Who is Frank Kameny? Google Doodle honours gay rights activist and astronomer

Gay rights activist spent life battling for LBGT+ equality

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Wednesday 02 June 2021 15:31
Who is Frank Kameny? Google Doodle honours honours gay rights activist

Google is replacing its homepage logo with a Doodle honouring American astronomer and gay rights activist Dr Frank Kameny to celebrate Pride Month.

Dr Kameny was born in New York in 1925 and saw combat during World War II.

In 1957, after stints at Harvard and Georgetown, he took a job as an astronomer with the Army Map Service but was fired just months later after being confronted over reports that he was a homosexual.

He was then banned from ever working for the federal government again, at the age of 32.

Dr Kameny in turn sued the federal government and in 1961 filed the first gay rights appeal to the US Supreme Court.

Although it was denied, it marked a lifelong battle for equal rights and he organised one of the country’s first advocacy groups for gay rights.

In the early 1970s Dr Kameny successfully challenged the American Psychiatric Association’s classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder.

And in 1975 the Civil Service Commission reversed its ban on LGBT+ employees.

Finally in 2009, 50 years after his firing, Dr Kameny received an official apology from the US government.

And in June 2010 Washington DC named a stretch of 17th Street NW as “Frank Kameny Way” in his honour. He died a year later at the age of 86.

“Thank you, Frank Kameny, for courageously paving the way for decades of progress!” said Google who posted the Doodle at the beginning of Pride Month.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments