Lois Galgay Reckitt, a Maine lawmaker known as a relentless activist for women, has died. She was 78.
Reckitt died Oct. 30, according to an obituary in the Portland Press Herald. A celebration of her life took place Sunday at the Maine Irish Heritage Center in Portland.
Reckitt served as the longtime director of Family Crisis Services in Portland and an advocate for women suffering from domestic violence. She was a board member of the National Organization for Women and founder of the Human Rights Campaign Fund. She co-founded the Maine Women’s Lobby and was inducted into the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame in 1998.
For decades, she advocated for the Equal Rights Amendment, first at the national level to amend the US Constitution, and later at the state level to amend the Maine Constitution. In her latest attempt as a member of the Maine House of Representatives, she expanded the scope of her proposal to ban discrimination against a number of groups, not just women, in hopes of bringing more support and protecting more people by aligning the language with Maine Human Rights Act, but fell short in her final effort before leaving the Maine Legislature in June.
Maine House Democrats called her a trailblazer, a pioneer, a fighter, an icon and an inspiration in a statement on social media and said they must continue the work that Reckitt fought so tirelessly for.
“She was fiercely dedicated to justice. She was resiliently committed to creating a more just future for women. And she was never afraid to be a voice for those who couldn’t stand up and have a voice themselves,” says those in the post. “Her advocacy and leadership have made Maine a better place for everyone who lives here.”
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