Dianne Feinstein, an advocate for women and the LGBTQ+ community and the longest-serving woman in the Senate, has passed away at the age of 90.
During her time as a United States Senator, Feinstein built an outstanding track record of advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community. She cast her votes against critical pieces of legislation such as the Defense of Marriage Act, the Federal Marriage Amendment, and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Simultaneously, she lent her support to pivotal bills like the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Feinstein played a pivotal role as an original cosponsor of the Equality Act and emerged as a prominent sponsor of the Respect For Marriage Act. This significant act was eventually signed into law by President Biden in 2022.
President Joe Biden, a fellow member of the Democratic party, lauded Feinstein as “an American trailblazer,” a “true pioneer,” and a “beloved friend” to both himself and First Lady Jill Biden.
Biden expressed, in a statement, that “Dianne left her indelible mark on diverse areas, ranging from national security and environmental issues to the safeguarding of civil liberties. She has etched her name in the annals of history through numerous accomplishments, and her legacy will continue to enrich our nation for generations to come.”
In 1969, Feinstein started her career by securing her place on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors through election, and in 1978, she achieved the historic milestone of becoming its inaugural female president. This pivotal year was marked by tragedy when Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were tragically shot at City Hall by Dan White, a former supervisor who was deeply dissatisfied. Feinstein was the one who discovered Supervisor Milk’s lifeless body.
Senator Feinstein’s remarkable tenure in the US Senate was distinguished by a series of trailblazing achievements. Her groundbreaking roles included being the first woman to serve as Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the first woman to chair the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, and the first woman to chair the Senate Intelligence Committee. Throughout her time in office, she stood as a steadfast advocate for women’s rights, fervently supporting critical initiatives such as the Violence Against Women Act, efforts to prevent gun violence, and the cause of reproductive freedom. Senator Feinstein’s legacy is one that will continue to inspire and resonate for years to come.