Senator Dianne Feinstein to Deliver Keynote Address at Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Gala Dinner

by HRC Staff

Line-up also includes LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Julian Bond, comedian Wanda Sykes.

LOS ANGELES - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today announced that Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) will deliver the keynote address at the organization's 2009 Los Angeles Gala and Hero Awards on March 14th at the Hyatt Century Plaza in Century City, California. Senator Feinstein is a consistent supporter of the LGBT community who, at the height of campaign season, recorded a television spot urging voters to reject Proposition 8, the measure that overturned a state Supreme Court decision allowing lesbians and gays to marry in California.

"I am thrilled and honored that Senator Dianne Feinstein will join us for our annual gala dinner in Los Angeles. Senator Feinstein is one of the LGBT community's most valued allies, both within California and at the national level," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "She stood with us during one of our most critical trials, the battle to defeat Proposition 8, and continues to stand with us as we move forward in pursuit of full equality for the LGBT community."

Julian Bond, who has served since 1998 as Chairman of the Board of the NAACP, the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the United States, will also be a featured speaker at the event. Under Bond's leadership, in advance of a legal challenge to the amendment, NAACP decried Prop 8 as discriminatory and dangerous to the California Constitution and said it would undermine the concept of equal protection and opportunity for all.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a longtime ally of the LGBT community, will also be a featured speaker at the Gala Dinner.

The event, which will be hosted by comedian Wanda Sykes, will honor West Hollywood Councilmember John Duran with the HRC Community Hero Award for his contributions to the LGBT community. Actors T.R. Knight and Jane Lynch will also be in attendance.

"Throughout his career in public service, John Duran has demonstrated tireless commitment to equal rights for all," said Parker Williams, co-chair of the event. "He is truly an inspirational leader who continues to galvanize our community to bring about positive change."

Guests at the gala will also vote via live text messaging on their cell phones to select the top online activist video, sponsored by AT&T. Voting online beings today at The video earning the highest number of votes will receive the E-Hero Award. The five finalists, which will be screened during the HRC Los Angeles Gala and Hero Awards, can also be viewed at

The HRC Los Angeles Gala and Hero Awards is one of the largest LGBT fundraising events in Southern California, drawing more than 1,400 guests in past years. Attendees typically include national leaders in entertainment, community service, business and politics. This year's event's major sponsors include Lexus, HBO, Stiletto Entertainment, AT&T and Wells Fargo. For more information about the HRC Los Angeles Gala and Hero Awards, visit

WHAT: 2009 Los Angeles Gala and Hero Awards
WHEN: Saturday, March 14th at 5:30 PT
WHERE: Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles Ballroom
2025 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, California

Ticket info: Tickets for the event may be reserved online at or by calling Robin Winston at Levy, Pazanti & Associates, at 310-201-5033, x 14.

Credentialing: Media pre-registration required. To receive credentials for the dinner, please e-mail your request to

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

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