the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”
Richard Ammon, owner
I grew up with the Kennedys in our government, the longest serving being Ted Kennedy. He was a presence in my life ever since I could vote and he liked gay people from the start, so of course I liked him – and we were both from Massachusetts where gay people can now get married.
He was the right person for this state and for gay rights at the right time. He was a lucky boy, a foolish young man and a font of liberal wisdom in his maturity. I felt comforted by his presence in this homophobic world. A protector indeed.
I am sad at his passage but I am enormously grateful for his life of service to our country and our gay community.
From Human Rights Campaign:
Statement on the Passing of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy
Washington, DC – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, issued the following statement today on the passing of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA).
“The nation has lost its greatest champion and strongest voice for justice, fairness, and compassion,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “The loss to our community is immeasurable. There was no greater hero for advocates of LGBT equality than Senator Ted Kennedy. From the early days of the AIDS epidemic , to our current struggle for marriage equality he has been our protector, our leader, our friend. He has been the core of the unfinished quest for civil rights in this country and there is now a very painful void. Our hearts go out to the Kennedy family.”
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
From Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD):
New York, NY – Incoming President of GLAAD and former Massachusetts state Senator Jarrett Barrios issued the following statement today on the passing of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
“It is impossible to fully describe the transformative impact of Ted Kennedy in the Senate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. From the outset, he valued our contributions and supported our equality. In those early years, his support may have turned heads but didn’t dampen his support–and eventually helped change hearts and minds about LGBT equality in the Senate and around the country.”
“Personally, he was a friend whom I worked with on many issues in the Massachusetts senate, and my husband Doug and I have the print he gave us for our wedding framed at home. 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.”
“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. GLAAD urges media to include Senator Kennedy’s strong history of advocating for LGBT issues in media coverage of his unfortunate passing.”
From the Victory Fund:
Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund President and CEO Chuck Wolfe issued the following statement today on the death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy:
“Good men serve others but great men take care to serve the least fortunate. Senator Kennedy was a great man. He made a career of fighting for the poor, for women, for racial minorities, and for basic human rights for LGBT (gay) Americans.
“Senator Kennedy’s life was marked by generosity and a legendary tenacity that earned him the respect of his colleagues and the affection of the public he served. But he will always occupy a special place in the hearts of LGBT Americans, who saw in him a fierce champion for their full equality.
“Senator Kennedy was a strong supporter of the work of the Victory Fund, offering his time and endorsing our mission to elect LGBT candidates to public office. We mourn the loss of our friend and patron, and we urge good men and women who possess the passion and commitment of people like Senator Kennedy to follow him into public service and emulate his intense dedication to that profession.”
From National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:
By Rea Carey, Executive Director
“The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force mourns the loss of Senator Edward Kennedy, a true champion of the people and a dear friend to our community. The senator was a hero to many across the country and around the world.
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. Senator Kennedy was unmatched in his compassion and in his willingness to stand with those who often lacked a champion.
Even after his death, his vision will inspire generations to work for the health, welfare and equality for all he so doggedly pursued. We offer our deepest and most sincere condolences to his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones at this difficult time.”
From Law Dork:
Tonight is a sad moment for pr
ogressive action in America. . . I remember, more than a decade ago, working at various D.C. entities, and feeling the remarkable presence of Senator Kennedy throughout Democratic and liberal causes. It always appeared that he or his spirit were motivating much if not all liberal successes of the day.
I later learned that it was not just the day, it was Kennedy. He was not a perfect politician or a perfect person, but he taught — and often reminded — much of today’s Democratic party about our ideals — and the worthwhile struggles we all face to reach toward them.
One of the 14 Senators who voted against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, Sen. Kennedy was a strong supporter of lesbian and gay equality before it was even vaguely popular — in any crowd — to do so. Even earlier, in 1993, Kennedy replaced the retired California Democratic Sen. Alan Cranston as the chief sponsor of the “gay rights bill” that was then being introduced in the Senate. Ted Kennedy was one of the stalwart — and much needed — voices of equality in our nation, and I particularly mourn for this loss….
In his struggle to do good by his brothers, and for our nation, Ted Kennedy has done well.
From the Kennedy Family
“Edward M. Kennedy—the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply—died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port. We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever.
We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all. He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it. He always believed that our best days were still ahead, but it’s hard to imagine any of them without him.”