August 14, 2013 at 10:04 am EST | by Steve Charing
Equality Md. to celebrate 25 years
Rich Madaleno, Maryland, Democratic Party, Montgomery County, gay news, Washington Blade

Maryland state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) will be honored at an event in October. (Washington Blade photo by Jeff Surprenant)

In an email message to supporters, Equality Maryland, the state’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, announced its plans to hold a brunch celebrating 25 years of advocacy and to honor state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County). The brunch has been scheduled for Oct. 27 at the Lord Baltimore Hotel in Baltimore.

“It is hard to imagine that 25 years ago we did not have local anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBT workers, no policies or laws providing protections to same-sex couples, no hate crimes laws and no policies protecting students in Maryland,” the email reads.  “Our community has made seismic strides in Maryland and we want you to celebrate this historic progress with us!”

The message praises Madaleno for his work in the Maryland legislature. “Senator Madaleno has been instrumental in all our legislative achievements—passing a hate crimes law, medical decision making for domestic partners, and of course, marriage equality. And he is the lead sponsor of the bill that will extend the protections of our anti discrimination laws to transgender Marylanders.”

Adam May, national correspondent for “America Tonight” and Derek Valcourt, Emmy Award-winning reporter for WJZ-TV will co-emcee the gala. Tickets are $100 each with a 15 percent discount if purchased before Sept. 1.

There will be a gourmet brunch and tickets also include access to the pre-brunch reception and silent auction, which includes opportunities to bid on wedding services, vacation getaways, sports and theater tickets.

“Working over the past three months with a team of EQMD volunteers and staff, my co-chair, Janee Pelletier, and I have been planning what will surely be an exciting celebration of our successes, and two and a half decades of LGBT advocacy in Maryland,” David A. Vignolo, the event’s co-chair and member of the Equality Maryland Foundation Board of Directors, told the Blade.

For more information and to purchase tickets at “early bird” rates, visit

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