November 20, 2013 | by Staff reports
Obama honors Rustin, Ride
Walter Naegle, Bayard Rustin, Barack Obama, Medal of Freedom, gay news, Washington Blade

Bayard Rustin’s partner Walter Naegle accepting the medal from President Obama. (Photo by Patsy Lynch)

President Obama on Wednesday awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor, to a diverse roster of honorees.

Among them were two gay American icons: Bayard Rustin and Sally Ride. Both Rustin and Ride are deceased. Ride’s longtime partner, Dr. Tam O’Shaughnessy, accepted on her behalf; Rustin’s partner Walter Naegle accepted on his behalf.

Rustin was an openly gay black man who organized the March on Washington in 1963; Ride was the first American woman in space who came out publicly in her obituary.

Tam O'Shaughnessy, Barack Obama, Sally Ride, gay news, Washington Blade

Sally Ride’s longtime partner, Dr. Tam O’Shaughnessy, with President Obama on Wednesday. (Photo by Patsy Lynch)

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