30 Years after the White House Meeting: Participants Then and Now

Charlie Brydon, Jean O’Leary, Bruce Voeller, Frank Kameny, Myra Riddell and George Raya leaving the White House after meeting with Midge Costanza, March 26, 1977

Then and now

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Midge Costanza

Midge Costanza1977 – Presidential adviser to Jimmy Carter — the first woman to hold this position — and director of Office of Public Liaison at the White House.

2007 – Adjunct professor at San Diego State University in the Political Science, Communication and Women's Studies Departments; president and chair of board of directors of the Midge Constanza Institute for the study of Politics and Public Policy.



Robert Malson

1977 – Civil rights specialist with Stuart Eisenstadt’s Office of Domestic Policy.

2007 – Information not available.

Jean O’Leary

Jean O'Leary1977 – Task Force co-executive director, 1976–1979.

2007 – Deceased 2005. Formerly executive director, National Gay Rights Advocates; member of Executive Committee of the Democratic National Committee.



William B. Kelley

1977 – Activist leader in Chicago.

2007 – Attorney, inducted into Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame (1991), founder and leader of many Chicago-based and national LGBT community organizations.

Betty Powell

1977 – Founding National Gay Task Force (NGTF) board member.

2007 – Internationally renowned consultant on organizational development and diversity issues.

Charles Brydon

Charles Brydon1977 – NGTF co-executive director 1979–1982.

2007 – Retired Seattle businessman; founder and leader of innumerable LGBT community organizations in Seattle and Washington state; recently retired chairman of the Washington State Board of Tax Appeals.



Myra Riddell

1977 – Founder of Southern California Women for Understanding.

2007 – Vice president of the Los Angeles County Commission for Women and chairperson of its Ritual Abuse Task Force.

Charlotte Spitzer

1977 – Founder of Parents & Friends of Gays in Los Angeles (now PFLAG); activist around parenting issues; straight mother of lesbian daughter. Recommended for the meeting by Bishop Troy Perry, the founder of the Metropolitan Community Church.

2007 – Retired psychotherapist, 85, who lives in Santa Cruz, Calif. She continues to participate in PFLAG presentations and until recently marched in pride parades. Her lesbian daughter lives with her partner of 20 years in Baltimore.

Cooki Lutkefedder

1977 – Democratic National Committee

2007 – Information not available.

Ray Hartman

1977 – Information not available.

2007 – Information not available.

Pokey Anderson

Pokey Anderson1977 – Delegate to the first National Women’s Conference in Houston; co-founded the Houston Gay/Lesbian Political Caucus in 1975.

2007 – Co-hosts “The Monitor” on KPFT; has been researching Enron and working toward “honest and transparent” elections.



George Raya

George Raya1977 – Legislative advocate (lobbyist) for the gay community in California from 1974–76, mostly on a one-on-one, independent basis. Worked to get AB 489, Assemblyman Willie Brown’s consensual sex bill, passed.

2007 – Parks Commissioner for the City of Sacramento, Calif.


Frank Kameny

Task Force Deputy Executive Director Rea Carey presents the Lifetime Achievement Award to Frank Kameny at Creating Change 2006 for his decades of courageous activism1977 – Task Force co-founder; served on first board of directors. In 1971, Kameny became the first openly gay person to run for Congress.

2007 – Retired. At 82, still a strong voice for LGBT people. Movement founder. Maintains the Kameny Pages, an online archive of gay history/memorabilia. Personal collection of movement memorabilia recently acquired by the Library of Congress.


Bishop Troy Perry

Bishop Troy Perry1977 – Founder (1968) and first leader of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC).

2007 – Stepped down as Moderator of the MCC in 2005; continues to meet with religious leaders around the world.


Charlotte Bunch

Charlotte Bunch1977 – Founding director of the Public Resource Center; adjunct professor, Women’s Studies, U. of Maryland College Park; Visiting Resident & Tenured Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies.

2007 – Founder and executive director of the Center for Women's Global Leadership at Rutgers University; Board of Governors Distinguished Professor in Women’s & Gender Studies, Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Rutgers University.


Elaine Noble

1977 – In 1974 became first openly lesbian or gay person elected to a state legislature. Served two terms as representative for Fenway/Back Bay neighborhoods of Boston.

2007 – Health care administrator and consultant; realtor in Pensacola area of Florida; helps Democratic candidates run for and win office.

Bruce Voeller

Bruce Voeller1977 – Task Force co-founder and executive director for five years, including co-director with Jean O’Leary 1976–1979.

2007 – Deceased 1994. In 1978, founded the Mariposa Education and Research Foundation, dedicated to changing negative cultural attitudes towards homosexuality.


Marilyn Haft

1977 – Assistant to Midge Costanza in Office of Public Liaison, Carter White House; co-author of ACLU’s seminal publication The Rights of Gay People.

2007 – Entertainment lawyer in New York City; film producer; board chair for Vital Voices.

*photo of the meeting: http://mazerlesbianarchives.org/files/newsletter/1999_dec.pdf