SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Former San Francisco supervisor and LGBTQ activist Harry Britt has passed away, a former state assemblyman confirmed Wednesday.

Britt, an openly gay man, was appointed to serve on the Board of Supervisors in 1979 following the assassination of Supervisor Harvey Milk.

San Francisco supervisor Harry Britt, center, who was named to replace slain Supervisor Harvey Milk, walks down Castro Street with two unidentified friends during a birthday celebration for Milk, May 22, 1979. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

“It is with great sadness I report the death of Harry Britt. He was a champion and a friend. Rest in power comrade,” former city supervisor and state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano said on Facebook.

According to reports, Britt was a patient at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco and had been suffering from various health issues over the years.

Britt served on the board through 1993. During that time, he helped lead the effort for the recognition of domestic partnership for gay people during the AIDS epidemic, which allowed benefits like hospital visitation rights and bereavement leave for city workers.

State Sen. Scott Wiener, also a former San Francisco supervisor, said “Harry Britt was a pioneer in the LGBTQ community’s entry into electoral politics. He deeply understood that while our allies are essential, we must have our own seat at the table. Harry helped create political space for people like me to serve in elected office. Harry’s death is a tragedy. He will be missed.”

State Assembly member David Chiu also paid tribute to Britt, tweeting “San Francisco lost a tremendous progressive icon who led the way for so many. Harry Britt, rest in power.”

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