Frank Kameny’s legacy


Frank Kameny and members of the Mattachine Society at a gay pride march in 1970 | Joe My God | 14198

In 1961, astronomer Frank Kameny wasn’t able to get legal support from the American Civil Liberties Union when he was fired from his federal job for being gay. At the time, the laws in all 50 states made sodomy a crime, and the ACLU did not help him file a petition for cert, later turned down by the Supreme Court. … The Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund formed in 1973 to fight for legal rights for gays. At the same time, advocates lobbied law schools and groups like the ABA to adopt nondiscrimination policies. Law firms had to agree not to discriminate if they wanted to recruit at law schools, leading to new policies.

When the Supreme Court struck down a sodomy law in Lawrence v. Texas, large law firms and groups like the ABA supported the Lambda Legal challenge. … “Gay-rights supporters have transformed the law and the legal profession, opening the doors of law firms, law schools and courts to people who were once casually and cruelly shut out because of their sexual orientation.”



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