June 27, 2016 Staff Report
An effort to rename the Jackson Heights post office in honor of two beacons of the gay rights movement took an important step forward last week.
U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley’s legislation to rename the post office, located at at 78-02 37th Ave., after Jeanne and Jules Manford, who formed the organization Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), was unanimously passed by the House of Representatives last Tuesday.
The Manfords founded PFLAG after their openly gay son, Morty, was beaten for protesting news coverage of the gay rights movement in 1972. Their mission was to promote the rights, health and well-being of LGBT people, as well their friends and family.
Today the organization has more than 350 chapters and more than 200,000 members in all 50 states.
“Jeanne and Jules were instrumental in the fight for equal rights, and their incredible legacy can be felt throughout Queens, New York, and the entire country,” Crowley said. “It is only fitting that we name the post office that sits along the route of the Queens Pride Parade in their honor and I’m thrilled we are one step closer to that becoming a reality.”
Jeanne Manford served as the first-ever grand marshal in the Queens Pride Parade. She passed away in January 2013.
Council Member Daniel Dromm, who founded the Queens Pride Parade, believes this is a fitting tribute to the two.
“Jeanne and Jules Manford were the ‘parents’ of the gay rights movement,” he said.
“They allowed their home to be used as the cradle for gay liberation and were the first parents of an openly gay child to support that child in public,” Dromm, who is openly gay, added. “Jeanne and Jules blazed new trails for the LGBT community by standing up for their openly gay son Morty Manford.”
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.