Human Rights Campaign to Honor Vanessa Williams at New York Dinner

by HRC Staff

Williams to receive "Ally for Equality" award, provide keynote address

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today announced Vanessa Williams as the recipient of the "Ally for Equality" award. Williams will be honored for her contributions to the GLBT community and her role as Wilhelmina Slater in ABC's television program "Ugly Betty." In addition to "Ugly Betty," Williams was also the first African-American woman to be crowned Miss America. This year, she is expected to release her eighth music album, having previously sold over six million records and garnering fifteen Grammy Award nominations. Williams will receive the award and offer remarks, February 23, 2008, at the annual HRC greater New York gala dinner.

"We are proud to recognize Vanessa Williams for her outstanding contributions in support of equality for the GLBT community," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Her outspoken support for marriage equality and same-sex adoption rights, along with her work on the hit TV show, "Ugly Betty," has helped to change the culture of our country for the better. Straight allies, like Vanessa Williams, are crucial in our fight for full equality."

In January of 2005, Williams voiced support for marriage equality. In the interview, she said, "I completely support it. I have many gay friends that are married. Close male friends of mine have been living together as a couple for over 20 years, and they have adopted a beautiful baby girl who is now 3-years old. They are fantastic parents. Other gay couples I know are also looking to adopt. And then I have single gay friends who are adoptive parents."

To link to the complete interview visit the HRC blog, HRC Back Story. For tickets or to learn more about the HRC greater New York gala dinner, visit:

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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