2015 Beacon Prize
Beacon Prize Honoree
Justice Anthony Kennedy
"The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times. The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning. When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed."
So wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in his momentous majority opinion for the Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage. The opinion is the capstone to a series of landmark decisions throughout a distinguished career in which Justice Kennedy used the law to recognize the inherent dignity of LGBT Americans, securing his legacy as a champion of liberty and equality. In these and many other cases, Justice Kennedy’s vision has helped make the promise of our Constitution real in the lives of people seeking freedom and justice.
For his leadership in helping our nation live up to its founding ideals, we honor Justice Kennedy with our Beacon Prize. Established in 2012 to honor those whose work embodies the best traditions of U.S. leadership on human rights, the Beacon Prize is the highest honor that Human Rights First bestows on an American. Please join us to celebrate Justice Kennedy’s leadership at the festive culmination of our annual Human Rights Summit.