Janice Langbehn, an out lesbian, is one of 13 citizens to be honored with the 2011 Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation’s second-highest civilian honor. While on vacation in 2007, Langbehn’s partner, Lisa Pond, suddenly fell ill. Langbehn was refused access to her partner, who later died alone. With the help of Lambda Legal and GLAAD she filed a federal lawsuit and worked tirelessly to ensure no one else would have to suffer through the same ordeal. President Obama apologized to Langbehn for the way she and her family had been treated and issued a memo mandating hospital visitation rights for same-sex partners. Langbehn will receive the honor at the White House on October 20.
Lesbian To Be Honored With Citizens Medal