Gay rights activist Larry Brinkin, famous for being the first person to use the phrase "domestic partner" in a lawsuit, was arrested late last week in San Francisco for allegedly possessing child pornography.
Gay rights organizations, like the Human Rights Commission, have immediately jumped to his defense, however, questioning the legitimacy of the accusations, the San Franciso Chronicle reported.
"It's almost incredulous, there's no way I could believe such a thing…He's always been one of my heroes, and he's the epitome of human rights activist – this is (the) man who coined phrases we use in our daily language. I support Larry 100 percent; hopefully it will all come out in the investigation," said Theresa Sparks, the executive director of the Human Rights Commission.
Brinkin, who worked at the San Francisco Human Rights Commission until 2010 and was best known for championing the interests of gays and lesbians, was released on bail on Saturday after spending Friday night in jail. Two laptops, a desktop computer, videos, a floppy disk and thumb drives from Brinkin's home were reportedly seized.
"We're still reviewing the case," shared district attorney's spokeswoman Stephanie Ong Stillman on Monday.
The allegations leveled against Brinkin, 66, include possession of pornographic images that apparently show children as young as 1-3 years old engaging in sex acts with adult men. Evidence for this material was allegedly found on Brinkin's email account. The Los Angeles Police Department, which is working on the case, traced the IP address of the emails containing the pornographic images, which led them to the gay rights veteran, who had paid for the images with his credit card.
Apparently, Brinkin's email account was also linked to a Yahoo discussion group that talks about sexually exploiting young boys and girls.
Brinkin, who worked with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission for 22 years, is credited with helping to write the city's Equal Benefits Ordinance, which targets workplace discrimination.
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"I have admired and respected his work for the LGBT community," expressed former HRC supervisor Bevan Dufty. "I respect and am confident that there will be due process."