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04/19/2007


PFLAG Founder Jeanne Manford Honored in Plaque on NYC Church Where Organization Was Born

PFLAG

PFLAG founder Jeanne Manford, who died in January at 92, and founded Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) in 1972, has been honored in a plaque that will be affixed later this year to the Greenwich Village church where the organization was born.

Pflag-ceremonySaid Andrew Berman, the Executive Director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, at a ceremony at the Church of the Village (then Duane United Methodist Church) yesterday:

One of many great points of pride that I take in celebrating the history of Greenwich Village is the incredibly important role that it played in providing a safe, open, and nurturing environment for LGBT people, especially when too few such places existed.  It is no coincidence that Jeanne, and other brave and loving parents, found themselves in this church, in this community, forty years ago, seeking to change the fundamental way in which we saw our families and our society.

It is thus with great pride that I would like to unveil today the bronze historic plaque marker which will be placed on the exterior of this wonderful church to mark the beginning, forty years ago, of PFLAG, by Jeanne Manford.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler and City Councilmember Danny Dromm were among the elected officials who attended yesterday's unveiling.


Jeanne Manford, Late Founder of PFLAG, to Receive 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal

Jeanne Manford, the founder of PFLAG who died last month at the age of 92, will be awarded the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation’s second-highest civilian honor, in a ceremony on February 15.

ManfordSaid President Obama in a press release: "It is my distinguished honor to award these individuals the 2012 Citizens Medal for their commitment to public service. Their selflessness and courage inspire us all to look for opportunities to better serve our communities and our country."

From the White House's brief:

Manford and her husband, Jules, co-founded in 1972 a support group for parents of gay children that grew into the national organization known as Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).  Manford had always supported her son Morty, but was inspired to act after the police failed to intervene while Morty was beaten and hospitalized during a Gay Activists Alliance demonstration in April 1972. In the years that followed, Manford continued to march and organize, even after losing Morty to AIDS in 1992.  Today, PFLAG focuses on creating a network of support and advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.  Manford passed away in early January at the age of 92.

Additional recipients of this year's award can be found here.


Rachel Maddow Eulogizes PFLAG Founder Jeanne Manford: VIDEO

PFLAGManford

Rachel Maddow ended her work week with a lengthy and well-deserved segment on the late Jeanne Manford, the woman who founded PFLAG during an era when most people were disowning their gay and lesbian children.

Manford was a pioneer in the LGBT rights movement, and one whose work helped make it possible for moms and dads to embrace their children with pride.

Watch Maddow's touching tribute AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Rachel Maddow Eulogizes PFLAG Founder Jeanne Manford: VIDEO" »


PFLAG Founder Jeanne Manford Dies at 92

Manford

Jeanne Manford, the founder of Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) in 1972, has died at the age of 92, the group reports.

RallyWrote Liz Owen on the occasion of Manford's 91st birthday last year:

Being gay was a crime, over half of the U.S. population deemed homosexuality morally wrong, vicious attacks on gay people were commonplace, and the idea of equality for gays and lesbians was a radical notion. But this didn’t stop Bronx, New York schoolteacher Jeanne Manford from ensuring that her gay son, Morty, received the same treatment as her straight daughter, Suzanne.

Following a brutal attack on his life at a rally, Manford stood alongside her son in a protest through the streets of Manhattan, carrying a sign that read “Parents of Gays: Unite in Support for Our Children.” Begged by observers to speak to other parents, she started support groups teaching parents to accept and support their LGBT loved ones and become, like her, brave advocates for equality. As demand steadily increased, Manford founded PFLAG, a national organization with a mission of support, education, and advocacy.

Writes PFLAG's Brooke Smith:

Jeanne was one of the fiercest fighters in the battle for acceptance and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. It is truly humbling to imagine in 1972 - just 40 years ago - a simple schoolteacher started this movement of family and ally support, without benefit of any of the technology that today makes a grassroots movement so easy to organize. No Internet. No cellphones. Just a deep love for her son and a sign reading “Parents of Gays: Unite in Support for Our Children.”

This simple and powerful message of love and acceptance from one person resonated so strongly it was heard by millions of people worldwide and led to the founding of PFLAG, an organization with more than 350 chapters across the U.S. and 200,000 members and supporters, and the creation of similar organizations across the globe.

Our thoughts go out to Manford's family and those close to her.

The family requests that any donations be made to the Jeanne Manford Legacy Fund to support the ongoing work of PFLAG National: 1828 L Street, NW, Suite 660, Washington, DC 20036.


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