The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, has announced the line-up for its 2012 Los Angeles Gala on Saturday March 17 at the Ritz-Carlton/JW Marriott in Los Angeles.

Chelsea Handler will host the event where MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and wife Kathleen, and actress Charlize Theron will each receive HRC’s Ally for Equality Award. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and actor Joe Manganiello will make special appearances.

HRC will present its Ally for Equity Award, which recognizes the outstanding efforts of those outside of the LGBT community who dedicate time, energy, spirit and whole-hearted commitment to better the lives of LGBT people, to three honorees this year. Chris Matthews, who has hosted hard-hitting debates challenging Prop 8 on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, his wife Kathleen Matthews, Executive VP, Global Communications & Public Affairs at Marriott International, Inc., who has lead Marriott in its policies of LGBT inclusion, and actress Charlize Theron, who has forsworn marriage until the law recognizes the right of all couples to marry, will receive the award for their long-time support of the LGBT community.

“The leaders who will be honored at the Los Angeles Gala have used their platforms to advance equality for LGBT people across the country and around the world,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Their actions have made equality a mainstream value. We appreciate and honor their support.”

As mayor of the nation’s second largest city, Antonio Villaraigosa is a supporter of LGBT equality. Mayor Villaraigosa publicly supports marriage equality and has called for the overturn of Proposition 8, which repealed marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples in the Golden State.

"Mayor Villaraigosa has been a friend to the LGBT community for many years," added Solmonese. “With the battle to bring marriage equality back to California heating up, we look forward to continuing our work with him. He is not only a leader in the fight for equality in Los Angeles, but across the country.”

The HRC Los Angeles Gala is one of the largest LGBT fundraising events in Southern California, drawing more than 1,000 guests in past years, including national LGBT leaders in entertainment, community service, business and politics.

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