The West Hollywood City Council selected five recipients of the annual Rainbow Key Awards tonight. The awards are made to those who have made a significant contribution to the lesbian and gay community and winners are recommended by the city’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board.
Those selected this year are:
The National Council of Jewish Women, an organization of volunteers and advocates with a strong record of supporting gay and lesbian equality. With more than 2,500 members, NCJW’s Los Angeles Section works for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children and families, through Women Helping Women Community Counseling and Support Services, and Women Helping Women and literacy programs.
Noelle Carter and Valerie A. Moore, West Hollywood residents who for the last 10 Thanksgivings have hosted “The Long Table,” a place forbLGBT people and friends who may not feel welcome elsewhere. They are active in building a sense of neighborhood and community, and for more than a decade have hosted shade tents at Santa Monica Boulevard at Hancock Avenue during the LA Pride parade, a tradition they started to help friends unable to stand in sunshine due to medications for HIV/AIDS.
Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, now in its 35th season, which has grown from an initial group of 99 men who met in Plummer Park to a group of more than 240 who use music to promote a world free from homophobia and other discrimination. From its West Hollywood headquarters, GMCLA has toured Europe, Russia and South America and created the Alive Music Project (AMP) for use in schools. GMCLA also co- sponsors an LGBTQ youth chorus, led by GMCLA staff.
Jeff Zarrillo, Paul Katami, Kris Perry, and Sandy Stier, who were the named plaintiffs in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the lawsuit challenging California’ s Proposition 8. That challenge resulted in the U. S. Supreme Court’s ruling in 2013 permitting same-sex marriage in the state. All four have devoted substantial time to educating and inspiring the community about the personal impact of laws that prevent or protect gay and lesbian equality.
Kim Rocco Shields, is a director, writer, producer and editor noted for her short film “Love Is All You Need?” (2011), which has been shown at more than 20 film festivals worldwide. The film challenges assumptions about social pressure and conformity, including the verbal and physical abuse of those whose sexual orientation differs from those around them. She is CEO of WingSpan Pictures and has worked in feature films, television, commercials, industrials and educational projects.
The Lesbian and Gay Advisory Commission also ranked two other of the 14 nominees highly. They are:
John A. Perez of Los Angeles, the first openly gay person to serve as speaker of a state legislative assembly, both in California and the United States. A longtime advocate for LGBT rights in labor, political and public policy circles, he has worked as speaker to maintain California’ s AIDS Drug Assistance Program and to increase fiscal support for domestic violence programs that provide competent care to LGBT individuals. He is currently a candidate for State Controller.
J. Dallas Dishman, executive director of the David Geffen Foundation, a member of the City’ s Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission and a four-time participant in California AIDS Ride who has studied the effects of anti-gay violence on the lives of LGBT people in the city. He served on USC’ s LGBT Advisory Board and on the executive committee of the Lambda Alumni Association, which works to create safe space on campus, address discriminatory policies and support LGBT students.