On Wednesday, October 5, hundreds of attendees gathered atop 101 Constitution Avenue for an elegant rooftop cocktail reception saluting Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) for their commitment to equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals.
The annual gala recognizes achievement in elected leaders who support LGBT equality. Congress made headway for LGBT Americans this year, repealing the notorious policy “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Maine Republican Susan Collins proved that politicians on both sides of the aisle could come together for equality. Sen. Collins was at the center of the bipartisan effort to repeal the discriminatory policy that prevented gays and lesbians from serving in the military. As a result, Sen. Collins was honored for her courage on the Senate floor by the Victory Fund.
Later on in the evening, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) presented the second award to Rep. Keith Ellison. Ellison, a vice-chair of the House LGBT Equality Caucus, was honored for his unwavering commitment to full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
The Victory Fund’s president and CEO Chuck Wolfe also spoke that evening. “We are proud to honor our allies in the fight for equality,” said Wolfe. ”We work to elect more openly LGBT Americans to public office so they can be our authentic voices in government, but they will always need the support of allies like Senator Collins and Congressman Ellison.”
Set against the backdrop of the Capitol building at night, 101 Constitution was an ideal location for this year’s awards ceremony. Individual tickets began at $150, with sponsorships beginning at $2,5oo.