Stephen Robert Endean

Stephen Robert Endean(August 6, 1948 - August 4, 1993)

  • 1971: founded Minnesota's first gay and lesbian political group.
  • 1972: became the first gay and lesbian rights lobbyist in Minnesota; helped to pass gay rights ordinances in Minneapolis (1974) and St. Paul(1974-1975). Neither of these ordinances, as initially enacted, protected transgender people. However, the Minneapolis ordinance was amended to include transgendered protections in December, 1975.
  • 1972: helped hold a gay picnic in Loring Park and a small march down Nicollet Avenue, the beginning of Twin Cities Pride celebrations.
  • 1975: Along with the Minnesota Committee for Gay Rights (MCGR) and Democratic legislators, Endean opposed trans-inclusion and public accommodations in a statewide gay rights bill, giving as their reason the belief that the bill would not pass with such inclusion. An editorial in the Advocate sneered at those who supported inclusion. Although the supporters of trans-inclusion did ultimately convince Republican Representative Arne Carlson to introduce a trans-inclusion amendment to the bill, both Carlson's amendment and the overall bill ultimately failed. The language of Carlson's amendment is what was added to the Minneapolis ordinance later in 1975. Although Dudley Clendenin and Adam Nagourney, in Out For Good, give the impression that those who protested for trans-inclusion in 1975 caused the defeat of that statewide bill, in 1976 MCGR had conceded that actually the prospect of gay teachers scared off enough support to doom the bill.
  • mid 1970's: Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Gay Task Force (later NGLTF). Helped fight to try to prevent overturning or gay rights measures in Dade County, Fl. (1977) and St. Paul, MN (1978).
  • 1978: moved to Washington, DC to become Director of the Gay Rights National Lobby.
  • 1980: started the Human Rights Campaign Fund (later just HRC), and served as its first Executive Director.
  • mid 1980's: created the Fairness Fund, a grassroots program to generate constituent mail to Congress (later HRC(F)'s Field Division, later renamed Speak Out).
  • 1985: diagnosed with AIDS. After this, increasing health problems led to semi-retirement.
  • 1991: created National Endorsement Campaign, an effort to get straight political leaders and media figures to endorse equal rights for GLBT people.
  • 1991: wrote his memoir, Into the Mainstream (Haworth Press).
  • 1993: was present (in a wheelchair) at the Minnesota State Capitol when the Legislature passed the Minnesota GLBT Equal Rights law. He died of Aids related complications on August 4, 1993 just 2 days shy of his 45th birthday.