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National Center for Lesbian Rights to celebrate 35 years at gala May 5

SAN FRANCISCO -- The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is gearing up to celebrate its 35th year, and plans to honor seven heroes in the LGBT movement at a gala celebration on May 5 in San Francisco.

NCLR will honor out actress Jane Lynch, of “Glee” and “Julie & Julia," for using her fame as a platform to further LGBT equality, and for being an outspoken advocate for creating safer, welcoming schools for LGBT children.

Six students from Minnesota’s Anoka-Hennepin School District will also be honored for their courage in standing up against a district policy that prohibits staff from discussing LGBT issues, prevents staff from effectively addressing bullying, and has created a hostile environment for students who are or are perceived to be LGBT or gender non-conforming.

NCLR’s special guest at the 2012 Anniversary Celebration will be out gay actor Wilson Cruz, known for roles in television’s "My So-Called Life" and the Broadway production of "Rent." Cruz, an advocate for LGBT equality and LGBT youth, will present the Courage Award to the Anoka-Hennepin students.

Founded in 1977, NCLR is a national legal organization devoted to advancing LGBT justice and equality through litigation, public policy and public education.

Leading up to the celebration, NCLR is seeking photos of its clients and supporters to showcase at the event. The "I am NCLR ..." photo campaign encourages people to send in snapshots of themselves with a homemade poster or sign in which the following sentence is completed: "I am NCLR, and I am ..."

More information about the celebration is available online.