House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Baltimore native, will next month receive a "lifetime achievement award for her longtime dedication to LGBT rights and her work to fight HIV/AIDS in Congress," gay leaders in Baltimore said Friday.
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore is giving Pelosi the award at its inaugural "Hometown Hero Awards & Champagne Brunch" on Nov. 17 in Baltimore, an event it expects some 500 people to attend.
Matt Thorn, executive director of the GLCCB, said in a statement that Pelosi's “unending support for our community and commitment for equality make her the perfect choice for our lifetime achievement award."
Pelosi, in her own statement, said it is "a great privilege for me to come home to Baltimore and celebrate the progress we've made in the fight for equality."
The California Democrat added she is "particularly touched to be honored by the GLCCB and my hometown community after such a banner year for Marylanders and indeed all LGBT families across our country."
Pelosi's father is former Baltimore Mayor Thomas D'Alesandro Jr. Her brother, Thomas D'Alesandro III, also served as mayor.
Also being honored at the event for their "continuing dedication to fight the good fight in the name of justice and equality" will be Carlton Smith, an HIV/AIDS activist and president of Baltimore Black Pride; and Catherine Hyde, a transgender coordinator for the Howard County chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, or PFLAG.
"We've witnessed several impressive victories over the past year, including the passage of marriage equality in Maryland and the historic DOMA Supreme Court decision, but the fight for equality is far from over," Thorn said, and Smith and Hyde's "tireless work in giving a voice to those who are oftentimes ignored should be celebrated."
The honorees, which will also include the local branch of PNC Financial Services, were selected by a panel of center staff, volunteers and board members.
The event will be held in the Calvert Ballroom at the Lord Baltimore Hotel. For tickets, call the center at 410-777-8145.
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