Ashley Judd and Andrew Sullivan to speak at annual Nashville HRC Dinner

The Nashville HRC (Human Rights Campaign) has announced a second speaker for this year’s Annual Dinner and Silent Auction, actress and activist Ashley Judd.

One of Nashville’s highest-profile events for the HRC, the $175 per person annual dinner has become one of the regions most anticipated social events. The Nashville HRC is celebrating 10 years of progress in gay/lesbian/bisexual/trangendered rights.

Emmy and Golden Globe nominated Ashley Judd, has performed in box office hits like A Time to Kill, Double Jeopardy, and De-Lovely.  Her film career has spanned more than a decade and has brought her worldwide fame and celebrity.

Judd may be best known for her acting abilities, but she is also an avid AIDS advocate and volunteer.  As a YouthAids Ambassador, Judd has worked diligently to launch the U.S. funded Newstart Voluntary Counseling and Testing Centre (VCT ) for HIV/AIDS in several South African citiesShe also recently persuaded some South African celebrities to take HIV tests. Stars from the soap operas Generations and Isidingo heeded her call with a quick needle prick in the finger to establish their HIV status.  Their doing so coincided with the opening of one of the voluntary counseling and testing centers.

In addition to Judd, previously announced Andrew Sullivan, noted speaker, and essayist for TIME magazine and columnist for the Sunday Times of London, will speak to the group.

Sullivan is a tenacious believer and supporter of same-sex marriage and has written several articles and papers on the subject.

The argument that gay marriage would subtly undermine the unique legitimacy of straight marriage is based upon a fallacy. Gay marriage could only delegitimize straight marriage if it were a real alternative to it, and this is clearly not true. To put it bluntly, there's precious little evidence that straights could be persuaded by any law to have sex with — let alone marry — someone of their own sex,” says Sullivan.

Sullivan wrote the critically-acclaimed landmark book, Virtually Normal: An Argument About Homosexuality. He also is the author of Same Sex Marriage: Pro and Con, A Reader and Love Undetectable: Notes on Friendship, Sex and Survival. A practicing Catholic, he has challenged the Church’s position on gay life and has written extensively on the crisis in the Church.

A seasoned lecturer, Sullivan has spoken extensively on college campuses including Harvard, Yale, and Boston University. He is a regular guest on The Chris Matthews Show and appears on other programs, including Nightline, CBS Evening News, National Public Radio’s Fresh Air, Real Time with Bill Maher and Larry King Live.

2005 Equality Award

The Honorees for the evening include the Reverend Sonnye Dixon, Jr.  Rev. Dixon is being honored with the 2005 Equality Award for his years of service to Nashville and to the community. The Reverend Dixon is pastor of Hobson United Methodist Church in Nashville.  He serves the Board of Governors of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce as Vice Chairman of Education.  A staunch supporter of public schools, he has served on the Committee on Equity and Excellence and the Mayor’s Advisor Board for Public Education.  Rev. Dixon also serves on the Metropolitan Human Relations Commission, the Board of Directors for Nashville Public Television, ACLU of Tennessee, the Wesley Foundation @ TSU, and the Pencil Foundation.  Rev. Dixon is a member of the Interdenominational Ministerial Fellowship, where he currently serves as the secretary and is a life member and President of the NAACP Nashville Branch.


2005 Community Leadership Award

Terry Carr-Hall will be accepting the 2005 Community Leadership Award.  Hall is the owner of Provence Breads and Café.  Hall is being honored for his years of service to the community and for his generosity and food donations.

“Terry is a very generous man, both with his time and his business.  He is always willing to help when there is a need,” said Maria Salas, a member of the HRC Board of Directors.

Bryan Curtis, Deidre Duker, and Doug Huffines are co-chairs for the dinner.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian and gay political organization in the United States. The HRC envisions an America where lesbian and gay people are ensured of their basic equal rights – and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work, and in the community.

Tickets for the event are $175 per person or $1,750 per table and can be purchased by calling 1-800-494-8497 or online at

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