In Memoriam

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Joe BellLa Grande Observer

Father of gay teen who committed suicide plans nationwide walk against bullying

Friday, April 19, 2013
LA GRANDE, Ore. — The father of a gay Oregon teenager who hanged himself is ready to begin walking across the United States to spread his message against bullying. [ Read more → ]

Film critic, longtime LGBT community supporter Roger Ebert dies

Thursday, April 4, 2013
CHICAGO, — Roger Ebert, the Pulitzer Prize-winning movie critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, who was known for his “thumbs up, thumbs down” critiques of films, died Thursday. He was 70, and had battled cancer in recent years. [ Read more → ]
Cheryl Chow

Former Seattle councilwoman who came out last year at age 66 dies of cancer

Friday, March 29, 2013
SEATTLE — A former Seattle city councilwoman who announced last summer that she was gay and said she wanted to encourage others to tell their loved ones the truth has died at age 66. [ Read more → ]
C. Everett Koop

C. Everett Koop, ex-surgeon general who spoke out on AIDS, dies

Monday, February 25, 2013
C. Everett Koop, who raised the profile of the surgeon general by riveting America's attention on the then-emerging disease known as AIDS and by railing against smoking, has died in New Hampshire at age 96. [ Read more → ]

Charlie Morgan, fighter for LGBT military equality, succumbs to cancer

Sunday, February 10, 2013
Charlie Morgan, a Chief Warrant Officer of the New Hampshire National Guard and a plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act, died Sunday after a long battle with breast cancer, according to a statement by OutServe-SLDN. [ Read more → ]
Ed Koch, in a 1987 file photo. AP

Ed Koch, mayor who became a symbol of New Yok City, dies

Friday, February 1, 2013
Ed Koch, the mayor who became a symbol of New Yok City, died at 2 a.m. Friday from congestive heart failure. He was 88. [ Read more → ]

David Kato remembered: A hero then, and a hero now

Saturday, January 26, 2013
David Kato advocated for the freedom of LGBTI Ugandans and for their right to their natural born sexual orientation in a heightened climate of hostility and homophobia ... Today on this second anniversary of the death of Kato, his friends, comrades, human rights defenders, and LGBTI people around the world are expressing their love, comforting each other and extolling the virtues of this great hero, with comments, memories and prayer for the peace of his dearly departed soul. [ Read more → ]
Michael Triplett

President of national gay, lesbian journalists’ group dies

Thursday, January 17, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association says its president, Michael Triplett, has died. Triplett, who was an assistant managing editor at Bloomberg BNA, was 48. [caption id="attachment_73099" align="alignright" width="200"] Michael Triplett[/caption] The association said in an email that Triplett had cancer... [ Read more → ]
In this Feb. 14, 2001 file photo, "Dear Abby" advice columnist Pauline Friedman Phillips, 82, known to millions of readers as Abigail van Buren, signs autographs for some of dozens of fans after the dedication of a "Dear Abby" star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. Phillips, who had Alzheimer’s disease, died Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, she was 94. Phillips' column competed for decades with the advice column of Ann Landers, written by her twin sister, Esther Friedman Lederer. Their relationship was stormy in their early adult years, but later they regained the close relationship they had growing up in Sioux City, Iowa. The two columns differed in style. Ann Landers responded to questioners with homey, detailed advice. Abby's replies were often flippant one-liners. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Dear Abby, ‘always compassionate toward gay people,’ dies at 94

Thursday, January 17, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS — Pauline Friedman Phillips, who as Dear Abby dispensed snappy, sometimes saucy advice on love, marriage and meddling mothers-in-law to millions of newspaper readers around the world and opened the way for the likes of Dr. Ruth, Dr. Phil and Oprah, has died. She... [ Read more → ]

Jeanne Manford, pioneering LGBT ally, founder of PFLAG, dies at 92

Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Jeanne Manford, mother of gay rights activist Morty Manford, pioneering straight ally in the gay rights movement, and the founder of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), died at her home in Daly City, Calif., Tuesday. She was 92. Manford had been... [ Read more → ]
Richard Adams

Early marriage equality advocate Richard Adams dead at 65

Monday, December 24, 2012
Richard Adams, an early pioneer in the fight for marriage equality for gays and lesbians, died Dec. 17 in the Hollywood home he shared with Tony Sullivan, his partner of 43 years, his attorney said Sunday. Adams was 65. [ Read more → ]
Spencer Cox

