The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, has announced that Vice President Joe Biden will deliver the keynote address at the 19th annual HRC National Dinner on the evening of October 3, 2015, in Washington, DC.
In addition, HRC announced that seven-time Emmy Award winner Allison Janney will present HRC’s National Vanguard Award to Academy Award nominated actress Ellen Page for her courage and leadership. Retired NBA athlete Jason Collins and Blossom Brown are also slated to address the sold-out gathering. As previously announced, multi-platinum selling Grammy nominated singer and songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen, and multi-platinum selling Grammy award-winning A Great Big World – joined by Hip-Hop artist Futuristic – will perform.
“Vice President Biden has stood up for the rights of all Americans to live their lives free from discrimination and fear throughout his remarkable career, and he’s a true champion of LGBT equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “From his historic announcement in support of marriage equality to his ongoing commitment to achieving full federal equality for LGBT Americans, the Vice President has proven time and again that he’s a stalwart ally to our community, and we’re honored he’ll be joining us to deliver the keynote address at the HRC National Dinner.”
As both Senator and Vice President of the United States, Vice President Biden’s work to advance LGBT equality is just one chapter in a remarkable lifetime of service to our country. He has played an integral role in the Obama Administration’s unprecedented legacy of progress for the LGBT community. At HRC’s Spring Equality Convention in March, the Vice President called for the passage of new federal LGBT non-discrimination protections. “We have to pass the federal non-discrimination legislation, and we need to pass it now,” said Biden. A few months later, the landmark Equality Act – comprehensive legislation that would guarantee explicit, permanent protections for LGBT people in many of the most important aspects of their lives – was introduced in Congress. At an HRC event in Los Angeles last year, Biden highlighted the importance of defending LGBT rights abroad in the United States’ foreign policy agenda.
In addition, Academy Award nominated actress Ellen Page will be presented with an award by seven-time Emmy Award winner Allison Janney at the event highlighting the organization’s work fighting for full LGBT equality. Page has charmed audiences and critics with captivating performances in a wide range of films. In addition, Page – who made the bold decision to come out publicly at HRC’s first annual Time to THRIVE conference – continues to set a powerful example for LGBT and allied youth around the world. Her coming out speech was viewed more than a half-million times within the first 12 hours after the video was uploaded to HRC’s YouTube page. Page will be introduced and presented the HRC National Vanguard Award by seven-time Emmy Award winner, Allison Janney, who has co-starred with Page in three films: Juno, Touchy Feely, and the to-be-released Talullah.
“Ellen Page has been an inspiration for LGBT youth around the world,” said Griffin. “Her willingness to speak her truth for all to hear, and to confront injustice against LGBT people, has made her a role model and there is no one more deserving of HRC’s National Vanguard Award. And it’s only fitting that the award will be presented by such a strong ally to our cause as Allison Janney.”
Retired NBA athlete Jason Collins and Blossom Brown are also slated to speak. Jason Collins was the first openly gay player to be signed by an NBA team. Collins and Blossom Brown, a transgender student and HRC volunteer who was featured in a television ad from HRC’s “All God’s Children” campaign and has appeared on I Am Cait and the Ellen Degeneres Show, will share more about their personal journeys, the challenges they’ve faced, and the victories they’ve claimed living open and authentic lives.
“Jason Collins changed the world of sports for the better when he came out, and Blossom Brown has helped to lift the voices of the transgender community by showing true courage in sharing her story,” added Griffin.
The 19th annual HRC National Dinner, which is expected to draw over 3,000 guests, will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. More information is available at www.hrcnationaldinner.org.
As previously announced, Hillary Clinton will speak to the organization at a separate event on the morning of the National Dinner. Approximately 800 grassroots leaders from across the country – including the HRC Board of Directors, HRC Board of Governors, HRC staff, and volunteer leaders and supporters from the organization’s over 1.5 million members and supporters in all 50 states – will hear from Secretary Clinton.