Richard Rhodes speaks at the Brookhaven City Council meeting on March 26. (Dyana Bagby)

Richard Rhodes, a Brookhaven resident, former state House candidate and LGBTQ activist who pushed for the city to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance, died July 21 at 81 years old.

Rhodes this year advocated for Brookhaven to pass an ordinance prohibiting local businesses from discriminating against minority groups — including LGBTQ people — in the wake of similar ordinances being passed in surrounding cities.

Councilmember Linley Jones has asked the city for more information on considering an ordinance, but one has not been introduced.

Rhodes had lived in Brookhaven since 1988, the same year he ran as the first openly gay man from DeKalb County to run for the state House.

He was a trailblazer in LGBTQ activism. Rhodes became the first openly gay delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1988. In 1989, he was the first openly gay man to serve as the DeKalb Democratic chair.

The Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce awarded him its 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award for his activism, the organization said in a Facebook post.

A memorial service will be held Aug. 3 at 2 p.m. at the Spiritual Living Center, 3107 Clairmont Road, according to an online obituary.

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