Metro Weekly

Kameny Viewing Announced

Committee announces details of Nov. 3 viewing for late gay-rights pioneer

The Dr. Franklin E. Kameny Host Committee today announced details for ”Lying-in-State for Dr. Franklin E. Kameny,” a five-hour viewing of the gay-rights pioneer who died Oct. 11 at the age of 86.

The committee’s announcement notes that the viewing is open to the public, but is not an official memorial service, advising, ”plans for a public memorial service at a later date are under consideration and will be announced in the days to come, as well as future plans for his burial.”

Frank Kameny's 85th Birthday at The DC CenterThe Thursday, Nov. 3, viewing will take place in the first-floor atrium of the Carnegie Library, located between 7th and 9th Streets NW at Mount Vernon Square, from 3 to 8 p.m. While there is not a formal program, local civic leaders, including Mayor Vincent Gray, are expected to make remarks and local choral groups may sing throughout the allotted time, says Bob Witeck of the Kameny Papers Project.

Witeck says he is still working on the details regarding the viewing, as many people who knew Kameny are trying to carry out what they believe were some of his wishes. There are no plans for hospitality or refreshments after the viewing. According to the announcement, Kameny did not express wishes for donations in his memory for specific causes, but the host committee has suggested that people contribute to civil rights causes or nonprofit organizations of their choice in honor of Kameny.

Helping Our Brothers and Sisters (HOBS) is encouraging people to make tax-deductible contributions to HOBS to pay for Kameny’s vigil, funeral and burial expenses. Any extra money collected will be dedicated to other members of the LGBT community who are marginalized.

The Dr. Franklin E. Kameny Host Committee is comprised of a number of local LGBT groups including The Kameny Papers Project, the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, Helping Our Brothers and Sisters and the Rainbow History Project.

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