Obituaries In The News: Donald Baker
Associated Press, December 2, 2000
BOSTON Donald F. Baker, a gay rights activist who effectively
killed Texas 121-year-old law on sodomy, died Friday of cancer. He was 53.
In 1979, Baker challenged Texas 1879 law against sodomy, arguing it was
unconstitutional and discriminatory. A federal judge agreed, but an appeals court upheld
the law in 1985.
The sodomy law is still on the books but is rarely enforced. A similar law concerning
men and women was repealed in 1974.
In 1982, The New York Native recognized him as one of Americas 10 most
influential gay people.
Baker earned a masters degree from Southern Methodist University and worked as
director of training and development at Gerber Garment Technology. He transferred to
Connecticut in 1989 and then to Boston.
He participated in Dallas area activist groups and received the Human Rights
Campaigns Outstanding Citizen Award in 1985.
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