San Francisco • 3 May 2015 - Today California State Senator Mark Leno, the San Francisco Giants, and the Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF) were honored by leaders and community members from across the San Francisco Bay Area. The honorees were acknowledged for their giant contributions to the marriage equality movement at the third annual Marriage Equality USA San Francisco Garden Party + Awards Reception.
The event was celebrated on the heels of the landmark United States Supreme Court marriage hearing this week. The Garden Party was held at Chambers Eat + Drink, adjacent to the San Francisco Civic Center where so much marriage equality history has been created.
"Marriage Equality USA, an organization I have partnered with for more than a decade, honored me with this recognition,” said State Senator Mark Leno, the 2015 Ally Honoree. “Together we have helped realize the dream of marriage for same-sex couples in California, while also fighting to secure more equal treatment of all LGBT people. Our collective efforts are historic.”
“We have been proud to stand together with Marriage Equality USA in making the best case for the fundamental freedom to marry in the court of law, and in the court of public opinion,” said John Robert Unruh, Board Co-Chair of Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF), the 2015 Community Honoree. “Raising our voices together, both in the courtroom and in the community, has created the unstoppable momentum we see today.”
“The San Francisco Giants are humbled to be honored by Marriage Equality USA. San Francisco is the epicenter of the marriage equality movement and it is only fitting that its professional sports team would support the LGBTQ community,” said Jack Bair, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the Giants, the 2015 Corporate Honoree. “The Giants are proud to support marriage equality as it speaks to our core values of equality and social justice for all.”
“As the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots organization working on the issue of marriage equality, Marriage Equality USA’s work was a key part of bringing marriage equality to the steps of the United States Supreme Court,” MEUSA Executive Director Brian Silva concluded at the event. "At this historic moment, it was a tremendous privilege to toast not only these three honorees who are making history, but also all of the volunteer activists helping to change the hearts and minds of neighbors, family, friends, and government and community leaders."