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NGLTF’s Founder Rev. Robert Carter Dead at 82

The Rev. Robert Carter, who founded the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and came out as a gay Roman Catholic priest, died last month in the Bronx at a heathcare facility. He was 82. And to say that his 1970s coming out was a monumental undertaking would be a monumental understatement. [NYT]

By:           editor editor
On:           Mar 15, 2010
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 1 Comment
    • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com
      Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

      With appreciation for his courage and his good works, Father Carter was not NGLTF’s founder, but one of them. The idea for the group was principally that of Dr. Howard Brown, a former NYC health services administrator, Dr. Bruce Voeller, who became its first director, and Movement icon Dr. Frank Kameny. Brown invited Father Carter to join because of his work in cofounding the gay Catholic group Dignity.

      Andy Humm, in “Gay City News,” has several fascinating anecdotes about Carter, including one demonstrating his courage, and another his sexual liason with one of the most famous gays in the world.

      “[Fellow Dignity pioneer Father Bernard Lynch recalls] ‘I shall never forget his brilliant and eloquent retort to Cardinal O`Connor from the pulpit of St. Francis during His Eminence’s opposition to Executive Order 50! [a 1985 mayoral order for city contractors not to discriminate based on sexual orientation] O`Connor had been going on and on about how we — the LGBT communities — were a threat to the family ‘as God had ordained… modeled by the Holy Family of Nazareth.’ Bob, with that disarming smile of his … I quote, ‘What model of family is His Eminence talking about? Mary a Virgin Mother? Joseph a Foster Father? Jesus their Son? I don’t know any family in New York like that. It would seem to me that straights are a far greater threat to this model of family, than we as Gays ever were or could be’.” …

      “Carter] won a scholarship in 1943 to the University of Chicago where at the school paper, the Maroon, he wrote a review of a Tennessee Williams poem that got him invited in 1944 to the opening of a new play, ‘The Glass Menagerie’, by the then unknown playwright, with the great Laurette Taylor in the lead. A week later, he conducted the first interview ever published with the playwright. The two became lovers, sleeping together several times a week during the first three months of 1945. ‘He may have thought he seduced me, but he didn’t or at least gets only half the credit’, Carter wrote. ‘Later I was happy to read in his memoirs that he considered me a nightingale’.”

      Dona eis requiem.

      Mar 15, 2010 at 2:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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