By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com August 26 2009 5:45 PM ET

Just two months before he was diagnosed with the brain cancer to which he succumbed late Tuesday night, Sen. Ted Kennedy spoke at the Human Rights Campaign's Equality Convention in March 2008.

He gave a lively speech about equality and his struggles to pass legislation like the Ryan White CARE Act -- and even started off with a jab at the late homophobic senator Jesse Helms.

Kennedy sponsored a number of LGBT and human rights bills over his 46-year career, including, most recently, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Senate's first bill to include transgender rights.