Congress clutches gay rights pioneer Dr. Franklin E. Kameny to its bosom one last time today, hosting a memorial service for the tireless anti-discrimination advocate in the Cannon Caucus Room (345) at 4:30 p.m.
Kameny, who passed away early last month, challenged the military, the psychiatric community and, ultimately, the Supreme Court as part of his lifelong battle to broaden understanding of homosexuality and cement the rights of all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation.
“Never forget that we are American citizens, with all that is implied by those two words, as well as homosexuals, whatever you think is implied by that word. ... We throw down the gauntlet, clearly, unequivocally and unambiguously,” he decreed during a showdown with the Department of Defense.
Democratic Reps. Barney Frank (Mass.) and Tammy Baldwin (Wis.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) are expected to say a few words, as is Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry — who formally apologized to Kameny two years ago for being fired from the Army Map Service for being a “sexual pervert” in 1957.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.