|Birth: ||May 2, 1948|
|Death: ||Aug. 4, 1995|
Cal served in the U.S. Army as a court reporter for the 23rd Infantry Division and covered the My Lai Massacre (the March 1968 slaying of hundreds of Vietnamese civilians by U.S. Army troops) and received two Bronze stars and four Army Commendation Medals.
Seattle Times, Sunday, August 6, 1995
Senator Cal ANDERSON
Of Seattle, born May 2, 1948, died August 4, 1995. Decorated Vietnam veteran being awarded two Branze Stars and two Army Commendation Metals.
Survived by his loving partner of ten years, Eric Ishino; Beloved son of Alice Coleman; brother of Joseph C. Anderson and his wife, Mary, Bob Anderson and Gaye Anderson; uncle of Joseph C. Anderson. Also surviving by his cat, Bandit, and many other close friends.
All are welcome for Viewing and Visitation, Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Butterworth Manning Ashmore, 300 E. Pine St. on Capital Hill. All are also welcome to the Memorial Service Thursday, August 10, 3 p.m. at St. James Cathedral, 804 Ninth Avenue.
Remembrances may be made to Cal Anderson House, c/o NWAF, 127 Broadway Avenue E., Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98102-5786.
SFGATE OBITUARY -- Cal Anderson Published 4:00 am, Monday, August 7, 1995
Cal Anderson, the first openly gay member of the Washington Legislature, died Friday after a long battle with AIDS.
Secretary of the Senate Marty Brown said Senator Anderson was found dead by his partner, Eric Ishino, at their Seattle home when Ishino came home from work.
A man who answered the phone at the home Friday night declined comment.
The immediate cause of death was not known. However, Senator Anderson, a Democrat from Seattle's 43rd District, was absent for most of the 1995 legislative session, battling non-Hodgkins lymphoma, an AIDS-related cancer.
He announced in April that vigorous chemotherapy had eradicated the lymphoma, but he was left weakened and susceptible to further illnesses. In June, he missed being grand marshal of Seattle's gay-pride parade because of blood clots in his legs and lungs.
"Everybody thought he was doing fine," Brown said. "He was off chemotherapy. His hair was growing back, and he seemed to be getting stronger.
"People will be shocked to learn of his death."
Senator Anderson, 47, was awarded two Bronze Stars and two Army Commendation medals during his tour of duty in Vietnam. He was appointed to the House in November 1987 to complete an unexpired term.
He won House elections in 1988, 1990 and 1992 in the heavily Democratic, liberal 43rd District, and he won an open Senate seat in 1994 with 81 percent of the vote. He took an interest in civil rights, the environment and legislation dealing with elections, ethics and state government.
For years, Senator Anderson waged an unsuccessful battle to have the Legislature adopt a gay-rights bill.
"He spent too short a time with us," said Senate Majority Leader Marc Gaspard, a close friend. "He lived a life of dignity and courage and grace. His pain is gone, he's with God."
In a 1994 interview, on the day the so-called gay civil-rights bill died for the 17th year in a row, Senator Anderson said his tenure in the Legislature put a human face on homosexuality and would pave the way for eventual passage of the legislation and equal treatment for gays and lesbians.
"Egotistically, my being in the House has helped, because they see that gay men care about the same issues they do, that we are not monsters. We are their friends, their family, their compatriots," he said.
Even among colleagues who disagreed with his position on gay rights, he was a favorite. Members from both sides of the aisle called him a hard worker, willing to do the behind-the-scenes committee and constituent chores that "showboat" legislators avoid.
But the inability to pass a gay-rights bill was a perennial disappointment for him.
The closest he came to pushing the measure through was in 1994, when it cleared the House and died by two votes in the Senate. In the 1995 Legislature, in a more hostile environment, the bill was not introduced.
Senator Anderson stunned his colleagues and constituents in February when he announced that he had full-blown AIDS.
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