Gay rights pioneer to be honored on Capitol Hill

November 15, 2011 - 5:55 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny, who died last month, is being honored with a Capitol Hill memorial service.

Members of Congress and U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry are scheduled to honor Kameny with a service at the Cannon House Office Building on Tuesday.

Kameny died Oct. 11 in his Washington home. He was 86.

Kameny is credited with staging the first gay rights protests in front of the White House and Philadelphia's Independence Hall. He had been fired from his job as a government astronomer for being gay. Kameny took that case to the Supreme Court 50 years ago.

The memorial service marks the 50th anniversary of Kameny's co-founding of the Mattachine Society of Washington, considered the first gay rights group in the nation's capital.