(888) 277-4253

The Rev. Canon Albert Ogle, Bill Kowba chosen for 2012 San Diego Equality Awards

SAN DIEGO -- The Rev. Canon Albert Ogle and St. Paul's Foundation for International Reconciliation will be honored with the Pride in Action Award at Equality California's 2012 San Diego Equality Awards.

Superintendent Bill Kowba and the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) will be bestowed with the Equality California Leadership Award.

Gay actor Wilson Cruz ("My So-Called Life" and "Noah's Arc") will host the affair from 4 to 7 pm Saturday, Aug. 25, at the home of Joyce Rowland and Pamela Morgan in the Rancho Santa Fe community of San Diego. Leftover Cuties will provide the music.

Ogle has lived his life with faith in universal human dignity and love, serving as an Episcopal priest in San Diego's St. Paul's Cathedral. He worked to create the first comprehensive AIDS plan for California and currently serves as president of St. Paul's Foundation for International Reconciliation, an innovative gay-straight alliance that combines issues of development with human rights.

"As demonstrated by the successful results of his lifelong work, we know Albert Ogle as a committed, compassionate and accomplished advocate for equality and justice,” said Clarissa Filgioun, president of the ECQA board. “For both LGBT people and people of faith, he is an example of living life with the joyous burden of diminishing suffering and enlarging love on earth, and we are thrilled to honor him with our Pride in Action Award."

Ogle writes RGOD2, a weekly column published on Fridays that looks at faith and religion from an LGBT point of view.

Superintendent Bill Kowba recognized bullying, especially bullying against LGBT students, as both a national and local crisis, and was an important force in the creation of the Safe Schools Advisory Board, developed to ensure that the San Diego Unified School District Board of Trustees adopted and implemented a comprehensive and robust anti-bullying policy. The SDUSD has been recognized for the innovative and extremely successful policy, which is working to change the culture at the second largest school district in California.

Kowba has been an especially strong advocate for the implementation of two Equality California-sponsored laws — the Fair Education Act, which ends the discriminatory exclusion of LGBT historical figures from social studies lessons, and Seth's Law, a comprehensive anti-bullying law that ensures that all schools have clear and consistent anti-bullying policies and establishes timelines for investigating claims of bullying.

"Statistics suggest that nine of every 10 LGBT students have been the victim of bullying, yet many school districts have yet to effectively implement the Fair Education Act or Seth's Law. But Superintendent Bill Kowba has been a proactive leader in the San Diego schools, and the San Diego schools have been leaders statewide," Filgioun said. "We are proud to recognize the strong leadership that Kowba and the SDUSD have shown in protecting vulnerable youth."

This year Equality California will present the first State Farm Good Neighbor Award to a San Diego-area individual chosen from a pool of outstanding nominees nominated by members of the public and selected by a committee of Equality California.

"The Good Neighbor Award gives us a chance to recognize individuals who make a difference every day to the LGBT people of Los Angeles, the individuals who ensure that the deep roots of our community are tended with care," Filgioun said. "Luminaries and celebrities are always a part of awards galas, but we wanted to make sure that our good neighbors receive the recognition they deserve for their hard work."

Supporters of equality throughout Southern California may submit nominations by visiting HERE. Submissions must be received no later than Aug. 1. 

As an added incentive to encourage nominations, EQCA will award a pair of complimentary tickets to the San Diego Equality Awards ($300 value) to the individual whose nominee is selected for the award. Each year, Equality California recognizes individuals and organizations that have made an impact on the movement to secure full and lasting equality for LGBT people at its annual Equality Awards—a series of formal galas and cocktail events held in San Francisco, San Diego, Palm Springs, Los Angeles and Sacramento. Past honorees have included Facebook, Adam Lambert, Dolores Huerta, Molly Ringwald, Debra Messing, Arianna Huffington, Attorney General Kamala Harris, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and California Governor Jerry Brown.

The 2012 Equality Awards are presented by AT&T and sponsored by State Farm Insurance, Bank of America and Southwest Airlines. For more information about the Equality Awards, visit HERE. For tickets or sponsorship information, contact Jack Lorenz at jack@eqca.org or by calling 310.266.0502.