Longtime LGBT rights supporter Senator Ted Kennedy has died of brain cancer. He passed away just before midnight on Aug. 25 at his home in Hyannis Port, Mass. He was 77 years old.
Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task force, said Kennedy was a true champion and friend of the LGBT community.
“He spent his life fighting for justice for working people, people of color, children, women, LGBT people, immigrants, people with disabilities, people living with HIV/AIDS and so many others who looked to his leadership for a more just society,” Carey said. “Even after his death, his vision will inspire generations to work for the health, welfare and equality for all he so doggedly pursued.”
Jarrett Barrios, incoming president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamatio, said he’s worked with Kennedy on a number of issues.
“His passing is a loss for many of us who knew him, and all of us who benefited from his uncompromising support of our full equality,” said Barrios. “Senator Kennedy helped pass the Matthew Shepard Hates Crime Prevention Act and also introduced the Employment Non-Discrimination Act which, if passed, would help LGBT people in the 29 states where it is still legal to fire someone based on their sexual orientation and the 38 states where it is legal to do so based on gender identity or expression.”
Kennedy was recently awarded the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom.