Pritzker To Receive Kameny Award

Retired Army lieutenant colonel to be honored with award named for late D.C. LGBT-rights pioneer

The National LGBT Bar Association, a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, will honor Retired Army Lt. Col. Jennifer Pritzker with its Frank Kameny Award during the organization’s annual Lavender Law Conference, which will be held Aug. 21-23 in New York City.

The Kameny Award, which is presented to a member of the LGBT community who does not hold a law degree but who has nevertheless paved the way for important legal victories, was created in honor of the late Frank Kameny, a D.C.-based LGBT-rights pioneer and advocate who filed the first petition to the Supreme Court arguing that his firing from the federal government based on his sexual orientation was a civil rights violation.

Pritzker, the chair and founder of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, the president and founder of the Tawani Foundation and president and CEO of the investment company Tawani Enterprises, has been a prominent supporter of LGBT military personnel. She served for 27 years in three components of the U.S. Army, including the National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve. During her post-military career, Pritzker, an Illinois resident, financially backed a grant intended to research issues affecting transgender military personnel. 

“Colonel Pritzker embodies the values of duty, honor and country that remain the heart of our armed forces,” D’Arcy Kemnitz, executive director of the LBGT Bar, said in a statement announcing the association’s decision to honor Pritzker. “In addition to her service in uniform, Colonel Pritzker has continued to support our country’s veterans through generous philanthropic initiatives. Her work to ensure all Americans are treated as full and equal citizens is both inspiring and effective. We’re honored to present her with the Frank Kameny Award and know that Frank, himself a military veteran, would be thrilled that she is its recipient.”

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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