San Diego – Equality California will celebrate LGBTQ families at its annual San Diego Equality Awards on Friday, June 9, 2017. Receiving Equality Awards for their leadership, courage and service to the LGBTQ community will be former San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and his family, G. Joyce Rowland and Pamela Morgan, and the Gómez Núñez family, supportive parents and siblings of their transgender son and brother.
“Each of this year’s honorees demonstrates what family is really about – love, respect and acceptance,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. “Both through the example they set and through their very public advocacy work, they have put a very public face on San Diego’s LGBTQ families and have provided leadership to advance equality for us all.”
This year’s Equality Leadership Award goes to former San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and his family. Sanders, a Republican, made national headlines when he announced that he supported the city of San Diego filing a brief in support of marriage equality as lawsuits made their way through California courts. Citing his lesbian daughter Lisa and LGBTQ people on his staff, he said “In the end I couldn’t look any of them in the face and tell them that their relationships, their very lives, were any less meaningful than the relationship I share with my wife, Rana.”
Joyce Rowland and Pamela Morgan are recipients of this year’s Vanguard Leadership Award. Together, they are a cornerstone of San Diego’s LGBTQ community and have devoted countless hours of volunteer time to LGBTQ and other organizations in San Diego and across California. As a senior executive at Sempra Energy and elsewhere, Rowland was a leader beginning in the 1980s in developing and advancing LGBTQ-friendly workplace benefits and policies. She testified in the early 2000s before the legislature in support of expanded domestic partnership rights. She has been an Equality California board member since 2009 and served as Equality California Institute president. She currently serves as board chair for the San Diego LGBT Community Center. Married in 2014, Pamela and Joyce have been role models and mentors for LGBTQ people in our community, opening their home and volunteering at events numerous times to support the work of LGBTQ organizations improving the lives of our community.
The Gómez Núñez family will receive this year’s community service award. In addition to the family providing a loving, supportive home to transgender son and brother Isaac, mother Monica Núñez Cham initiated the first Spanish-language chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) in San Diego. She and husband Arturo Gómez also founded “Transforming Families,” the first San Diego-area support group for families of transgender youth. Together, they have mentored and counseled hundreds of local families.
Each year, Equality California recognizes individuals and organizations who have made an impact on the movement to secure full and lasting equality for LGBTQ people at its annual Equality Awards — a series of formal events held in San Francisco, San Diego, Palm Springs, Los Angeles and Sacramento.
This year’s San Diego Equality Awards will take place on Friday, June 9 from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm at Humphrey’s by the Bay, 2241 Shelter Island Dr., San Diego. Individual tickets are $275.
The 2017 Equality Awards are sponsored by AT&T, Coca Cola Foundation, Gilead, La Crema, PG&E, Prophet, Sempra Energy and Southwest Airlines. For more information about the Equality Awards visit, www.eqcaawards.com. For tickets or sponsorship information, contact Scott Gizicki at email@example.com or at 323-848-9801.
Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization dedicated to creating a fair and just society. Our mission is to achieve and maintain full and lasting equality, acceptance, and social justice for all people in our diverse LGBT communities, inside and outside of California. Our mission includes advancing the health and well-being of LGBT Californians through direct healthcare service advocacy and education. Through electoral, advocacy, education and mobilization programs, we strive to create a broad and diverse alliance of LGBT people, educators, government officials, communities of color and faith, labor, business, and social justice communities to achieve our goals. www.eqca.org