Lambda Legal Hosts Record-Breaking Liberty Awards!
Lambda Legal hosted its annual Liberty Awards National Dinner this month raising over $2 million to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and everyone living with HIV. This was the most successful fundraiser in Lambda Legal’s 50-year history, shattering the previous record in 2022 by over $800,000. Against the backdrop of over 550 anti-LGBTQ+ pieces of legislation introduced across the country so far this year, the Liberty Awards National Dinner demonstrated that Lambda Legal is preparing for the fight ahead!
This year's gala honored Tony, Grammy, and Emmy-winning performer and advocate Billy Porter with the Liberty Award and posthumously honored the late activist Urvashi Vaid with the Kevin Cathcart Community Leadership Award.
Billy Porter, who came out in 1985 and is open about being HIV+, is no stranger to fighting on the front lines for the lives of the queer community and recognized at the Liberty Awards that this fight for LGBTQ+ rights is cyclical and not yet finished. Likewise, Urvashi Vaid - whose long-term partner, Kate Clinton, accepted the reward posthumously on Urvashi’s behalf - spent her life fighting for positive change by co-founding the Creating Change Conference and serving as a professional and volunteer leader for national advocacy organizations including the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the National LGBTQ+ Task Force.
The Liberty Awards also prominently featured two of Lambda Legal’s brave clients, Becky Pepper-Jackson and Isaiah Wilkins. Becky Pepper-Jackson, just 13 years old, fought back against anti-trans legislation trying to prevent her from playing on her West Virginia middle school's track and field team. The state of West Virginia took the lawsuit against Becky all the way to the supreme court - and lost. Isaiah Wilkins had always dreamed of serving in uniform like so many in his family and fought to serve in the military after being discharged and banned from serving following his HIV diagnosis. Lambda Legal's defense of Isaiah was among the most significant legal victory for those with HIV in decades.
The Lipton Strategies team joined Lambda Legal for the Liberty Awards and is proud to partner with Lambda as they celebrate 50 years of making the case for equality!