Boies, Olson to receive Birch Award; special appearance set by NBA star Jason Collins


TOP NOTCH ATTORNEYS | David Boies and Ted Olson, attorneys in the lawsuit successfully challenging California’s Proposition 8, will attend Black Tie Dinner to accept the Elizabeth Birch Equality Award.


James Russell  |  Staff Writer

Black Tie Dinner has added five guests to an already packed to a line up for the 33rd annual event, set for Nov. 15 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, creating what Black Tie organizers called a “dream team” of guests.

Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins, the first out athlete to serve in any major professional sports league, will make a special appearance at the dinner, joined by David Boies and Ted Olson, the legal team that successfully argued against California’s Proposition 8.

Organizers this week announced that Boies and Olson are this year’s winners of the Elizabeth Birch Equality Award in recognition of their outstanding service to the LGBT community. Joining the two attorneys at the dinner will be Prop 8 plaintiffs Sandy Stiers and Kris Perry, who will present the award.



Collins, Boies Olson, Stiers and Perry join a previously announced line-up that includes comic Dana Goldberg, singer-songwriter Steve Grand, WFAA TV sports anchor Dale Hansen and Mike Anglin, this year’s Kuchling Award winner.

“We’re really excited how our line-up is turning out. It’s as strong as last year’s,” said Ken Morris, event co-chair. “We are calling the program our ‘Dream Team’ because Collins joins Dale Hansen, which will undoubtedly please sports fans. Plus we have no better example of teamwork on behalf of our community than Boies and Olson, who, though from opposite ends from the ideological and political spectrum, view same-sex marriage as an issue that transcends affiliation and labels.

“These straight allies helped convince our courts and our country that loving who you want to love is a fundamental right,” Morris said.

Over the last 33 years, Black Tie Dinner has raised $18 million for North Texas LGBT organizations. This year’s beneficiary roster includes a new addition, the LGBT theater group Uptown Players.

“They meet our target demographic and fulfill our mission statement. They are a perfect fit,” Morris said.

This isn’t the last of the announcements, Morris said. “Just hold on, there’s more to come.”

Tables are still available for groups of 10 or more. Information for “team captains” wanting to secure a table for a group of 10 or more should visit BTD’s website for more information. Table selection begins Sept. 22. Any remaining individual tickets will go on sale in October.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 19, 2014.