Advancing LGBT Civil Rights

Equality Forum 2018 Awards Celebration

Sunday, September 30, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
National Museum of American Jewish History

5th and Market Streets


23rd Annual International Role Model Award and The Frank Kameny Award

The International Role Model Award is this nation’s longest-standing recognition of activists and allies who have advanced LGBT civil rights. Previous recipients include Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chr├ętien, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Edie Windsor, Judy Shepard, David Boies and Ted Olson, Barney Frank, and Martina Navratilova. The 2018 award will be presented to Christine Hallquist by Romy Diaz.

The Frank Kameny Award is named for the father of the LGBT civil rights movement. Among other monumental accomplishments, Frank Kameny led the fight to overturn Eisenhower’s Executive Order 10450, which prohibited the employment of gays and lesbians by the federal government. The award will be presented to Rachel Levine by Pennsylvania State Senator Tony Williams.


Tickets: $100

Sponsor: $1,000 includes 10 tickets and event acknowledgment

Equality Sponsor: $2,500 includes 10 tickets, event and promotion recognition

Sponsored by:


Christine Hallquist (Recipient of the International Role Model Award)
Vermont Gubernatorial Candidate

Christine Hallquist is the first openly transgender nominee for governor in the United States from a major political party. She won the 2018 Democratic nomination for Vermont governor with more than 40% of the vote. Hallquist was employed from 1998 to 2018 by Vermont Electric Cooperative, where she served for the last 12 years as CEO. She resigned to run for governor. In announcing her campaign, she declared, “I truly believe Vermont is ready to elect a transgender governor, because I don't think Vermonters are going to look at that.”

Hallquist drew national attention as a pioneering example of a transgender CEO transitioning while in office. Her journey was chronicled by her son in the award-winning documentary “Denial.”

Dr. Rachel Levine (Recipient of the Frank Kameny Award)
Secretary of Health
Pennsylvania Department of Health

Rachel Levine, M.D., is the Secretary of Health for the Pennsylvania Department of Health. She is the first transgender cabinet officer in Pennsylvania history and one of the highest-ranking transgender public officials in the United States. In 2015 Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf appointed her Physician General, and she was unanimously confirmed by the Senate. She became Secretary of Health in 2018.

As Pennsylvania's top doctor, Levine shapes policy on issues ranging from HIV to the opioid crisis. She also serves as a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine and sits on the board of Equality Pennsylvania, an LGBT organization that lobbies for equal rights.

Romulo (Romy) L. Diaz Jr. (Presenter of the Frank Kameny Award)
Vice President and General Counsel
Romy Diaz is Vice President and General Counsel at PECO, Pennsylvania’s largest electric and natural gas utility, and serves as vice chair of the company’s political action committee. Previously he served as city solicitor of Philadelphia, after joining the City of Philadelphia Law Department in 2002. For most of his career, Diaz lived in Washington, D.C., where he held numerous positions at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Department of Energy. President Clinton appointed him assistant administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Diaz serves on numerous boards of directors and lives in Philadelphia with his husband, Dennis James.

Malcolm Lazin (Master of Ceremonies)
Executive Director
Equality Forum

Malcolm Lazin is the Executive Director of Equality Forum and the founder of LGBT History Month. Previously a federal prosecutor, he received the U.S. Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award and subsequently served as the chair of the Pennsylvania Crime Commission.

Lazin is credited with the lighting of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, which connects Philadelphia with Camden, New Jersey. He also successfully led a nearly two-decades-long campaign to make Washington Square (in Philadelphia), the largest Revolutionary War burial site, part of Independence National Historical Park. Lazin is the recipient of numerous local, state and national community service and civil rights awards.

Anthony Williams (Presenter of the Frank Kameny Award)
Pennsylvania State Senator

Anthony "Tony" Williams is a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania State Senate representing the 8th District since 1998. He is the Democratic chairman of the State Government Committee, the ward leader of the 3rd Ward Democratic Executive Committee, and a member of the Education; Banking and Insurance; Finance; and Environmental Resources & Energy Committees as well as the Life Sciences Caucus. He chairs the Philadelphia Democratic United Ward Leaders of Color, a group that represents various wards within the city and county of Philadelphia. He is also a member of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and chairs the Black Elected Officials of Philadelphia.

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