The National Gay Task Force (later National Gay and Lesbian Task Force), the first national gay rights organization, had its headquarters in this building from its founding in October 1973 to 1986.

While it is no longer associated with this address, the organization still operates in Washington, D.C. as the National LGBTQ Task Force.

Header Photo
Credit: Christopher D. Brazee/NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, 2016.


The National Gay Task Force, the first national gay rights organization, was established in 1973 with the intention of bringing the LGBT rights movement into the national mainstream of American civil rights. Some of the founders were former Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) members disaffected by that group’s internal squabbles, and included Dr. Bruce Voeller, Barbara Gittings, Frank Kameny, Dr. Howard Brown, Arthur Bell, Ron Gold, Nathalie Rockhill, and Martin Duberman.

The “establishment” organization played a crucial role in helping to draft local gay rights bills across the United States, repeal sodomy laws, and encourage LGBT visibility. Its headquarters from October 1973 to 1986 was on the fifth floor of 80 Fifth Avenue. Renamed the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in 1985, it moved to Washington, D.C. in 1986. Today it is known as the National LGBTQ Task Force.

Entry by Jay Shockley, project director (March 2017).

NOTE: Names above in bold indicate LGBT people.

Building Information

  • Architect or Builder: Buchman & Fox
  • Year Built: 1907


  1. Daniel Hurewitz, Stepping Out: Nine Walks Through New York City’s Gay and Lesbian Past (New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1997).

  2. Human Rights and the New Gay Task Force,” GAY, November 1973.

  3. Lillian Faderman, The Gay Revolution: the Story of the Struggle (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015).

  4. National LGBTQ Task Force, bit.ly/1vLQuT7.

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