The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, has announced that global pop icon and longtime equality advocate Katy Perry will be honored with HRC’s National Equality Award at the 2017 Los Angeles Gala Dinner on March 18.
Ground-breaking actress and LGBTQ advocate America Ferrera will be also be recognized with HRC’s Ally for Equality Award. Lena Dunham, actor, writer, director, creator and star of HBO’s GIRLS and co-founder of LennyLetter.com, will present the award to Ferrera, her friend and fellow advocate.
HRC also announced that U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, (D-VA), will be the featured speaker at the gala. And singer/songwriter Troye Sivan will perform. Special guests include Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
“We are thrilled to honor Katy Perry for using her powerful voice and international platform to speak out for LGBTQ equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Her compelling advocacy, from the stage to the campaign trail, has had a profound effect on the lives of LGBTQ people — and, in particular, young people. Katy’s message of inclusion and equality continues to inspire us and the world.”
“America Ferrera has shown an unwavering commitment to advancing equality for all people and sets a stirring example for others to follow,” Griffin said. “As we continue the fight for full equality during this very uncertain time for our country, we are constantly inspired by America and our friend, Lena Dunham — both fierce and outspoken champions of equality.”
“Senator Tim Kaine is a true ally who has dedicated his career to fighting for the equal rights of all Americans,” Griffin said. “With Hillary Clinton, he was part of the most pro-equality presidential ticket in American history. We are honored to welcome him to our Los Angeles Gala, and heartened to know we have him fighting for us in the U.S. Senate to protect our progress and advance equality in this country and around the world.”
“Troye Sivan is a visionary young artist who has been a committed and outspoken advocate for LGBTQ people,” Griffin said. “Through his music, Troye has paid tribute to the fight for LGBTQ equality, and we are thrilled he will be performing at HRC’s LA Gala.”
Katy Perry is an international music superstar, and has emerged as one of the entertainment industry’s most powerful voices for LGBTQ equality. She was a tireless campaigner for equality champion Hillary Clinton during her historic 2016 presidential campaign, including performing at the Democratic National Convention, and has been recognized for using her global platform to inspire LGBTQ youth. In the 10 years since her Capitol Records debut, she has sold over 40 million adjusted albums worldwide, over 125 million tracks worldwide and her songs have been streamed over 18 billion times worldwide. Her new song, “Chained To The Rhythm,” broke the record for most streams by a female artist on Spotify in one day, and views on the accompanying video made her the most-viewed female artist on VEVO. Perry’s 2015 Super Bowl performance was the highest-rated in the event’s history.
America Ferrera is an award-winning actress and producer best known for her breakthrough role as Betty Suarez on ABC’s hit comedy, Ugly Betty. She has received a Golden Globe®, Emmy® and Screen Actors Guild Award®, as well as ALMA and Imagen Awards, and produces and stars in the NBC comedy, Superstore. A strong advocate for LGBTQ, women’s and immigrants’ rights, Ferrera spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention as well as at the historic Women’s March in January. She has been featured in roles on television, stage and screen, and is executive producer of Refinery 29’s Behind the Headlines, a multimedia project dedicated to humanizing the conversations around issues that matter to women.
Senator Tim Kaine has a strong commitment to LGBTQ equality. In addition to supporting marriage equality, Kaine is an original co-sponsor of the Equality Act — federal legislation that would finally guarantee explicit, permanent protections for LGBTQ people under our existing civil rights laws. One of Kaine’s first actions as Virginia Governor in 2006 was to sign an executive order adding sexual orientation protections to the non-discrimination policy for state workers. Kaine also recently signed onto an amicus brief in the 2nd Circuit case, Christiansen v. Omnicom Group Inc., arguing that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination are prohibited under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He has voted in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and co-sponsored the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA).
Troye Sivan’s debut album, Blue Neighbourhood (Capitol Records) topped over 50 iTunes charts around the world. Billboard praised Troye as “the voice of a new more tolerant generation”, while The New York Times dubbed him the “prototype for tomorrow’s global pop star”. Blue Neighbourhood is RIAA Certified Gold in the U.S. and contains hits “Youth,” which is certified Platinum, and “Wild,” which is certified Gold. Troye has 20 million combined online followers and over one billion streams to date.Troye relentlessly supports LGBTQ causes and the fight against discrimination through education, awareness and advocacy. The recently released video for “Heaven” has over 8 million views and was wildly commended for celebrating LGBT history.
The HRC Ally for Equality Award and National Equality Award recognize the outstanding efforts of those who use their voice and publicly stand up for the LGBTQ community. These allies commit time, energy and spirit to improve the lives of LGBTQ people and advance equality for all Americans.
The HRC Los Angeles Gala Dinner, which is expected to draw more than 1,000 guests, will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2017, at the JW Marriott LA Live. Tickets and more information are available here.