Actress and activist Whoopi Goldberg will be the recipient of the Human Right’s Campaign’s 2013 Ally for Equality award, as recognition for her long term efforts to support gay rights.

The HRC say that their award is intended to acknowledge “allies outside the LGBT community who stand up on behalf of equality for all Americans”.

Chad Griffin, President of the HRC, made the following statement: “We are proud to honour Whoopi Goldberg with the Ally for Equality Award for her commitment to the LGBT community through her public support of marriage equality, including taking part in our successful New Yorkers for Marriage Equality video campaign in 2011. Whoopi is always willing to stand up for our community and is a longtime friend of HRC.”

Ms Goldberg has been a prominent supporter of gay rights as far back as 1987, when she spoke at the March on Washington.

“Mr Reagan, did you explain…that sometimes ignorant people act in such a way [toward people with AIDS] that it is frightening,” she said at the event. “How long is it going to take before people get smart…educated people? We’re not talking about illiterate people. We’re talking about senators and congressmen and the fucking president.”

She has also been known to speak up in support of gay rights in her current role hosting television talk show The View.