Earlier this month at the White House, President Obama awarded the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal to PFLAG founder Jeanne Manford. Mrs. Manford’s daughter, Suzanne Swan, accepted the award on behalf of her mother, who passed away last month, at the age of 92.
The President personally selected Mrs. Manford as one of the 18 recipients of the medal, which is the second-highest civilian award in our country, and recognizes individuals “whose service has had a sustained impact on others’ lives and provided inspiration for others to serve.” Today’s ceremony marks only the second time an individual has been honored for advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights.
This is an extraordinary and unprecedented honor for Jeanne Manford, her family, and PFLAG members and supporters everywhere.The message is powerful: the voices of parents, family members, friends, and straight allies, united with the voice of LGBT people, is critical to the advancement of acceptance and equality. And that love always wins.