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Equality Texas Celebrates 10th Annual Spirit of Texas Brunch, Announces 2016 Award Recipients Judge Phyllis Randolph Frye, Senator José Rodríguez, and Google
Posted on August 25, 2016 at 5:50 pm

Media Contact: DeAnne Cuellar, deanne.cuellar@equalitytexas.org

Austin, Texas – Join us for our biggest fundraiser of the year, the 2016 Spirit of Texas Brunch, on September 25th, from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at The Rosenberg Sky Room in San Antonio.

Our tenth annual Spirit of Texas Brunch brings together influential LGBTQ and ally Texans, speakers, and award honorees for an enjoyable champagne brunch to celebrate diversity. This year, Equality Texas will present three awards to honor outstanding commitments to LGBTQ equality in Texas. We are excited to announce this year’s award recipients:

Phyllis Randolph Frye, Anchor Award

Senator José Rodríguez, Advocate Award

Google, Vanguard Award

“When we celebrate those leaders who have made large-scale impacts for LGBTQ Texans, we amplify the power and possibilities to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Texans,” said Chuck Smith, CEO of Equality Texas.

Early Bird General Admission and VIP ticket sales end Monday, September 5th. Sponsorships are tax-deductible and benefit the Equality Texas Foundation. For more information about ticket sales and sponsorship opportunities visit: http://bit.ly/2blNXGX

The Equality Texas Anchor Award is given to an outstanding Texas advocate whose activism on the local level and beyond has proven invaluable to the cause of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality in Texas. This award is given on an annual basis to a Texas activist who has worked tirelessly to promote equal rights for all Texans. This year’s recipient, Phyllis Randolph Frye, is known as the Grandmother of Transgender Law and was sworn-in as the first, out, transgender judge in the nation in 2010, as a City of Houston Associate Municipal Judge. Judge Frye is an Eagle Scout, a former member of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, a US Army veteran, a licensed engineer, a licensed attorney, a father, a grandmother and a lesbian wife.

The Equality Texas Advocate Award is given to an outstanding public servant whose high ideals include a dedication to equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Texans. This award is given on an annual basis to a public figure with a steadfast reputation for supporting issues of equality for all Texans. This year’s recipient, Senator José Rodríguez represents Texas Senate District 29, which includes the counties of El Paso, Hudspeth, Culberson, Jeff Davis, and Presidio. In 2015, he was the author of SB 148 which sought to remove “homosexual conduct” from the Texas Penal Code; SJR 13 which sought to remove the Texas constitutional amendment defining marriage; and SB 256, a comprehensive non-discrimination bill providing protections in employment, housing, and public accommodation.

The Equality Texas Vanguard Award is given annually to an exemplary business who has demonstrated a commitment to LGBT equality in the state of Texas through fair employee policy and/or community advocacy. This year’s recipient, Google has made diversity and inclusion a corporate priority both internally and in the tech industry. Google is the first company to provide full coverage of transgender employees’ healthcare. The Gayglers are an employee resource group comprised of LGBT Googlers and their allies. The Gayglers not only lead the way in celebrating Pride around the world, but also inform programs and policies, so that Google remains a workplace that works for everyone. This year, Google created a way for anyone to enjoy Pride, especially the millions of people around the world who don’t have the ability to take part, with #prideforeveryone. The immersive virtual reality experience utilizes Google Cardboard and follows Gayglers and allies as they march in Pride parades around the world.

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