jeanne-manford-citizens-medal-2012When Jeanne Manford learned that her son Morty had been badly beaten up at a gay-rights demonstration, nobody would have faulted her for bringing him home, holding him close, and just focusing on her child.

This was back in 1972—there was a lot of hate, a lot of vitriol, towards gays and lesbians and anyone who supported them.

Instead, she wrote to the local newspaper and took to the streets with a simple message: No matter who her son was—no matter who he loved—she loved him, and wouldn’t put up with this kind of nonsense. And in that simple act, she inspired a movement and gave rise to a national organization that has given so much support to parents and families and friends, and helped to change this country.

We lost Jeanne last month, but her legacy carries on, every day, in the countless lives that she touched.”

President Obama, praising PFLAG founder Jeanne Manford, at a ceremony for the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal recipients at the White House on February 14.

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