Obama credited another honoree, Jeanne Manford, with inspiring a movement. In the 1970s Manford launched a campaign for tolerance for gays and lesbians after her son, Morty, was assaulted at a gay rights demonstration. She created a support group that evolved into Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays, a national organization that now has more than 350 chapters. Manford's daughter accepted the award on behalf of her late mother.
"These folks participate, they get involved, they have a point of view," Obama said. "They don't just wait for somebody else to do something, they go out there and do it, and they join and they become part of groups and they mobilize and they organize."
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2012 Citizens Medal Recipients: http://1.usa.gov/TVwfQ6