The indomitable Meryl Streep will be honored by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, on Saturday, February 11, 2017, at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. “Throughout her phenomenal career, Meryl Streep has used her voice to stand up for the LGBTQ community,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Whether through her iconic roles that raised the visibility of LGBTQ people or by boldly speaking out for equality, Ms. Streep embodies the very nature of what it means to be an ally to our community. We are thrilled to welcome [her]to the 2017 HRC Greater New York Gala and look forward to honoring her with the HRC Ally for Equality Award.” The award recognizes the outstanding efforts of those who use their voice to publicly stand up for the LGBTQ community. These individuals dedicate their time, energy, spirit and commitment to better the lives of LGBTQ people.

For the last 40 years, the Academy Award winner has been recognized throughout the globe for her contributions to cinema. She has been an advocate for LGBTQ equality, as she credits childhood music teachers among others, for helping her understand LGBTQ acceptance. “I just can’t remember when LGBTQ people were not in my life,” Streep said in an interview. She has been an icon in the LGBTQ community, starring in numerous roles and raising awareness of the challenges faced by the community.

Streep told Between the Line News that her role in Angels in America — HBO’s 2003 groundbreaking miniseries about the HIV and AIDS crisis — was one of the most important in her career. Streep won a Golden Globe Award for that role. Streep has won three Academy Awards, and in 2015, in a record that is unsurpassed, she earned a 19th Academy Award nomination. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been accorded a Commandeur de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government and an honorary César. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, a 2008 honor from the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and the 2010 National Medal of Arts from President Obama. In 2011, Streep received a Kennedy Center Honor, and in 2014 the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Most recently, Streep has been nominated for her 30th Golden Globe Award, and in January of 2017, she will be honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award of the 74th Golden Globes.

As previously announced, HRC will also honor PepsiCo with the HRC Corporate Equality Award. The award recognizes PepsiCo’s exceptional commitment to advancing workplace equality for the LGBTQ community.  The Greater New York Gala is one of HRC’s most prestigious events of the year, attracting more than 1,000 of the organization’s most active leaders, supporters, and members. The event regularly draws political officials from federal, state, and local governments, as well as celebrity entertainers and leaders in the business community.

For more information about this year’s Gala and tickets, click here.

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