AG Holder to headline gay rights gala

Attorney General Eric Holder will headline the Human Rights Campaign’s annual gala in New York on Feb. 8.

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, praised Holder for his "courageous" support of gay rights.

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“The LGBT community could not ask for a more courageous Attorney General than Eric Holder. He has seized every opportunity to broaden the circle of freedom to include LGBT people and their families, and he continues to act with unprecedented speed to bring federal recognition to married gay and lesbian couples across the country.

"At every opportunity throughout his career, the Attorney General has shown unparalleled leadership worthy of the history books,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement.

The organization added that Holder has been a “leader” for LGBT rights throughout his career in public life.

Since the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in June in which the justices struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, Holder has worked to implement federal benefits for same-sex couples.

This month, for example, Holder dismissed Utah's decision to not recognize same-sex couples who married in the state after a district court decision. He said the government would recognize them for federal benefits.

In October, Vice President Biden was scheduled to deliver the keynote address on gay rights at the HRC’s annual dinner but canceled it because of the government shutdown.