The Congressman Gerry E. Studds Award is given
at The Men’s Event to honor individuals of integrity and selflessness who
embody the spirit of service and provide positive leadership for the LGBT
community. Congressman Studds represented southeastern Massachusetts in
the U.S. Congress from 1973 to 1997 and became the first openly gay Member of
Congress in 1983 when he proudly acknowledged his sexual orientation standing
on the congressional floor. The Congressman Gerry E. Studds Award is given at
each year’s Men’s Event in honor and memory of Studds, who passed away in
Solomon is a preeminent front-line leader in the
movement to win and protect marriage for same-sex couples. As National Campaign
Director for Freedom to Marry, Solomon leads the organization’s programs to win
more states, grow the majority for marriage, and end federal
discrimination. Freedom to Marry played an
instrumental role in successful efforts to secure the freedom to marry at the
ballot in November, 2012 in Maine, Maryland, and Washington, as well as to
defeat a constitutional amendment in Minnesota. Freedom to Marry also led the effort to secure
a marriage plank in the 2012 Democratic National Committee platform and a
multi-faceted campaign to enlist the support of President Obama. In 2011, Marc headed Freedom to Marry’s
efforts to co-create and co-manage New Yorkers United for Marriage, the campaign
to secure the freedom to marry in New York State.
Solomon joined Freedom to Marry after serving as
Executive Director of MassEquality, where he led the campaign to defeat two
constitutional amendments in the first freedom to marry state in the nation,
beating back attacks by the Catholic Church, President George W. Bush, Gov.
Mitt Romney, and the right-wing anti-gay industry. Following the victory in
Massachusetts, Solomon consulted with state-wide equality organizations in
Connecticut and Vermont as well as Freedom to Marry, as part of the nationwide
effort to end marriage discrimination.
Solomon also served as marriage director for Equality California,
helping grow public support in that state to a solid majority.
Solomon has extensive background in advocacy,
public policy, and media, having served as a Senate policy adviser in
Washington, D.C. and researcher for Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward. In
May 2009, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick presented Marc with the
Massachusetts Democratic Party’s prestigious Franklin Delano Roosevelt Award,
given each year to someone who espouses FDR’s ideals “with respect to
democracy, justice, individual freedoms, and citizenship.”
Solomon graduated Magna Cum Laude with Honors in
Political Science and Economics from Yale University and holds a Master’s in
Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of
Government. In 1999, the Rockefeller Foundation named Solomon as one of 24 of
America’s next generation leaders and invited him to participate in its
prestigious two-year Next Generation Leadership fellowship program.
The 20th Men’s Event will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. The Men’s Event is a black-tie fundraiser for Fenway Health that brings together more than 1,300 gay, transgender and bisexual men and their friends and supporters for a night of dinner and dancing. This year’s event is made possible thanks to the hard work of event chairs Brandon O. Smith, Matthew White, and John Winterle, DMD, as well as the support of our generous corporate sponsors. More information is available at www.mensevent.org.