By Valerie Milano and Audrey Rock
Beverly Hills, CA (The Hollywood Times) 6/22/18 – Lambda Legal held its West Coast Liberty Awards in the Garden Terrace of the SLS Beverly Hills on June 7th. The theme was “Power of the Party.” And it was everything you thought it would be.
Top personalities in politics, the legal profession, and entertainment gathered to honor California State Senator Scott Weiner and California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria. The two have worked tirelessly backing and promoting a bill that changed California’s outdated HIV criminalization laws. It’s an important public health issue, and one that Weiner and Gloria helped to keep on the front lines of awareness in California.
Special remarks were given by Ryan Karnoski (Karnoski v Trump Plaintiff), Deborah Cox provided live entertainment, and the stars hit the red (in this case, purple) carpet. An informal dinner was served as well.
DJ Young1, iHeartRadio’s 15-year-old prodigy, last spoke with THT at the Human Rights Campaign Gala in March. She says she uses her platform at iHeartRadio to champion LGBTQ causes. She’s previously been the official deejay for Lambda Legal events.
“This is why I love being a part of iHeartRadio,” she told THT. “I can represent for them, what it looks like; and what our company looks like, and we want to go out and support people and show appreciation for people and equality. IHeartRadio is one of the greatest companies, they fully endorse equality and respect.”
She feels that her position as a young person in the industry gives her a unique perspective on LGBTQ rights and issues. “Our generation, now, is one of the key aspects of what we need in order to keep everything politically balanced. Within the LGBT community, within the black community, within the queer community. When you look at it from a different perspective, we can really change the world.”
Actress Brooke Lewis said she had a deep connection to the event. “My heart is connected to this event, to Lambda Legal, for so many reasons,” she told THT. “Most importantly, right now, to stand behind Hollywood to push inclusivity, to push equality. To remind people, in and out of Hollywood, about humanity first. Everyone deserves rights, and civil rights.”
Lambda Legal, she says, has a specific mission in conjunction with these values. “Lambda Legal gets behind people; everyone deserves to be defended. Everyone deserves a purpose, and to be fought for, to have something and someone stand behind them. And that’s why I just love this event and this cause.”
Other guests on the carpet included Shoshana Bean, Jacob Tobia, Charmaine Bingwa, Omar Sharif, Renee Olstead, Victoria Konefal, Amber Whittington, Lambda Legal CEO Rachel B. Tiven, and stylist Daniel Musto.
Inside the event, sumptuous hors d’doevres and cocktails were served, and a silent auction was held. DJ Lina Bradford spun tunes. Deborah Cox, wearing a distinctive , belted out a few ebullient numbers, and of course, the honors were presented to Weiner and Gloria.
“I’ve practiced law for a long time, and I’ve done a little with them over time, before this. But I’ve always been really aware of their work, and I just really respect it” Weiner told THT after accepting his award.
Awareness seems to have been the one thing that was already in abundance at the West Coast Liberty Awards. But, as the event’s crowd attests; you can never have too much.