At its 2006 Los
Angeles gala on Saturday, the LGBT lobbyist group Human
Rights Campaign honored luminaries like Al Franken and Torie
Osborn, raised thousands of dollars for its political
causes, featured speeches and performances by Al Gore,
Charo, Natasha Bedingfield, and L.A. mayor Antonio
Villaraigosa, and revealed the three Senate battles it
intends to win this November.
radio host and author Al Franken was handed the humanitarian
award, lesbian political activist Torie Osborn was honored
with the community service award for her work with Los
Angeles's philanthropic organization Liberty Hill, gay
MTV executive Brian Graden was given the corporate
equality award for his gay-inclusive programming and his
role as president of LGBT cable channel Logo, and
former vice president Al Gore served as keynote
sake, [gays and lesbians are] asking for monogamy and
military service, is that too much to ask for?"
Gore said, commenting on how controversial the
issues of same-sex marriage and gays in the military
have become in the United States.
HRC president Joe
Solmonese told the audience his group is determined to
unseat conservative Ohio senator Mike DeWine, fervent Bush
supporter Mark Kennedy, and gay-baiting Pennsylvania
senator Rick Santorum in the November
is] going to Pennsylvania to get rid of that mean-spirited,
hatemongering fool Rick Santorum," Solmonese said.
California state senator Sheila Kuehl handed ex-girlfriend
Osborn her award, actress Tori Spelling did the same
for Graden, and comedian Caroline Rhea entertained the
audience before bringing out Franken.
"I'm not a
direct member of the GLBT community," Rhea pointed
out. "But I have had a BLT." (The
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