Scandal’s Dan Bucatinsky, Olympic Champ Greg Louganis, True Blood’s Janina Gavankar to Present at Lambda Legals' West Coast Liberty Awards June 13th

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Scandal’s Dan Bucatinsky, Olympic Gold Medal Champion and seen on ABC’s Splash, Greg Louganis and True Blood’s Janina Gavankar will join the fight for equality as presenters at the West Coast Liberty Awards as Lambda Legal celebrates 40 years of making the case for equality. Hosted by Lance Bass, this year’s awards will honor The New Normal and CBGB’s Justin Bartha, Super Bowl Champ Brendon Ayanbadejo, The Magic Johnson Foundation and community leader Eric Webber at the London Hotel in West Hollywood on Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dan Bucatinsky, Greg Louganis, Janina Gavankar

“As a strong supporter of Lambda Legal’s fight for equality, I am excited to be part of their terrific event,” says West Coast Liberty Awards Host, Lance Bass.

SCANDAL’s Dan Bucatinsky, Olympic Gold Medal Champion and seen on ABC’s SPLASH, Greg Louganis and TRUE BLOOD’s Janina Gavankar will join the fight for equality as presenters at the West Coast Liberty Awards as Lambda Legal celebrates 40 years of making the case for equality. Hosted by Lance Bass, this year’s awards will honor THE NEW NORMAL and CBGB’s Justin Bartha, Super Bowl Champ Brendon Ayanbadejo, The Magic Johnson Foundation and community leader Eric Webber at the London Hotel in West Hollywood on Thursday, June 13, 2013.

Lambda Legal is on the frontlines fighting for equality, working in support of the challenges to California’s Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), heard in the United States Supreme Court earlier this year. Lambda Legal’s amicus briefs join dozens of other briefs filed – including the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice, the State of California and more than 250 businesses from across the country. Lambda Legal is the nation’s oldest and largest legal organization whose mission is to achieve the full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people and people living with HIV.

Bucatinsky most recently played ‘James Novak’ on the hIt ABC series SCANDAL and is the best selling author of "Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight?" Along with longtime producing partner Lisa Kudrow, he's produced and/or co-starred in three Emmy nominated series, THE COMEBACK, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? and the web-to-TV comedy "WEB THERAPY created with his husband, filmmaker, Don Roos. He will present the Celebrity in the Spotlight Liberty Award to Bartha who is being honored for embracing his own role as a gay character and taking a stand in the fight for equality. In addition to his advocacy for equality, THE NEW NORMAL was also recognized at this year’s GLAAD Media Awards for “their thoughtful depiction of gay characters,” where Bartha also shared his personal story of his brother’s coming out.

Four-time Olympic champion Greg Louganis is widely considered the greatest diver in history. Louganis, who is currently the Dive Master on ABC’s SPLASH will present the Liberty Award to Ayanbadejo for his courageous support for LGBT equality from one champion athlete to another. As an NFL player, Ayanbadejo brings a fresh voice to the movement for LGBT equality. Much like Lambda Legal first did 40 years ago, Ayanbadejo took his passion to the courts, co-filing an Amicus Brief in the Hollingsworth v. Perry case, currently before the United States Supreme Court.

Gavankar, known for her earlier role as ‘Papi’ on THE L WORD and currently starring as shape-shifter ‘Luna’ on HBO’s TRUE BLOOD, will present the Liberty Award to the Magic Johnson Foundation. Lambda Legal is honoring the 22-year efforts of the Foundation, which works to combat the epidemic of HIV/AIDS through public education, direct service and nationwide advocacy. Johnson has stood as a stalwart advocate for equality, participating in campaigns to wipe out homophobia and compassionate, parental support in the coming out of his son, Earvin Johnson, Jr.

The West Coast Liberty Awards is an annual opportunity for Lambda Legal to recognize and thank individuals and organizations whose public advocacy and work has furthered the cause of Lambda Legal’s vision of equality.

The 2013 Honorary Committee includes Lily Tomlin, Dot Marie Jones, Alison Pill, Joshua Malina, Bellamy Young, Michael Steger, Madison Hildebrand, Jai Rodriguez, Sara Rue, Grant Bowler, Rex Lee, RJ Mitte, Garcelle Beauvais, Janina Gavankar, Eva Marcille, Tony Denison and others.

Media Contact: Nadine Jolson 310 614 3214, Email: jolsoncreativePR (at) mac (dot) com

Tickets available at: http://www.lambdalegal.org/wcla13

Media Contact: Nadine Jolson 310 614 3214, Email: jolsoncreative (at) mac (dot) com

Premier sponsors of the West Coast Liberty Awards:

About Irell & Manella LLP
Irell & Manella LLP is a full-service law firm with offices in Los Angeles and Newport Beach, California. Founded in 1941, Irell is nationally recognized for its intellectual property, litigation, corporate and tax practices. Irell's clients include Fortune 500 corporations, universities and leading-edge entrepreneurial companies.

About Toyota:
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Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. To date, Toyota has contributed nearly 700 million to philanthropic programs in the United States. For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit Toyota.com/philanthropy

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