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National Gay and Lesbian Task Force to be honored for 40 years of activism by LA Pride

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force will be honored as the 2013 Community Grand Marshal at this year's Los Angeles LGBT Pride Parade, taking place June 9 in West Hollywood.

Each year Christopher Street West (CSW) - the producers of LA Pride - acknowledges the work of one particular organization and this year chose the Task Force in honor of its 40th anniversary and the organization's mission to build the grassroots power of the LGBT community.

"We are tremendously honored to be chosen as this year's Community Grand Marshal," said Rea Carey, executive director of the Task Force. "For 40 years, the Task Force has been the progressive voice of the LGBT movement, as well as the LGBT voice of the progressive movement and it will be our honor to march in the LA PRIDE parade and continue to speak out, loud and proud for LGBT equality."

In choosing the Task Force as this year's Community Grand Marshal, CSW cited the Task Force's mission of training activists and helping state and local organizations build campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation. CSW also highlighted the Task Force as an organization that not only creates movements, but also builds successful ones through research and policy analysis. This year celebrates the organization's 40th anniversary of creating change and swaying public opinion for the good of all people, CSW said.

Carey and Russell Roybal, deputy executive director of external relations at the Task Force, will lead the organization's contingent marching in the parade as well as participate in many of the LA PRIDE weekend activities.

The 2013 LA Pride Celebration, held in West Hollywood Park, is the largest gathering of the LGBT community in Southern California. The LA Pride Parade kicks off at 11 am on Sunday, June 9, and travels westbound along Santa Monica Boulevard from Crescent Heights Blvd. to the main entrance of the LA Pride Festival at San Vicente Boulevard.

More than 400,000 are expected for this emotionally charged gathering that showcases the colorful diversity and creative participation of the LGBT community. In addition to the parade, LA PRIDE features live entertainment on multiple stages, headline performances, all new dance venues, numerous exhibitors, as well as food and drink vendors.

LA Pride won't be the only California celebration for the Task Force's 40th anniversary. On Sept. 29, the organization will return for "Celebrating 40 Years Los Angeles," a fundraising brunch to be held at the Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City. Guest speakers at the brunch will include Carey and Congressman Mark Takano, the first openly gay person of color elected to the House of Representatives. Takano is also being honored by LA Pride with the "Person of the Year" award.

For more information about LA Pride, click HERE.