Advancing LGBT Civil Rights

Equality Forum "25th" Anniversary Celebration

Sunday, October 1, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
National Museum of American Jewish History

5th and Market Streets


Equality Forum 25th Anniversary Celebration

Join Equality Forum for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in celebration of 25 years of LGBT civil rights activism. Equality Forum will present the 22nd Annual International Role Model Award to U.S. Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and the Frank Kameny Award to the pioneering AIDS activist and LGBT History Month Icon Peter Staley.

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 Chretien, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Edie Windsor, Judy Shepard, David Boies and Ted Olson, Barney Frank, and Martina Navratilova. The 2017 award is presented by David Cohen to U.S. Senator Bob Casey.

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 is presented by Romy Diaz to AIDS Pioneer and 2017 LGBT History Month Icon Peter Staley.

National Museum of American Jewish History

Tickets: $100

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

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

Sponsored by:

Ballard Spahr


Bob Casey Jr. (22nd Annual International Role Model Award Recipient)
U.S. Senator
State of Pennsylvania

Bob Casey was elected to the U.S. Senate representing Pennsylvania in 2006. A moderate-to- conservative Democrat, he has worked to protect children and invest in early education; build the economy, jobs programs and infrastructure; protect national security; and promote honesty and accountability in government. He is a vocal supporter of marriage equality and helped repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” He serves on four Senate committees: Finance; Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; and the Special Committee on Aging. Senator Casey served as Pennsylvania’s state treasurer from 2005 to 2006 and auditor general from 1997 to 2005. He received his undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross and his law degree from Catholic University of America. He lives in Scranton with wife, Terese. They have four daughters.

Peter Staley (Frank Kameny Award Recipient)
AIDS Pioneer and a 2017 LGBT History Month Icon
Treatment Action Group (TAG)

Peter Staley is a pioneering AIDS activist who founded the Treatment Action Group (TAG) and He started his career as a Wall Street investment banker and remained closeted at work. After he was diagnosed with AIDS-related complex (ARC) in 1985, he joined the advocacy group ACT-UP to help fund-raise. After he gave up his banking career, he worked with pharmaceutical companies to lower the cost of AIDS drugs, and he raised large contributions for AIDS clinical trials and charities. He served on the board of amfAR, the foundation for AIDS research, and President Clinton named him to the AIDS Task Force on AIDS Drug Development. In 1999 he created, a portal offering information and resources on HIV/AIDS drugs and gay health. The website subsequently merged with POZ, a publication for people living with the virus. He serves as an advisory editor and blogger. Staley created an educational campaign about crystal meth addiction in the gay community, funded with his own money. He is featured in the Oscar-nominated documentary “How to Survive a Plague” (2012). For more information, see

David L. Cohen (Presenter of Role Model Award)
Senior Executive VP
Comcast Corporation

David Cohen is senior executive vice president of Comcast Corporation and the company's chief diversity officer. Among other responsibilities, he oversees corporate communications, government and regulatory affairs, public and legal affairs, and community investment. Before joining Comcast, he served as a partner at and chairman of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP, one of the 100 largest law firms in the country. He holds a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and served as chief of staff to the Honorable Edward G. Rendell, mayor of the City of Philadelphia, from 1992 to 1997. Cohen has received numerous awards for his civic and charitable activities.

Romulo (Romy) L. Diaz Jr. (Presenter of 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.

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