RIP: LGBTQ-Equality Champion Frank Lautenberg Passes Away

The five-term senator was an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ equality. Here, we recognize some of his most important accomplishments in his fight for equality.

The  New York Times reported today that longtime New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg passed away due to complications brought about by pneumonia. He was 89 years old.

During his five-term tenure as U.S. Senator, Lautenberg fought all kinds of commendable battles, including taking on the grimy tobacco and alcohol industries. But he was an outspoken advocate for the gay community, too. Garden State Equality just released this statement that highlights some of his contributions to the LGBTQ-equality movement:

From co-authoring the original Ryan White Act to fighting for a fully inclusive Employment Nondiscrimination Act, from helping to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to coming out for marriage equality before nearly any of his colleagues, Frank Lautenberg has stood with us.

He gave a voice to the LGBT community when we didn’t have one. A great deal of the progress made by our community, our state, and our nation is the direct result of Senator Lautenberg’s vision of true equality for all.

He attended every Garden State Equality event he possibly could. He personally engaged our members, his constituents, when they needed assistance. He was the first person to offer help when we needed it. He not only talked the talk, he walked the walk.

You can read the rest of Garden State Equality’s statement here. Our thoughts go out to the Lautenberg family.

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