Obama To Bestow Medal Of Freedom To A Pair Of LGBT Trailblazers

BRPresident Obama will award the prestigious medal of freedom on 16 notable Americans, including former President Bill Clinton, entertainer Loretta Lynn and media mogul Oprah Winfrey. Significantly among the names are two LGBT pioneers, Sally Ride and Bayard Rustin, who will both receive the honor posthumously.

According to the White House press release, Rustin (right) will be honored for his work as “an unyielding activist for civil rights, dignity, and equality for all. An advisor to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he promoted nonviolent resistance, participated in one of the first Freedom Rides, organized the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and fought tirelessly for marginalized communities at home and abroad.  As an openly gay African American, Mr. Rustin stood at the intersection of several of the fights for equal rights.”

SRRide (left) is noted as “the first American female astronaut to travel to space. As a role model to generations of young women, she advocated passionately for science education, stood up for racial and gender equality in the classroom, and taught students from every background that there are no limits to what they can accomplish. Dr. Ride also served in several administrations as an advisor on space exploration.

“This year’s honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world,” Obama said in a statement. The awards will be presented at the White House later this year.

The medal was created by President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago to signify the highest honor that can be bestowed on U.S. civilians. In the five decades since, more than 500 people have been recognized for contributions to the culture and society of the country.

Past LGBT recipients include playwright Tennessee Williams and politician Harvey Milk.


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  • jeff4justice

    Bayard Rustin and MLK would be arrested under Obama’s NDAA.

  • Fawkes

    @jeff4justice: It’s just another one of Obama’s sick jokes. Bayard Rustin was a trailblazing hero and would surely be spit on by this president. How dare this president award the so-called “medal of freedom” to Rustin during the same ceremony that he is awarding one to Bill Clinton, the most destructive president to gay rights in this country’s history. Rustin was everything that Obama isn’t – anti-war, anti-poverty, pro-working-class, pro-freedom, pro-justice and pro-resistance to tyranny. This president has no right to defile Rustin’s great legacy.

  • Patrick Sean

    Oh STFU Fawkes. Take your meds.

  • Fawkes

    @Patrick Sean: Go back to bed, troll. Children need their rest.

  • 2eo

    @Fawkes: I can’t tell if you’re actually stupid or are suffering from ingesting too much bleach as a child.

  • BJ McFrisky

    Oprah Winfrey and Loretta Lynn? Really? Who chooses these so-called champions of freedom? The president? The congress? The second-grade class at the corner elementary school?

  • Fawkes

    @2eo: So you go from complete agreement with me on Bradley Manning, Eric Snowden and Wikileaks to calling me stupid because I dare insult some fake liberal president? What a shallow person you are. It makes me sad to have ever agreed with you. Wake up. Just because someone’s a Democrat doesn’t mean they’re a nice person. Although trolls like you don’t tend to be able to understand complexities.

  • jeff4justice

    @Fawkes: Right on. May the 2-party system charade fall soon.

  • DCFarmboi

    Of course, the politically correct far left hated Rustin because he was strongly anti-Communist, pro-Israel, against “Identity Politics” and, in their words, a pasty for George Meany.

  • manjoguy

    Misnomer, in my opinion, “Medal of Freedom.” It really should be called the ‘Medal of Notoriety’
    Oprah Winfrey? Freedom award? LMAO.
    (from the internet, DC DEcoder): Under the Executive Order signed by JFK, those eligible for the Medal of Freedom include anyone who has made a significant contribution to (1) the security or national interests of the United States, (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant private or public endeavors.
    In other words, pretty much anybody who has done anything of enough interest to come to a US president’s attention.
    And, as we’ve noted before, that’s one of the most interesting aspects of the medal award process: the president alone is the decider.

  • Fawkes

    @Red Meat: Really? Homophobic trolling on an LGBT website? I guess it is fitting for you people.

  • onyxsky

    @Fawkes: some people eat this sh!t up

  • onyxsky

    @jeff4justice: let’s hope there aren’t many casualties in the process

  • susansylvester

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Comments are closed.