08/28/2013 02:03 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

The Personal Life Of Bayard Rustin: Gay Civil Rights Activist And Organizer Of The March On Washington

This week, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. This march pressured the federal government to pass the Civil Rights Act, promoting equality in a country that had espoused freedom and equality for all since its inception, and yet had continuously come short of that mark.

Our country moves closer to its goal this year with Supreme Court rulings striking down DOMA and Prop 8. In addition, the Obama Administration has announced that it will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award offered by our government, to Bayard Rustin, who was a key organizer of that 1963 march. Because he was gay, Rustin was usually not accorded the recognition given to others in the Civil Rights Movement.

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