Kameny archive on public show

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UPI File Photo taken on May 19, 1965 | 14195

Documents from gay rights history are on display for the first time at the Library of Congress as part of an exhibit on the nation’s constitutional history and civil rights protections. The documents come from gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny, who was fired as a government astronomer in 1957 because he was gay. The exhibit includes Kameny’s 1961 petition to the U.S. Supreme Court contesting his firing. The documents were placed on view at the end of April in an exhibit called “Creating the United States,” which traces the evolution of the nation’s founding documents and legal framework. The Kameny Papers Project which donated about 50,000 items to the library in 2006.

Frank Kameny attending a naming in his honour, 2010 | Sarah L. Voisin/Washington Post | 14196

The library is also displaying a 1966 letter from the head of the U.S. Civil Service Commission under President Lyndon B. Johnson, justifying the firing based on the “revulsion of other employees.” It was introduced last year as evidence in the battle over gay rights in California to show a long pattern of treatment by the federal government.


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