Arthur Evans, the American gay rights campaigner, has died at the age of 68.

He was found dead of a heart attack at his home in San Francisco on Sunday, having being diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm last year.

Evans helped form the gay activism movement that sprang up after the Stonewall Inn was raided in 1969.

Although he did not attend the ensuing riot, he soon joined the Gay Liberation Front, splitting from the group later that year to form the Gay Activists Alliance.

The group held ‘zaps’ – confrontations with anti-gay people or institutions.

According to the New York Times, the Gay Activists Alliance “became a model for gay rights organisations nationwide, pushing in New York for legislation to ban discrimination against gay men and lesbians in employment, housing and other areas“.

The newspaper added: “Mr Evans wrote its statement of purpose and much of its constitution, which began, ‘We as liberated homosexual activists demand the freedom for expression of our dignity and value as human beings.’”

In later life, Evans wrote ‘Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture’ and opened a Volkswagen repair business named the Buggery.