Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Harvey Milk, Billie Jean King to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom Today

In a ceremony later today, President Obama will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the late gay rights activist Harvey Milk and lesbian tennis legend Billie Jean King.

The Medal is the highest civilian award bestowed by the U.S. government to recognize individuals who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."

BJK said of the award, "I think it’s the first time the LGBT community has been acknowledged. It’s another breakthrough. I’m very visible because of being able to play tennis,” she added. “Believe me, Harvey Milk, that’s a whole other discussion. I’m so thrilled he’s going to be recognized.”

Milk's award will be accepted by his nephew, Stuart Milk.

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