NEWS ARTICLE - APRIL 24TH, 2009
First Lady Michelle Obama was on hand for an event recognizing John Berry as the new Director of the Office of Personnel Management. Berry, the highest-ranking openly gay member of the Administration, took his oath of office before a crowd of 300 people this week.
In his remarks, Berry acknowledged Dr. Frank Kameny, who was in the audience. Kameny was dismissed from the federal civil service in 1957 solely based on his sexual orientation. With his dismissal, Kameny became an early organizer in the pro-equality movement. His actions ultimately led to the overturning of the federal civil service ban on gay employees. Read more REUTERS PICTURES U.S. first lady Michelle Obama applauds after John Berry (R) was sworn-in as the next director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management during her visit to the OPM in Washington April 23, 2009. daylife
The arc of history bent toward justice Friday when the Senate voted unanimously to confirm John Berry, an openly gay man, as director of the Office of Personnel Management.
OPM, formerly known as the U.S. Civil Service Commission, is the human resources department for 1.9 million federal employees, and was once responsible for scrubbing gays from the government -- a policy formalized in 1953 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued Executive Order 10450, making “sexual perversion” cause for termination. Advocate.com Read more
Dr. Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings are lifelong activists and founding members of the modern Gay rights movement. Both were instrumental in raising issues which eventually led APA to remove the diagnosis of homosexuality from the DSM-II in 1973. Seattle Gay News Read more
The Smithsonian’s Museum of American History is closed and undergoing renovations, but that’s not stopping them from putting on ambitious and expansive shows at other venues. One such exhibit is the “Treasures of American History” at the National Air and Space Museum.
And one part of this exhibit is titled “Gay is Good” and features several items from Frank Kameny’srecently donated archives and memorabilia, includes picket signs from 1965 and “Gay is Good” buttons from around 1968. These items join Thomas Jefferson’s small, portable, folding desk upon which he wrote the Declaration and the inkwells Abraham Lincoln used to write the Emancipation Proclamation — all of which played key roles in the formation of our national values of freedom and equality for everyone. Box Turtle Bulletin Read more