Saturday, August 06, 2011

Mr. President, Frank Kameny
Deserves the Medal of Freedom

(The moving trailer for "The Lavender Scare" documentary, featuring soaring praise from the president directed at Frank Kameny.)

To say that I am disappointed and saddened President Obama has not bestowed the Medal of Freedom on longtime iconic gay American Frank Kameny for his decades of patriotic civic service on behalf of the LGBT community, would be an understatement. Previously, I've blogged here and here and here and here regarding why my  friend Frank more than deserves this presidential honor.

The recent news that White House gay liaison Brian Bond, a key Democratic operative of good standing with Gay Inc, is stepping down in mid August from that position to move over to the Obama reelection campaign, reminded me he never did much to secure Frank the medal. It's a blot upon Bond's White House list of accomplishments that Frank's medal is not on it.

However, there's plenty of blame to go around. The Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Victory Fund, GLAAD, gays in Congress and too many LGBT Democratic operatives to count have not organized a campaign to persuade our fierce, evolving advocate in the White House to deliver the Medal of Freedom to this extraordinarily worthy gay American.

All one has to do is listen to what Obama says in the movie trailer and the case is beautifully made for Frank to receive the medal. I mean, if he can give it to Chita Rivera, President George H.W. Bush, the deceased Harvey Milk, and Jack Kemp, why not Kameny?

And if it isn't done soon, and Obama isn't reelected, then it won't happen while Frank is alive. He's 86-years-old, and thankfully in good health, but time of the essence. I see next year as the last solid chance.

Now would be an excellent time for Federal GLOBE, Members of Congress, Gay Inc, LGBT newspapers, rights advocates and bloggers, ordinary gays, Democrats and Republicans and Greens and independents, to collaborate on a winning strategy to guarantee that the next time Obama names more Presidential Medal of Freedom of awardees, that Frank's name is on the list.


George said...

I concurr completely, George Bakan, publisher Seattle Gay News. And will do editorial work in that direction.

Thanks Michael. GB

Unknown said...

hey george,

thanks for supporting this idea to have obama honor frank with the medal. will look for coverage in SGN.