Frank Kameny brought the first civil rights claim in a U.S. court relating to sexual orientation (the Supreme Court rejected his petition in 1961) and ran for Congress as an openly gay candidate in 1971. He faced ridicule, assault and arrest. Although his early attempts at gaining equality were unsuccessful, they sparked more activism across the country. Today's vibrant, proud and vigorous LGBT community has leaders in the boardroom and the highest levels of government who follow the example he set. Kameny's fire burned exuberantly. His activism helped change the course of history and many lives. We can only hope more people like him will continue to eradicate injustice.
Parker, the mayor of Houston, is the first openly lesbian mayor of a major U.S. city