WASHINGTON (AP) — A Canadian amateur astronomer who discovered several asteroids has named one after gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny who died last year in Washington.
Kameny was a U.S. government astronomer in the 1950s who was fired from his job for being gay. He contested the firing all the way to the Supreme Court and organized the first gay rights protests outside the White House in the 1960s.
Kameny died last year at age 86.
When astronomer Gary Billings read Kameny’s obituary, he consulted with others in the astronomy world. They decided to submit a citation to the Paris-based International Astronomical Union and Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Mass. to designate Minor Planet 40463 as Frankkameny.
A published citation naming the asteroid this month notes Kameny’s history as a gay rights pioneer.
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