Where in the World Are Frank Kameny’s Remains?

A dispute between his estate and a gay charity have his ashes sitting in storage

Congressional Cemetery (courtesy of Google Maps)

Gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny never backed away from the good fight, but the latest developments in his funeral arrangements have reached a new low. For almost 10 months since the LGBT rights hero died at the age of 86, his cremains have been sitting in storage at the historic Congressional Cemetery in Washington D.C.

But why?

The Washington Blade reports that the delay in Kameny’s interment has to do with a dispute between his estate and the gay charity Helping Our Brothers and Sisters (HOBS). The ashes were scheduled to be buried on March 2, but the estate objected after HOBS purchased a plot without its proper consultation. Now, Kameny’s headstone from the U.S. Veterans Administration honoring his many years in service and a marker etched with his famous saying, “Gay is good,” are all languishing in storage as the two groups bicker over logistics.

The Blade says the latest is that HOBS has agreed to sign the plot ownership over to the estate, but no word on when that might happen, or how long it will take to expedite the memorial which has yet to actually take place. In fact, the grave stones were, at one point, installed and then removed before the burial was possible earlier this year.

It’s a disappointing development capping off a truly impressive life of Kameny’s service and advocacy. We hope an agreement is made quickly so that Frank Kameny, a man who helped changed the gay rights landscape in America, will finally be laid to rest with the honor he deserves.