Queens, NY – U.S Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today introduced legislation to rename the Jackson Heights Post Office, located at 7802 37th Avenue in Queens, as the “Jeanne and Jules Manford Post Office.” Representative Joe Crowley introduced the House companion version of this legislation, which was approved by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last month. Jeanne Manford, a Queens native, publicly denounced the beating of her openly-gay son, Morty Manford, for protesting news coverage of the gay rights movement in 1972. Later that year, Jeanne and her husband, Jules, founded the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, an organization that advocates on behalf of the LGBT community.
“Jeanne and Jules Manford deserve to be honored for their commitment to that all-American value of equality, and for their ground-breaking advocacy and leadership on behalf of the LGBT community here in New York and across the country,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. “Jeanne and Jules Manford were not only loving, accepting parents to their openly-gay son, Morty, but they also served as loving, accepting parents to the entire LGBT community. I am proud to sponsor legislation that would rename the Jackson Heights Post Office in honor of these Queens natives, as it is a truly fitting tribute to the Manfords’ legacy of work.”
“Jeanne and Jules showed how love and passion can move us to make a positive change in our community,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “Their advocacy is deeply engrained in the LGBT movement here in New York and around the country – beginning with the unmatched love for their son, to the Queens Pride Parade marches every year on 37th Avenue, to their founding of an organization that for the last 44 years has fought for LGBT equality. This designation would be a fitting tribute to honor their, courage in their decades-long fight for the LGBT community.”
“Through their unconditional love for their openly gay son, Jeanne and Jules Manford helped change the hearts and minds of so many people in Queens, the City of New York and beyond,” said Rep. Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx). “I’m proud to be joined by Senators Schumer and Gillibrand in the effort to honor the courage and legacy of the Manfords with the renaming of the Jackson Heights Post Office. It is where our LGBT community marches past each year during the Queens Pride Parade to celebrate their memory, our diversity, and reflect upon the sacrifices made in our pursuit of equality and justice.”
Jeanne Manford was the first Grand Marshall of the Queens Pride Parade, which passes in front of the Jackson Heights Post Office. After her passing in 2013, President Obama posthumously awarded her the Presidential Citizens Medal, one of the highest honors an American civilian can receive, for her advocacy work. Jules Manford passed away in 1982.
Jeanne and Jules Manford are survived by their daughter, Suzanne Manford Swan.