Equality California names Palm Springs honorees

When the Palm Springs Equality Awards are presented Oct. 13, a senator who is a staunch LGBT ally and the nation’s first openly gay speaker of a state assembly will be among the honorees.

Speaker John A. Perez will receive the Leadership Award and Sen. Barbara Boxer will be recognized with the Leadership Ally Award, the advocacy group announced today. Perez’s list of accomplishments is long. He recently pushed for SB 1172, California legislation to ban conversion therapy for LGBT minors.

Boxer, who lives in Rancho Mirage, is known as a supporter of marriage equality. She was one of 16 senators who voted against the Defense of Marriage Act.

Other honorees are Tori St. John and Safe Schools Palm Springs and Desert Communities for exceptional service, and Mattie Leydon who will be recognized with the State Farm Good Neighbor Award.

St. John has provided support to LGBT youth through the Desert Sands Unified School District, Gay Associated Youth and Safe Schools for more than 20 years.

Leyden is a U.S. Marine veteran who’s worked to ensure transgender resources are available at the LGBT Community Center of the Desert in Palm Springs.

The awards ceremony will take place at Riviera Resort and Spa, 1600 N. Indian Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. For ticket information, go to eqcaawards.org/palm-springs-equality-awards/.