OBITUARIES : Hal M. Freeman; Quit U.S. Civil Rights Post in Protest of Reagan AIDS Policy

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Hal M. Freeman, who quit as Western regional manager of the Office of Civil Rights to protest a Reagan Administration policy toward AIDS patients, has died of the disease.

Freeman was 52 when he died July 30 in San Francisco, his longtime companion Michael S. Macpherson announced this week.

Freeman was in charge of the Office of Civil Rights in San Francisco, whose jurisdiction includes California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii and U.S. trust territories in the Pacific when he resigned in February, 1986.


He told The Times he was quitting because the Department of Health and Human Services had refused to apply the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to AIDS patients, depriving them of federal funds given other handicapped and ill people. The media furor that followed his resignation was credited with a reversal of the policy.

After leaving federal service, Freeman, who held a master’s degree in clinical psychology, established a psychotherapy practice in San Francisco.