Gay actress Jane Lynch is to be honoured for her “authentic” gay lifestyle by US organisation the National Center for Lesbian Rights, receiving its Vanguard Award.

The organisation says the award is for someone who exemplifies “values of equality and justice”. It is one of seven awards to be given at the 2012 Anniversary Celebration.

Lynch is best known for her role as Sue Sylvester on the hit show Glee.

NCLR said: “The Vanguard Award honors an individual whose life and spirit exemplifies NCLR’s vision and values of equality and justice for all.

“This year’s award goes to famed actress Jane Lynch, of ‘Glee’ and ‘Julie & Julia’, who has lived an authentic life as an out lesbian while simultaneously achieving great success and visibility in television and film.

“Her authenticity and integrity are blazing a path not just for the artists who follow in her footsteps, but for young people everywhere who look up to her. She lives her life with openness to the unexpected, and by doing so met her soul-mate and became a parent long past the time she thought she ever would.”

Jane Lynch announced she would be appearing in the LA production of Dustin Lance Black’s Proposition 8 play.

The play, titled 8, looks back at the ballot which reinforced a ban on gay marriage in the state of California.

The actress was one of the couples who tied the knot before the marriage ban was reinstated, marrying Lara Embry in 2010.

She spoke up for director Brett Ratner in November after he said rehearsal was “for fags”.

She said: “I think humor is such a personal thing, and you put a microphone in somebody’s face, they’re going to say something that offends somebody.”

Last year, Lynch said she did not think Hollywood was homophobic, but that gay actors will never land leading straight roles.

She said at the time: “I think because since most of the world is straight – and maybe we’ll get to a place where this will happen – most of the world is straight and we want the audience to project their hopes and dreams for love and romance onto those actors.

“And if it’s not in some way possible, maybe never probably, in their mind that it could never happen, then they’re not going to do it. You know, most people are straight, and I think that’s probably why.”