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Part 1/3 . “With so many tributes to loved ones who fell victim to HIV/AIDS, I want to pay tribute to one man who has devoted his life to caring for those with HIV and AIDS. . This one person has made such a positive impact on the LGBTQIA community and has literally ministered to thousands of men who were alone and lost. This man is Reverend Bernard Lynch. . Throughout the years since AIDS began, Bernard has embodied the courage and strength needed to be a hero, and he has been an inspiration to all of our community but most especially to me by his continued leadership and role modeling.
During the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 90s, Bernard was a tireless voice in the NYC community and traversed the difficult road of illness and death. His leadership served as a beacon of light to those of us lost in the sea of dying faces we could not save. . Bernard took up a fight of which many other men shied away. This man used every ounce of his being to provide care to those who died and to those of us living and blindsided by AIDS. Bernard's faith in God never wavered. .
Bernard is an out and proud Roman Catholic Priest who has marched in the Gay Pride parades of New York and London for the past 30 years. He has touched the hearts of gay men and lesbian women from the shores of the United States to England to his homeland of Ireland. Few living men can be called icons, but I certainly would call Bernard an icon. .
Bernard’s list of accomplishments is long and varied. He has worked for the betterment of the LGBT community worldwide. .
Father Lynch first came to notice in New York City in 1982 when he formed the first AIDS ministry in NYC with the catholic group Dignity. It was this same year that he was drafted to work with then NYC Mayor Koch’s Task Force on AIDS. .
In 1984, Father Lynch publicly backed Executive Order 50 in New York which forbade discrimination from employers who did business with the city or received city funding.”