Longtime LGBTQ activist David Mixner dies at 77

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LGBTQ activistic and governmental advisor David Mixner, possibly champion known for challenging then-President Bill Clinton’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, died Monday, a adjacent friend confirmed. He was 77.

“A champion for equality, longtime activistic David Mixner’s unwavering sound spanned decades,” Kelley Robinson, president of nan Human Rights Campaign, nan nation’s largest LGBTQ defense group, wrote connected X. “From challenging discriminatory policies to influencing statesmanlike campaigns, his activity paved nan measurement for a caller governmental reality and will animate generations.”

While Mixner spent decades advocating for LGBTQ rights, he’s astir apt champion known for challenging Clinton — for whom he served arsenic a run advisor — connected nan arguable “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.  

Mixner was nan first openly cheery man to clasp a public-facing domiciled connected a statesmanlike campaign, according to nan LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, a nonpartisan nonprofit defense group that Mixner co-founded successful 1991. However, their narration soured aft Clinton enacted nan “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which barred cheery men and lesbians from serving openly successful nan military, successful 1993.

Mixner joined astir 100 activists to protestation “don’t ask, don’t tell” extracurricular nan White House that year, starring to his high-profile arrest.

“I conscionable person to do what is right,” he told The Washington Post astatine nan time. “I person buried excessively galore friends to compromise. I beryllium it to them. I beryllium it to my partner, who died 4 years ago.”

“He doesn’t person a sound anymore, and I must speak for him,” Mixner added. “That’s what this is each about.”

The arguable argumentation would stay successful spot for different 17 years, until Congress and President Barack Obama repealed it successful 2011.

Bill Clinton and David Mixner Bill Clinton and David Mixner successful Los Angeles successful 1999.Reuters

Mixner roseate to prominence for moving pinch Clinton, but his governmental activism agelong predated nan erstwhile president. 

As a teen he volunteered for John F. Kennedy’s statesmanlike campaign, according to an interview he gave to LGBTQ mag Metro Weekly successful 2004. Mixner and his partner, Peter Scott, were among those who led nan guidance to a 1978 California ballot measurement — Proposition 6, besides known arsenic nan Briggs Initiative — which would person barred cheery men and lesbians from school successful nan state’s nationalist schools. Mixner said successful nan aforesaid question and reply that he met pinch Ronald Reagan, who had been politician from 1967-1975, and pushed him to publically reason nan ballot measure.

“A closeted cheery Republican sewage america a meeting, astatine awesome consequence to his ain governmental self,” Mixner told nan mag astatine nan time, referring to his gathering pinch Reagan. “It was a delightful gathering — I was treated successful that gathering pinch much respect than almost immoderate different elected charismatic I’ve ever met with.”

Voters later rejected nan ballot measure. 

Mixner later became a salient AIDS activistic and was reportedly among dozens of protesters arrested extracurricular of nan White House successful 1986, lambasting nan Reagan administration’s consequence to nan epidemic.

“David gave his time, power and money to building a caller governmental reality successful America — having nan foresight and dedication to spot it done moreover successful nan astir difficult of times,” Annise Parker, president and CEO of nan LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, which intends to elite LGBTQ group to nationalist office, said successful a statement. “His bequest is nan thousands of retired LGBTQ+ group who now service successful elected and appointed positions each crossed nan federation — and nan tens of thousands much to come.”

Many existent LGBTQ elected officials saluted Mixner pursuing nan news of his death, pinch Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., calling Mixner “one of nan top LGBTQ Civil Rights leaders of his generation.”

“He leaves down a fundamentally fairer world for LGBTQ Americans than nan 1 he knew for astir of his life,” Torres said successful a statement. “David Mixner was a civilized elephantine connected whose shoulders we everlastingly stand.”

New York authorities Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal called Mixner a “civil authorities leader whose efforts improved nan lives of millions of LGBTQ Americans.”

“There are countless LGBTQ elected officials who counted David arsenic a friend and domiciled model, myself included,” Hoylman-Sigal said successful a connection posted connected X.

It appears that up until nan time he died, Mixner was plugged into nationalist politics. On Sunday, he posted a meme responding to Sen. Katie Britt of Alabama’s GOP consequence to President Joe Biden’s State of nan Union reside past week, which drew wide criticism, moreover inspiring a “Saturday Night Live” skit. One of his past Facebook posts connected Sunday simply stated: “Sleepy Joe, my a--.”

Matt Lavietes

Reporter, NBC OUT