U.S. President Barack Obama has awarded gay comedian and actress Ellen DeGeneres America's highest civilian honor. Obama presented DeGeneres with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in an emotional exchange at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. In , DeGeneres came out as a lesbian. President Barack Obama after signing "don't ask, don't tell" repeal legislation. Evan Vucci / AP. Then he endured a hazing by gay activists and writers (including me) on his slow pace on gays in the military. Brown, whose tenure as editor at Newsweek has seen an array of controversial covers, will respond tomorrow with the cover above, pegged to Andrew Sullivan's piece on Obama's support for same-sex marriage: "The First Gay President.".