Advancing LGBT Civil Rights

LGBT Champion Awards

Thursday, July 28, 4:30 pm - 5:45 pm
National Museum of American Jewish History

Third Floor Freedom Experience
101 South Independence Mall East
(5th and Market Streets)
Philadelphia, PA 19106


Sponsored by

Tickets: $100

The International Role Model Award is this nation’s longest-standing recognition of activists and allies who have advanced LGBT civil rights. Previous recipients include Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Edie Windsor, Judy Shepard, David Boies and Ted Olson, Barney Frank, and Martina Navratilova. The 2016 award is presented by Jim Obergefell to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The Frank Kameny Award is named for the father of the LGBT civil rights movement. Among other monumental accomplishments, Frank Kameny led the fight to overturn Eisenhower’s Executive Order 10450, which prohibited the employment of gays and lesbians by the federal government. The award is presented by Malcolm Lazin to Ed Rendell, Chair of the Philadelphia Host Committee of the 2016 Democratic National Convention.




Nancy Pelosi (Recipient: 21st Annual International Role Model Award)
House Democratic Leader

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House, has been a transformative leader in the Congress for LGBT rights. Pelosi spearheaded the passage of a fully-inclusive hate crimes bill, signed by President Obama, and led the efforts to repeal the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Today, Leader Pelosi is leading the fight to pass the Equality Act, comprehensive LGBT rights legislation, and a federal ban on so-called conversion therapy. Since her election to Congress, Pelosi has been a staunch advocate for federal efforts to fight HIV/AIDS. For 29 years, Pelosi has represented California's 12th District in Congress.  She has led House Democrats for more than 12 years and previously served as House Democratic Whip. In 2013, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Ed Rendell (Recipient: Frank Kameny Award)
Philadelphia Host Committee of the 2016 Democratic National Convention

Governor Ed Rendell is the chair of the Philadelphia Host Committee of the 2016 Democratic National Convention and a prominent news analyst. He served for 24 years in public office: two terms each as district attorney of the city of Philadelphia, mayor of Philadelphia (1992-2000) and governor of Pennsylvania (2003-2011). Nicknamed “America’s Mayor” by Al Gore, he served as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) during the 2000 presidential election. Rendell has been a longtime champion of progress, working to rebuild America’s infrastructure, develop green energy, and support LGBT rights. During his run for DA in 1978, he became the first politician to openly campaign in gay bars. As Philadelphia mayor, Rendell issued the city’s domestic-partner executive order. During his terms as governor, he continued talks about state recognition for same-sex couples, despite pushback from conservatives. Governor Rendell is the author of “A Nation of Wusses: How America’s Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great” (2012).

Malcolm Lazin (Presenter of Frank Kameny Award)
Executive Director
Equality Forum

Malcolm Lazin is the executive director of Equality Forum and the founder of LGBT History Month. Previously a federal prosecutor, he received the U.S. Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award and subsequently served as the chair of the Pennsylvania Crime Commission. Lazin is credited with the lighting of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, which connects Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with Camden, New Jersey. He also successfully led a nearly two-decades-long campaign to make Washington Square in Philadelphia, the largest Revolutionary War burial site, part of Independence National Historical Park. Lazin is the recipient of numerous local, state and national community service and civil rights awards.


Jim Obergefell (Presenter of Role Model Award)
Marriage Equality Hero

Jim Obergefell is the plaintiff in the landmark marriage equality case Obergefell v. Hodges. The 2015 decision legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states. The federal government recognized same-sex marriage in 2013 when it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the United States v. Windsor. The Obergefell case tackled state legality. Obergefell and his partner, John, flew from Ohio to Maryland to marry legally as John was dying from ALS. A few months later, Obergefell sued to have his name listed as the surviving spouse on his partner’s death certificate. Obergefell and Pulitzer prize winner Debbie Cenziper are co-authors of "Love Wins."

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