October 7, 2015 at 12:18 pm EDT | by Steve Charing
Former mayor speaks at LGBT book launch
Kurt Schmoke, gay news, Washington Blade

Kurt Schmoke (Photo by Maryland GovPics; courtesy Flickr)

More than 50 people who have had a role in shaping Baltimore’s LGBT history attended a book launch and celebration for the recently published book “LGBT Baltimore.” Former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke was the principal speaker at the event held on Sept. 28 at the University of Baltimore Student Center.

Schmoke, a three-term mayor beginning in 1987, is currently the president of UB. He was a key ally in attaining non-discrimination legislation in the city despite robust opposition from several members of the Council. Schmoke recalled how he issued an important executive order for benefits for gay and lesbian city employees after discussing the measure with local clergy leaders and framed the issue in terms of fairness.

“I tried to advance civil rights in the LGBT community,” Schmoke said. “Please help me in addressing transgender issues in our community.”

Author Louise Parker Kelley described “LGBT Baltimore” as “a tantalizing glimpse of what our community accomplished.” The book, published by Arcadia, is a soft cover, 96-page pictorial work that contains photos and captions depicting the fight for LGBT rights and showcases those who stood on the frontlines as well as scenes from past Pride and other events.

City Council member Mary Pat Clarke and Del. Mary Washington were among those in attendance.

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