GLAA is a Lambda Rising Affiliate! Click here and we'll get a commission on every item you purchase.
GLAA belatedly thanks its first patrons,
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward
GAY AND LESBIAN ACTIVISTS ALLIANCE OF WASHINGTON
Fighting for Equal Rights Since 1971
P. O. Box 75265
Washington, D.C. 20013
Saturday, June 11, 2005
Mailed to: Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward
Dear Mr. Newman and Ms. Woodward:
Earlier this spring I heard a story involving the two of you that I had never known about before, and I want to share it with you.
Thirty-four years ago, on March 23, 1971, the District of Columbia held its first election for Delegate to Congress, and one of the candidates in that race was Washington gay rights pioneer Franklin Kameny. His campaign manager was fellow gay rights activist Paul Kuntzler. Kameny and Kuntzler, like you, had been on the Mall on August 28, 1963, at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Your check for $500 was received by the Kameny for Congress campaign the day before the election. They were thrilled, of course. While Kameny lost to Rev. Walter Fauntroy, his numbers were impressive enough to put the gay community on the political map in Washington as an influential voting bloc. Unfortunately, the campaign received your generous contribution too late to spend it on the campaign, so it was used afterward to send the leading organizers to New York City to meet with members of that city's Gay Activists Alliance. That led to the founding of a Washington group by the same name, on April 20, 1971. (We were later renamed the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance.) Paul Kuntzler, who told me this story, admitted with chagrin that they never got around to sending a thank-you letter.
When I told this story as part of an 80th birthday tribute to Frank Kameny at GLAA's 34th anniversary reception on April 20, I suggested to our guests that they help us say a belated thank you by buying an extra bottle of Newman's Own Salad Dressing. Frank (who was born in the same year as you, Mr. Newman), turned 80 on May 21, and still attends GLAA meetings regularly. I am going to enclose one of our brochures, which lists some of our accomplishments, so that you both can see what your "seed money" helped to nurture here in our nation's capital.
Please accept our belated thanks to both of you for a generous gift that helped launch what is now the oldest continuously active gay rights organization in the country.
Richard J. Rosendall
Vice President for Political Affairs