Two Colorado Springs residents are among five people and organizations statewide honored by the Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado with its 2008 Advancing Equality Awards.

State Sen. John Morse was named Outstanding Public Official. "Senator Morse has been an active and prominent voice in support of initiatives related to public education, health care, fair pay - and rights for gay and transgender people," the group said of the Colorado Springs Democrat.

K.C. Heim, a student at Coronado High School, won the Youth Advocate for Excellence award. Heim "enhanced the safety of all students by creating a Gay/Straight Alliance that would welcome and support students who identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender," the group said.

The other winners were: Anti-Defamation League, Outstanding Nonprofit Organization; Ray Aguilera of Pueblo, Outstanding Community Supporter; and Colorado Anti-Violence Program, Stonewall Award for Gay and Transgender Rights.

Winners receive $5,000 each to be allocated to a nonprofit of their choice.