December 22, 2010

News: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal signed by Obama today

This is a nice anecdote at the bottom of the New York Times article about the Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal signed this morning:

The audience for the ceremony included a who’s who of gay activists, among them Frank Kameny, who was fired from a civilian job as an Army astronomer in 1957 — an act that prompted him to found a gay rights advocacy organization in Washington D.C. and to file a lawsuit which went all the way to the Supreme Court. In 1965 he picketed the White House, in the first ever demonstration there by gays.

Now white-haired at 85, Mr. Kameny also served as an enlisted Army soldier; he signed up in May 1943, he said, three days before he turned 18, and saw “front line combat” in Germany during World War II. He said he was asked if he had “homosexual tendencies” and denied it. “They asked, and I didn’t tell,” he said, “and I resented for 67 years that I had to lie.”

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