.


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"Thank you, Frank Kameny, for courageously paving the way for decades of progress," the company said in a post

 

A veteran and an astronomer, Kameny was hired by the U.S. Army Map Service after returning from World War II and earning a master’s degree and a doctorate in astronomy at Harvard. Within months, however, investigators discovered his sexuality, which Kameny had kept hidden in the Army, and he was fired. 


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"Fortunately for millions of LGBTQ+ Americans who came after him, instead of giving up, Kamney would become one of the country’s foremost gay rights activists," said Google in a post on its Arts & Culture platform.  

The court refused to hear his case at the time, but Kameny kept fighting, later becoming the first openly gay candidate for the United States Congress and continuing to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. In 2009, the U.S. government formally apologized to him and a stretch of 17th Street NW in Washington, D.C., was named "Frank Kameny Way."

"So in a sense, it took 50 years, but I won my case," Kameny said at the time. "All I can say is from the long view, 50 years, we have moved ahead in a way that would have been absolutely unimaginable back then."


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Published on Jun 02, 2021