Sunday, June 13

Pride Month: Google Doodle celebrates American gay rights activist Frank Kameny

New Delhi: Celebrating Pride Month, Google on Wednesday (June 2) dedicated its Doodle to American gay rights activist Frank Kameny.

Google honoured Kameny for “courageously paving the way for decades of progress”.

Franklin Edward Kameny, astronomer, veteran, was one of the most prominent figures of the U.S. LGBTQ rights movement. He was born in Queens, New York, on May 21, 1925. At the age of 15, he enrolled in Queens College to study physics.

He served in the army during World War II and upon his return to the U.S. obtained a doctorate in astronomy at Harvard University. In 1957, Kameny joined the Army Map Service as an astronomer, but he was fired just months later based on an order which barred members of the LGBTQ community from federal employment.

In return, Kameny sued the federal government and in 1961 filed the first gay rights appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Known for fighting for the equal rights of the LGBTQ community, Kameny organized one of the country’s first gay rights advocacy groups.

In the early ‘70s, he also successfully challenged the American Psychiatric Association’s classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder.

Over 50 years after his dismissal, Kameny received a formal apology from the U.S. government in 2009.

In June 2010, Washington D.C. named a stretch of 17th Street NW near Dupont Circle “Frank Kameny Way”. Kameny died in 2011 at the age of 86.

Pride Month is celebrated each year in the month of June to honour the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan.

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