Equality Virginia celebrates 25th year with Mark Warner, Mark Herring

gay-equalityAt its 11th annual Commonwealth Dinner on Saturday night, Equality Virginia celebrated its 25th year of working toward equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Virginians.

A crowd of over 1,000 people – including distinguished guests U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, Attorney General Mark Herring, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, U.S. Congressman Bobby Scott, and a number of state and local elected officials – came together in support of Equality Virginia and the work it does on behalf of Virginia’s lgbt community.

“We have a lot to celebrate,” said Equality Virginia executive director James Parrish. “Our last election showed that Virginia understand the value of protecting lgbt individuals and families.  Today, a majority of Virginians support marriage equality and laws to prohibit discrimination in the workplace.  Virginia has rounded the corner, and the future looks bright.”

Critically acclaimed actress and star of Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” Laverne Cox delivered a powerful and lively keynote address and Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Jonathan Capehart emceed the evening.

Long-time advocate for the lgbt community, U.S. Senator Mark Warner received a warm welcome.

“It took the focused effort of organizations like Equality Virginia to educate people around the state and country about the injustices faced by the lgbt community,” said Senator Mark Warner.  “Working together, we can make Virginia, and the United States, a more fair, open, inclusive and welcoming place.”

Virginians leading lgbt equality efforts – OUTstanding Virginians – were recognized at the dinner for their contributions to moving the lgbt community forward.

“We have made progress in Virginia over the past 25 years because these OUTstanding Virginians – and many other individuals throughout the commonwealth – have educated their communities that lgbt individuals and families are deserving of the same respect and protection under the law as all other Virginians,” said Parrish.  “We are very pleased to recognize the 2014 OUTstanding Virginians for continuing to move Virginia towards equality and fairness.”

The 11th annual Commonwealth Dinner was held at the Richmond Convention Center.

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