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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Longtime LGBTQ+-rights activist David Mixner dies at 77
2024-03-12

This article shared 13446 times since Tue Mar 12, 2024
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On March 11, longtime LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS activist David Mixner—known for working on Bill Clinton's presidential campaign but then splitting from him over "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT)—died at age 77, The Advocate reported.

His death was announced on his Facebook page: "It is with a heavy heart that I share the news of David's passing today." The comment was under a photo captioned "R.I.P. David B. Mixner. 1946-2024."

In 1987, Mixner participated in one of the first AIDS protests at the White House. In 1991, he co-founded the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, now the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, in order to help elect out LGBTQ+ political candidates. As Clinton ran for president in 1992, Mixner was his top adviser on gay issues; however, Mixner spoke out against the military policy "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Under that policy, LGB service members couldn't come out but the military supposedly could not seek them out, either. In 2010, Congress passed and then-President Barack Obama signed legislation ending DADT and permitting these members to serve openly.

Mixner also helped organize the National Equality March for LGBTQ+ rights in Washington, D.C., in 2009, and worked for marriage equality.

Many individuals and groups paid tribute to Mixner. In a statement that Windy City Times received, LGBTQ+ Victory Fund President & CEO Mayor Annise Parker said, in part, "David was a courageous, resilient and unyielding force for social change at a time when our community faced widespread discrimination and an HIV/AIDS crisis ignored by the political class in Washington, DC. In 1987, David joined one of the first HIV/AIDS protests outside the Reagan White House, where police wore latex gloves because of the stigma and misinformation around HIV/AIDS. He was arrested, along with 64 others, and made national headlines, when being an out person could lead to harassment, violence or worse. But David was undeterred.

"In 1991, he joined other activists to launch a new organization, LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, that exclusively supported LGBTQ+ candidates. David served with Lynn Greer as a founding board co-chair. With support for candidates underway, his vision of a government and democracy representative of its people expanded beyond elections — and moved to ensure we were represented in political parties and presidential administrations as well.

"David gave his time, energy and money to building a new political reality in America—having the foresight and dedication to see it through even in the most difficult of times. His legacy is the thousands of out LGBTQ+ people who now serve in elected and appointed positions all across the nation—and the tens of thousands more to come. David embodied the spirit of activism and resistance in everything he did—and always with humor and a smile. He has changed not just America, but the world."

On social media, former Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims posted, "David's unwavering commitment to justice & equality has left an indelible mark on our community & on my own life." Truth Wins Out (TWO) founder Wayne Besen stated, "RIP David Mixner. We appreciate all you've done for the LGBTQ movement and for supporting TWO. You're a genuine hero and we are proud to have known you. You were a fighter, an inspiration and a role model to the end. We offer condolences to your loved ones."

Openly gay Congressman Ritchie Torres said of Mixner, "He leaves behind a fundamentally fairer world for LGBTQ Americans than the one he knew for most of his life. [He] was a moral giant on whose shoulders we forever stand." And Sarah Brown, chair of the organization Global Business Coalition for Education, posted, "RIP David Mixner—one of the campaigning greats facing down racist and LGBT+ hatred, often at high personal cost. Smart, courageous, moral, a little bit foolhardy, entertaining and one of the good guys passing on your know-how to younger activists."

—Andrew Davis


This article shared 13446 times since Tue Mar 12, 2024
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