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News Release

Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Contact: Communications and Public Liaison
Tel: 202-606-2402

Statement by OPM Director John Berry, Mourning the Loss of Frank Kameny, LGBT Rights Pioneer

Paving the Way

Photo by M.V. Jantzen using a Creative Commons license: Frank Kameny posing with OPM director John Berry. Theodore Roosevelt Building, Office of Personnel Management 1900 E St NW, Washington, DC.

Dr. Frank Kameny was an American hero who transformed our nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (LGBT). His courage, his brilliance, his force of will led to victory in a decades-long fight for equality.  He helped make it possible for countless of patriotic Americans to hold security clearances and high government positions, including me.  And in so doing, he showed everyone what was possible for every employer in our country.

He was known for being feisty and combative, but he was also big-hearted.  He honored me personally by attending my swearing-in, and showed his ability to forgive by accepting my official apology on behalf of the government for the sad and discredited termination of his federal employment by the U.S. Civil Service Commission, the predecessor of the agency I now head.  We presented and he accepted OPM's highest honor, the Theodore Roosevelt Award, given to those who are courageous in defense of our nation's Merit Principles.  

I am grateful for his life, his service to his nation in WWII, and his passion and persistence in helping build a more perfect union.  He was a great man, and I will sorely miss him.

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