Congrats to all of the LGBT Pride Award winners!
From Councilman Rosendahl:
As part of City of Los Angeles Heritage Month celebrations, Councilmember Bill Rosendahl awarded eight LGBT Pride Awards to people he called trailblazers for civil rights, justice, pride, and acceptance.
In a council ceremony, Rosendahl honored prominent civil rights activists, community organizers, and city staffers who are role models in and to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered communities.
“It is important to celebrate not just the well-known, but also the heroes and heroines who walk among us,” Rosendahl said. “There are leaders and trailblazers in our neighborhoods, our workplaces, and our families – people of courage, skill, dignity, and power.”
“The time for LGBT to hide in the shadows is long past over, and it is time for our government to recognize our essential dignity and human rights and acknowledge our civil rights. With these awards, we celebrate who we are, how far we have come, and how much work we have yet to do.”
Rosendahl, the City’s only LGBT elected officials, honored a diverse group of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered people, and straight allies:
Kristin M. Perry & Sandra B. Steir, and Paul T Katami & Jeffrey J. Zarillo, the plaintiffs in the groundbreaking civil rights case challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8.
Marcia Davalos of Honor PAC and the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California.
Carolyn Weiss, director, Central-West area, Community Development Department.
Stephen Simon, the AIDS Coordinator for the City of Los Angeles.
Samuel Chu, until recently the executive director of California Faith for Equality.
Christine Marge of the United Way/Los Angeles and actor/activist Chad Allen, who were unable to attend the ceremony, will receive awards in August.
Rosendahl started the LGBT Pride Awards in 2006, to coincide with June Gay Pride celebrations nationwide. This year, for the first time, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa proclaimed June to be LGBT Heritage Month and kicked off 30 days of local Gay Pride events with a City Hall celebration.
“The contributions of the LGBT community to our City are as important as they are innumerable,” says Villaraigosa. “I believe it is high time we recognize those contributions by declaring LGBT Heritage Month, but it’s not enough to stop there. That’s why this month is not just about celebration, it’s about giving back through events like the Harvey Milk Day of Service, and it’s about educating our friends and neighbors. So long as a kid can be bullied for being gay or someone can be prevented from marrying the person they love, we will continue our fight for equality.”
During the Heritage Month event, the Mayor presented awards to comedian Wanda Sykes, actor Alec Mapa, screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, Reverend Troy Perry and political strategist Chad Griffin.