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Gittings and Lahusen played important roles in the gay liberation movement emerging in the 1950s. Gittings helped organize the New York City chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis in 1958. Lahusen joined the New York City Daughters of Bilitis in 1961, and the two met there. From 1963-66, Gittings served as editor of DOB's periodical publication, THE LADDER, and Lahusen worked on it with her. Lahusen co-authored THE GAY CRUSADERS in 1972. Gittings was active in the campaign that led to the American Psychiatric Association dropping its categorization of homosexuality as a mental illness in 1973. Gittings was also active in the American Library Association for 16 years. Though not a librarian, she was an avid book lover, and joined ALA's Task Force on Gay Liberation as soon as she found out about it in 1970. Gittings and Lahusen remained active in the gay civil rights movement and remained partners until Gittings' death on Febrary 18, 2007.