Pioneering AIDS activist Spencer Cox dies of HIV-related complications

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Spencer Cox, the the New York-based AIDS activist who was featured in the documentary "How to Survive a Plague," died Tuesday of complications related to HIV. He was 44. [ Read more → ]

Medal of Honor recipient, U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye dies at 88

Monday, December 17, 2012
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inoye (D-Hawaii), a 50-year veteran of the U.S. Senate and a recipient of the nation’s highest military award for valor, the Medal of Honor, died of respiratory complications at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., on Monday afternoon. [ Read more → ]

World AIDS Day: For the countless many, gone too soon

Saturday, December 1, 2012
Thirty-one years ago, on June 5, in 1981, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta published a report of five cases of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) among previously healthy young men in Los Angeles. All of the men were described as “homosexuals” — two had died. This was the first official mention of a disease that had no name, no known means of transmission, no treatment and no cure. [ Read more → ]

White House, Obama Administration mark 14th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
WASHINGTON -- The White House on Tuesday marked the 14th annual observance of Transgender Day of Remembrance, an international day of remembrance of the people lost to anti-transgender fear, discrimination, and violence. [ Read more → ]

14th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance honors those lost to anti-transgender hatred

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Today is the 14th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, a solemn tribute to those who have lost their lives to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice, and a day to raise awareness of the constant threat of brutality faced by the transgender community. [ Read more → ]

Arlen Specter dies at 82

Sunday, October 14, 2012
Arlen Specter, an independent-minded moderate who spent 30 years in the U.S. Senate but was spurned by Pennsylvania voters after switching in 2009 from Republican to Democrat, died on Sunday of cancer at the age of 82. [ Read more → ]
Courtesy the Matthew Shepard Foundation

Remembering Matt Shepard and his passion for human rights

Friday, October 12, 2012
Today marks 14 years since the day we lost Matt Shepard. I know from the conversations I’ve had with many of you that those terrible days in October 1998 echo in your memories: where you were, how it felt, the fears, the outrage and the questions you were left with. [ Read more → ]

For Matthew Shepard and countless others… the work to erase hate continues

Friday, October 12, 2012
In 1998, Matthew Shepard spent five days in a coma while the world held vigil. And on this day, at 12:53 a.m., 14 years ago, Matthew died. For many, Matthew's death revealed the dangers of being gay in America, and for many LGBTQ people, it reaffirmed the risk they live with every day. [ Read more → ]

Lesbian soldier killed in Taliban suicide bomber attack in Afghanistan

Friday, October 5, 2012
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Donna R. Johnson of the North Carolina Army National Guard was among 14 people killed Monday when a Taliban suicide bomber rammed a motorcycle packed with explosives into a joint U.S.-Afghan patrol in Afghanistan. [ Read more → ]

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ star Sahara Davenport dies at age 27

Tuesday, October 2, 2012
LOS ANGELES – Sahara Davenport, who made a name for herself on the second season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and who recently released a single “Go Off,” has died. She was 27. [ Read more → ]

Longtime LGBT rights champion, former PFLAG president Elinor Lewallen dies

Monday, September 17, 2012
Elinor Lewallen, a longtime champion of equal rights for LGBT people, and President of PFLAG National in the late 1980s, has died, the organization announced Friday. She was 93. [ Read more → ]

On anniversary of Billy Lucas’ suicide, family files wrongful death lawsuit

Sunday, September 9, 2012
Two years ago today, Billy (William) Lucas, a 15-year-old from Greensburg, Ind., was was found dead in a barn at his grandmother’s home — he had hanged himself. While Billy never self-identified as gay, friends said he was tormented for years because other kids thought he was gay. [ Read more → ]

Actor, artist Ron Palillo of ‘Welcome Back, Kotter’ fame dead at 63

Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Ron Palillo, the actor who played Arnold Horshack on the 1970's sitcome "Welcome Back, Kotter," died Tuesday morning at his home in Palm Beach, Fla., from an apparent heart attack. He was 63. [ Read more → ]

Legendary openly lesbian singer Chavela Vargas dies at 93

Monday, August 6, 2012
After a seven-day battle with respiratory problems, the legendary openly lesbian singer Chavela Vargas passed away Sundau, August 5, in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The world-renowned Costa Rican-born Mexican singer came out as a lesbian at the age of 81. [ Read more → ]
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