Kim Harris and Bennet Marks

Kim Harris is a computer scientist and gay rights activist based out of Sunnyvale, California. 

Born in 1946, he studied physics at Louisiana State University, later earning his masters in computer science at Purdue. The Texas native moved to the Bay Area in 1974 to work on a super computer for NASA. He was not yet openly gay. 

As Kim incrementally came out to friends and colleagues, he joined a gay men’s discussion group at Stanford where he met Bennet Marks, with whom he started a relationship in 1982 and married in September 2008. He also began attending High-Tech Gays meetings by 1983.

Kim joined Hewlett-Packard in 1984, where he joined unofficial gay employee groups like Friends of Dorothy and the Gay and Lesbian Employee Network (GLEN). From there, he helped get the ball rolling at HP to implement nondiscrimination policies and expand diversity training and AIDS-related health care coverage. He retired in 2001 at the age of 55.

During the 1990s, he joined groups like the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays speakers bureau, Peninsula Business and Professional Association, Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center Board of Directors and the HRC Business Council in 1998.

Bennet Marks

He also was involved with support and advocacy groups like Silicon Valley Gay Men’s Chorus, Outlet and Outlook TV.

Bennet Marks is a software engineer and gay rights activist based in Sunnyvale, California. 

Born in 1954 in Long Island, he studied at Brown University before starting a graduate math program at Stanford. He ultimately left before presenting his final thesis, earning a masters degree.

Bennet got a job at Ford Aerospace in 1981, where he obtained a security clearance, in part, due to not yet being openly gay to himself or others. Beginning to come out, he met Kim Harris at a Stanford gay men’s discussion group. The two have been in a relationship since November 1982, and married in September 2008, before California’s Prop 8 initially passed later that year. 

Bennet later moved onto a job at Apple, where he started a gay employee group named Apple Lambda in 1986. That group sparked nondiscrimination policies and domestic partner benefits at Apple. Not long after he joined the BAYMEC board in 1986 and Outlet TV.

He transitioned to working at Google in 2004, where he created the Gayglers in 2006. Bennet retired in 2011, and continues to live with Kim in the South Bay.