PHILADELPHIA, May 1 /USNewswire-PRNewswire/ -- Equality Forum, a national and international GLBT civil rights organization, will recognize New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson with its 13th annual International Role Model Award, and Wachovia Corporation will receive its 2008 International Business Leadership Award. The awards will be presented at the International Equality Dinner at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on Saturday, May 3 during Equality Forum 2008. As Governor of New Mexico, Richardson has expanded anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity, and signed into law the state's hate crimes legislation for acts including those based on sexual orientation and gender identity. He provided state health insurance for domestic partnerships, and called a special legislative session to enact civil union benefits. "Throughout his career in public service, Governor Richardson has been a strong supporter and friend of the GLBT community. Governor Richardson has repeatedly used his political standing to champion GLBT civil rights," stated Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director of Equality Forum. Prior International Role Model recipients include former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Martina Navratilova, Phil Donahue, MTV, Chinese Gay Pioneer Zhou Dan, among others. The International Business Leadership Award has been previously awarded to Comcast, IBM, and M.A.C Cosmetics, among others. "Wachovia has been at the vanguard of FORTUNE 500 Companies in providing workplace equality and in its support of GLBT organizations," said Lazin. Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell is the Honorary Dinner Chair. John Alchin, former EVP and Co-CFO of Comcast Corporation serves as the Dinner Chair. Equality Forum presents the largest annual national and international GLBT civil rights forum. The 16th annual Equality Forum will be held April 28 to May 4, 2008 in Philadelphia. There is no registration fee and all substantive programs are free. For more information about traveling to Philadelphia visit www.gophila.com/gay. To book airline reservations, visit www.southwest.com/gaytravel. Equality Forum 2008 has 34 panels, 14 parties and 15 special events in collaboration with 61 regional, state, national and international organizations. Equality Forum is a national and international GLBT civil rights organization with an educational focus. Equality Forum coordinates GLBT History Month, produces documentary films, undertakes high impact initiatives and presents the largest annual national and international GLBT civil rights forum.
SOURCE Equality Forum