The Human Rights Campaign honored singer Janet Jackson with their 'Humanitarian Award' on June 18. Presented with the award by actor Alan Cumming, Jackson was honored for the millions of dollars she has both raised and donated for humanitarian causes, notably the American Foundation for AIDS Research, the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, as well as for her activism in civil rights causes.
"Acceptance is right. Kindness is right. Love is right. I pray, right now, that we're moving into a kinder time when prejudice is overcome by understanding; when narrow-mindedness, and narrow-minded bigotry is overwhelmed by open-hearted empathy; when the pain of judgmentalism is replaced by the purity of love," said Jackson
Jackson received a standing ovation from the hundreds in attendance at the Beverly Hilton Hotel Ballroom. Guests included Tamyra Gray, Judith Light, Bobby Gant, Betty DeGeneres, Brian Graden, Neil Meron and Craig Zadan.
The event also featured a poignant keynote address from Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay priest to be elected Bishop in the Episcopalian church, and Actor Bobby Gant presented Lambda Legal's Kevin Cathcart with the Community Service Award for their leadership in judicial matters and their recent hard fought battles in gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) court cases around the country. Guests also enjoyed cocktails, a silent auction, dinner and a live auction featuring auctioneers Honey Labrador and Robbie Laughlin from Queer Eye for the Straight Girl.
Previous years' winners of the Human Rights Campaign Humanitarian award include Ted Koppel and Barbara Streisand.
Founded in 1980, the Human Rights Campaign is America's largest gay and lesbian organization, and provides a national voice on gay and lesbian issues. Working to advance equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans, the HRC has close to 600,000 members from coast-to-coast.
Click here for more information on the Human Rights Campaign.
Photos by Jill Johnson.