Metro Weekly

President Obama: Ellen DeGeneres’ coming out was courageous

Obama praised Ellen DeGeneres while awarding her the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Ellen DeGeneres receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, Photo: ABC News / YouTube

Ellen DeGeneres receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, Photo: ABC News / YouTube

President Barack Obama reminded everyone of how far LGBT rights have come on Tuesday. while awarding Ellen DeGeneres the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

“It’s easy to forget now, when we’ve come so far, now that marriage is equal under the law,” Obama said, “just how much courage was required for Ellen to come out on the most public of stages almost 20 years ago. Just how important it was.”

The comedian and daytime host was one of 21 people recognized with the nation’s highest civilian honor, including Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, Bill and Melinda Gates, Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro and Michael Jordan, among others.

DeGeneres almost didn’t get her award after turning up to the White House without her ID. She posted a photo outside the building with the caption: “They haven’t let me in to the White House yet because I forgot my ID. #NotJoking #PresidentialMedalOfFreedom.”

Thankfully, DeGeneres was able the enter the White House (we presume someone opened Google to confirm that it was her), where she promptly coaxed the other honorees into doing the mannequin challenge:

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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