Thursday, July 30, 2009

Harvey Milk, Bilie Jean King, Ted Kennedy & Desmond Tutu among Medal of Freedom "agents of change"

(AP -- source link)President Obama announced today the "agents of change" he plans on honoring with the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom on Aug. 12.

The 16 individuals that will be given America's highest civilian honor were chosen because they have "changed the world for the better" and set "a standard to which we all should strive," he said.

"These outstanding men and women represent an incredible diversity of backgrounds," Mr. Obama said, in a statement released by the White House. "Each saw an imperfect world and set about improving it, often overcoming great obstacles along the way."

Here is the full list of recipients: Nancy Goodman Brinker, Founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Pedro José Greer, Jr. Founder of the Camillus Health Concern, St. John Bosco Clinic
Stephen Hawking, Noted theoretical physicist
Jack Kemp, Professional Football Player, Republican Vice President Nominee in 1996
Senator Edward Kennedy, Leading congressional health care reform advocate
Billie Jean King, Acclaimed professional tennis player
Reverend Joseph Lowery, Civil rights movement leader
Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow, Last living Plains Indian war chief
Harvey Milk, First openly gay elected official, LGBT rights activist
Sandra Day O'Connor, First female U.S. Supreme Court justice
Sidney Poitier, First African-American to win a Best Actor Academy Award
Chita Rivera, First Hispanic recipient of Kennedy Center Honor
Mary Robinson, First female President of Ireland
Janet Davidson Rowley, Distinguished American human geneticist
Desmond Tutu, Leading anti-apartheid activist, Nobel Peace Prize recipient
Muhammad Yunus, Anti-poverty leader, Nobel Peace Prize recipient


IT said...

Hunh. There's a gay guy, but he's dead. What do the tea leaves say about that?

BJ said...

Whoa! At least, there IS a gay guy.

IT said...

I think in part it highlights the complete lack of any national leader or figure for the GLBT movement since Milk. No wonder it's all in disarray.

Necktie Knot said...

How about Jack Kemp? He's been dogged by gay rumors for several decades now.

And as for a national gay leader: that's been one of the great strengths. It's all come from generally unknown, or briefly known, people. It's been a truly bottom-up phenomenon with people stepping up to the plate when called upon.

IT said...

And that's why it's in disarray and a disaster. And as reported, theother side is laughing.

Point of View said...

Billie Jean King is an out lesbian, although that's not what she's being honored for. But I agree that we need national leaders.