LOS ANGELES — Scarlett Johansson will receive the Ally for Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign at the 2011 HRC Los Angeles Gala on Saturday March 12 at the Ritz-Carlton/JW Marriott in Los Angeles. Former Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-PA) will receive the HRC National Leadership Award, Rabbi Denise Eger and Rev. Canon Susan Russell will receive the HRC Community Equality Award. Jessie Tyler Ferguson of ABC's "Modern Family" and star personal trainer Jillian Michaels of NBC's "Biggest Loser" will make special appearances, and retired Marine Staff Sergeant Eric Alva, the first American service member wounded in Iraq and a national advocate for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal, will be a special guest for the event.
Johansson, a longtime supporter of the LGBT community, will receive the Ally for Equality Award which recognizes the outstanding efforts of those outside of the LGBT community who dedicate time, energy, spirit and whole-hearted commitment to better the lives of LGBT people.
"Scarlett Johansson has been a tremendous friend to the LGBT community and has for many years used her celebrity and talents to advocate for our rights," said HRC Los Angeles Gala Co-Chair Andrew Arnold. "We appreciate and honor her support as an ally with this award."
Murphy will be honored with the HRC National Leadership Award, recognizing his championship of legislation that helped to overturn the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" legislative ban on lesbians and gays in the military. Murphy, an Iraq war veteran, drafted the original amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that was then introduced as a standalone DADT repeal bill after Republican filibusters of the NDAA. The bill passed in the House and the Senate and was signed into law by President Obama in December.
"Representative Murphy has been a great warrior for the LGBT community," said Clare Thomas, co-chair of the gala. "His initiative and drive were crucial to the repeal of DADT, for which the LGBT community and all fair-minded Americans are deeply grateful."
The HRC Los Angeles Gala is one of the largest LGBT fundraising events in Southern California, drawing more than 1,000 guests in past years, including national LGBT leaders in entertainment, community service, business and politics.
For more information on sponsorship opportunities or purchase tickets go to www.hrcladinner.com .