Frank Kameny Wiki
Frank Kameny Biography
Who was Frank Kameny?
Google Doodle marked the second day of Pride Month (June 2) by celebrating an astronomer, Frank Kameny, who lost his job due to homophobia and spent the rest of his life fighting discrimination.
Born in Queens, New York, Kameny began studying physics in college at just 15 years old, according to Google. After joining the military during World War II when he was 17 years old, he returned to the US in 1946 and completed undergraduate courses in physics, then earned a master’s and a doctorate in astronomy from Harvard. His research there focused on analyzing the light of stars and planets.
But in 1957, Kameny took a job using his astronomical skills for the U.S. Army Map Service.And then he was fired shortly after when he refused to answer questions about his sexual orientation, according to the National Park Service, which lists your home in Washington, DC on your registry of historic sites. He never got another full-time job with his scientific credentials, according to a biography included in agency documents.
How old was Frank Kameny?
May 21, 1925, New York, New York, United States
His legal objections to his job loss based on his sexual orientation are the first on government record.
Kameny fought poverty while protesting the loss of his job, culminating in a presentation to the Supreme Court, which rejected the case. His legal objections to the loss of his job based on his sexual orientation are the first on the government record.
At the time, homophobia was common and the federal government had anti-LGBTQ policies amounting to a “Lavender Scare”, paralleling the more notorious anti-communist Red Scare. Historians estimate that more than 5,000 federal employees lost their jobs due to these measures.
In particular, Kameny failed to comply with President Dwight Eisenhower’s Executive Order 10450, which included being gay, among many other factors, as potential security risks. At the time, the American Psychiatric Association also classified homosexuals as a mental illness. Kameny said the classification was based on “wretched, shoddy, sloppy, sordid pseudoscience” and “disguised moral, cultural and theological value judgments and camouflaged in the language of science without any of the substance of science.”
After losing his own court battle, Kameny became an activist and co-founded the Washington branch of the Mattachine Society, a gay rights organization, in 1961.
Frank Kameny seen at a reception hosted by President Barack Obama in 2009
“We make government reform one of our main goals,” Kameny said in an interview in 2003. Among other activities, the group organized pickets in front of the White House.
The Library of Congress now holds more than 55,000 documents relating to Kameny’s activist life, during which he coined the slogan “Gay is Good.” In 1971, he became the first candidate for Congress, when the District of Columbia first obtained a non-voting member. Using his own informal legal training and experience, he fought for others on the receiving end of Lavender Scare policies.
In particular, Kameny fought to reform discriminatory security clearance policies and military recruitment policies. He also lobbied the American Psychiatric Association to stop classifying LGBTQ identities as psychological conditions, which the association did in 1973. Federal employment discrimination based on sexual orientation was prohibited until 1998.
According to an obituary published in the Washington Post after his death in 2011, Kameny once thought about becoming an astronaut and said, “I could have gone to the moon.”
To date, no active astronauts in the NASA corps have publicly identified themselves as a member of the LGBTQ community. (Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, was identified after her death as a lesbian by her longtime partner; in 2019, active NASA astronaut Anne McClain was accused of improperly accessing her bank account. his ex-wife from space after their divorce).
Email Meghan Bartels at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.