Lambda Legal to Honor Congressman Henry Waxman

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Lambda Legal to Honor Congressman Henry Waxman, One of the Country’s Most Influential Lawmakers at its West Coast Liberty Awards

Often considered an “unsung hero” in the fight against HIV and AIDS, Representative Henry A. Waxman from California's Westside Los Angeles 33rd Congressional District will be recognized by Lambda Legal at the West Coast Liberty Awards for his decades-long commitment to protecting those with HIV as a legislator and lead author of the Ryan White CARE and Affordable Care Acts. Lambda Legal’s annual red carpet fundraising gala, which celebrates those working toward the organization’s goals of equality, liberty, and dignity for all LGBT people and those living with HIV will be held on Friday, June 13th, at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons in Beverly Hills.

“It is a great honor to receive Lambda Legal’s Liberty Award,” said Rep. Waxman. “I have worked on HIV and AIDS issues for decades, trying to increase the urgency of the Federal response while calming the public hysteria. It is encouraging to see how far we have come. In the last 30 years, we have created and improved research, prevention, and treatment programs and prevented countless deaths. I look forward to continuing to work together with Lambda and others in the LGBT community to accomplish much more in the future.”

Waxman, who recently announced his retirement, will join fellow honorees Scandal alum and Emmy-winner Dan Bucatinsky, The Fosters creators, Peter Paige and Brad Bredeweg and Executive Producer Joanna Johnson, and transgender, Latina advocate Bamby Salcedo. Waxman will receive the Liberty Award, Lambda Legal’s highest honor, which pays tribute to those who have made an impact on the lives of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through advocacy, entertainment, legal and civic contributions

As the country's largest legal organization, Lambda Legal has worked for more than 40 years to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people and those living with HIV. In 1983, Lambda Legal won the nation’s first AIDS discrimination case (People v. West 12 Tenants Corp.), helping establish that it is illegal under disability laws to discriminate against people who have HIV. The organization worked to get insurance companies to cover HIV testing and treatments and pay benefits to those disabled by the disease. Lambda Legal’s commitment continues today through its HIV Project. Lambda Legal currently is involved in several challenges to discriminatory laws that criminalize those with HIV and several employment discrimination cases on behalf of workers living with HIV. The organization also recently blocked insurance companies in Louisiana that attempted to purge those with HIV from their rolls by refusing to accept federal Ryan White premium subsidies.    

“There is no one in government who has spoken out on behalf of people living with HIV as early, as forcefully, as consistently, and with such a record of accomplishment as Congressman Waxman,” said Jon W. Davidson, Lambda Legal’s Legal Director and Eden/Rushing Chair. “Through his work, Congressman Waxman has saved countless lives and brought health care and dignity to people with HIV across the nation. We all owe him a huge debt, and we are delighted to be able to honor him for his years of dedication to our community.”

Lance Bass hosted last year’s 40th Anniversary West Coast Liberty Awards celebration, which honored Justin Bartha for his role on The New Normal, as well as LGBT activist and Super Bowl Champion Brendon Ayanbadejo, The Magic Johnson Foundation and community leader Eric Webber. Bucatinsky, who presented the award to Bartha, was also joined by presenters, Greg Louganis and Janina Gavankar.

This year’s Awards Honorary Committee includes Sherri Saum, Joshua Malina, Khandi Alexander, Rebecca Mader, Joe Mantegna, Charles Michael Davis, Dot Marie Jones, Holly Robinson Peete, Danny Franzese, Ming-Na Wen, Pablo Schreiber, Raphael Sbarge, David Glasser, Tony Denison, Mircea Monroe, Renee Olstead, Tiya Sircar and others.

Tickets available at:

Media Contact: Nadine Jolson 310 614 3214, Email:

Premier sponsors of the 2014 West Coast Liberty Awards:

About Toyota:
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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 Rep. Henry A. Waxman
Representative Henry A. Waxman represents California’s 33rd Congressional District. A longtime champion of public health and environmental issues, Rep. Waxman has fought for universal health insurance, comprehensive Medicare and Medicaid coverage, air and water quality standards, pesticide regulations, nursing home quality standards, women’s health research and reproductive rights, affordable prescription drugs, and community right to know about pollution levels. Rep. Waxman has sponsored numerous bills that have become law. He was one of the primary architects of the landmark health reform law, the Affordable Care Act, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the Ryan White CARE Act, and the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments. He has sponsored legislation to prohibit discrimination against gay people for his entire career in Congress, and he was the lead sponsor of employment-non-discrimination legislation from 1979 through 1994.

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