Rev. Anthony Turney, longtime advocate for social justice and LGBT rights in SF, dies 

The Rev. Anthony Turney, a longtime champion of social-justice issues and the LGBT community in San Francisco who most recently served as archdeacon for the arts at Grace Cathedral, passed away Friday after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 76.

Born in Sutton, England, on Dec. 23, 1937, Turney died on the 38th anniversary of his becoming a U.S. citizen on July 4, 1976 — the bicentennial of his adopted country. Before moving to San Francisco, Turney lived in New York City, St. Louis, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

A tireless advocate for LGBT rights and an openly gay member of the clergy, Turney resigned from his job in 1991 to care for his partner, James Brumbaugh, who was dying from AIDS-related complications. In 1992, Turney permanently moved to San Francisco and was named CEO of the NAMES Project Foundation, the international caretaker of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

At Grace Cathedral, Turney served as parishioner, canon for development and clergy. Prior to his retirement, Turney was appointed archdeacon of the Diocese of California.

He is remembered as a dedicated volunteer and traveler, who three times biked from San Francisco to Los Angeles as part of the AIDS LifeCycle. He also volunteered with a group from Grace Cathedral to help rebuild a home for a woman who had lost hers in Hurricane Katrina.

Turney is survived by his San Francisco, St. Louis and Los Angeles family; friends and colleagues; and his canine companion, Drew.

A funeral and celebration of Turney’s life will be held at Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St., on July 14 at 11 a.m.

About The Author

Laura Dudnick

Laura Dudnick, a Bay Area native, covers education and planning for The San Francisco Examiner. She previously worked as a senior local editor for, and as the San Mateo County bureau reporter and weekend editor for Bay City News Service.
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