President Barack Obama, who has over the course of his term been pretty vocal about his support for LGBT rights and marriage equality, has done it again. He has made quite a few across the globe shed copious amounts of tears when he spoke about the achievements of comedian, talk show host and actress, Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen was praised by Obama for her influence on the gay rights movement as she received the country's highest civilian honour.
DeGeneres was one of 21 recipients honoured on Tuesday with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an award granted to individuals who have helped bring about change with their work and ideas - Tom Hanks, Diana Ross, Michael Jordan were also among the recipients.
The outgoing President said it was easy to forget the risk DeGeneres took to come out as gay in 1997. He said her bravery helped "push our country in the direction of justice", reports bbc.com.
Obama choked up as he awarded DeGeneres, prompting Ellen and everyone watching to also get emotional.
"It's easy to forget now, when we've come so far... just how much courage was required for Ellen to come out on the most public of stages almost 20 years ago," Obama said during the award ceremony at the White House.
He added: "What an incredible burden that was to bear - to risk your career like that - people don't do that very often. And then, to have the hopes of millions on your shoulders."
With inputs from IANS