(San Francisco, CA, April 1, 2014)—The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is proud to announce that it will honor several heroes—including actor Meredith Baxter for her LGBTQ advocacy and survivors of “reparative therapy” for their courage in speaking out to protect other LGBTQ youth—in the movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality at its 2014 Anniversary Celebration on May 17, 2014 at San Francisco’s City View at Metreon.
“The Anniversary Celebration is not only our most important fundraiser of the year, it is a night where we celebrate the amazing strides we have made, the people who have become our role models, and commit to achieving even more,” said NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell. “Every year, the Anniversary Celebration leaves our supporters inspired and recommitted to our success, and it leaves the NCLR Board and staff newly energized for the coming challenges. It is a magical evening.”
Voice and Visibility Award: Meredith Baxter
The Voice and Visibility Award honors an individual who has helped to give voice and visibility to the LGBTQ community. This year’s award goes to actor Meredith Baxter, a vocal LGBTQ activist who has used her celebrity to raise awareness about the challenges facing LGBTQ families and LGBTQ youth. Baxter gained fame on hit television shows like “Family Ties,” “The Faculty,” and “Cold Case,” and is a relentless and tireless advocate for LGBTQ equality.
Courage Award: Survivors of Reparative Therapy
The Courage Award honors individuals who have shown courage and perseverance in the face of great injustice, and whose bravery has been a model for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. This year, we are honoring two people—Ryan Kendall and Samuel Brinton—for their courage in speaking out against reparative therapy, and sharing their personal stories to highlight the terrible harms caused by these practices, including helping California and New Jersey pass laws prohibiting therapists from trying to change a young person’s sexual orientation or gender expression. Many states have since introduced similar legislation, and both Kendall and Brinton continue to advocate for these groundbreaking protections by sharing their stories through testimony and their commitment to helping other young people.
Founded in 1977, NCLR is devoted to advancing LGBTQ equality through litigation, legislation, policy, and public education. Since its start, NCLR—which helps more than 5,000 people each year—has embraced every aspect of the diverse LGBTQ community through its work, recognizing that LGBTQ people and their families come from many different backgrounds and face a wide range of issues.
NCLR has led the effort to protect LGBTQ youth from reparative therapy. In 2012, NCLR helped make history in California with the passage of the first law in the nation protecting young people from the dangerous practices that include aversion therapy and shame to try to change their sexual orientation or gender expression. The following year, NCLR worked closely with New Jersey leaders to pass a similar law. NCLR is now representing advocates in California and New Jersey to defend the laws against legal challenges by anti-LGBTQ organizations.
The Anniversary Celebration—NCLR’s annual signature event—attracts a sell-out crowd of 1,500 people from across the country to celebrate victories in the movement for LGBTQ equality, and to honor those who have become role models through their unfailing commitment to justice.
Tickets to the party are now available for $90. The party begins at 8 p.m., with the well-known political humorist Kate Clinton returning for a command performance as emcee.
The Presenting Sponsor of the Anniversary Celebration is Wells Fargo. The Premiere Party Sponsor is Olivia.