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Longtime gay
rights activist Eric Rofes dead at 51

Longtime gay
rights activist Eric Rofes dead at 51

Noted author, teacher, and gay rights activist Eric Rofes died Monday, apparently of a heart attack. A Boston native who lived in San Francisco, Rofes, 51, had been working on a book in Provincetown, Mass., at the time of his death. He founded two of the first gay youth groups in the country and Boston's first groups for gay teachers and voters. From 1985 to 1989 he worked as executive director of the largest gay nonprofit in the world, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center. In his time as director, the center built the largest HIV testing site in California as well as a shelter for homeless sexual-minority youths and developed one of the first HIV prevention programs in the country. Rofes has also served as director, board member, and adviser to a multitude of other gay organizations. But for all Rofes's accomplishments, parts of his career remain shrouded in controversy, including a scandal involving $2.7 million in federal funding awarded to San Francisco's Shanti Project while he was executive director. (Sirius OutQ News)

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