Gay rights leader wins Oceanside's Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award

OCEANSIDE, Calif. - A North County gay rights leader is the recipient of Oceanside's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award, the city announced Tuesday.

Massimilliano "Max" Disposti, founder of the North County LGBT Coalition, has been involved in community service and working toward equality in Oceanside for the last 11 years. He was given his award at a breakfast on Monday.

"In this day and this society, Max Disposti has gone proudly into places where discussion on LBGT is politely dismissed or shunned entirely," said Reginald Owens, a past winner of the award. "He is courageous to a point where he cannot be compared."

Another past winner, Gwen Sanders, said Disposti was a great choice as someone who practices King's "ideals and philosophy."

Disposti, a real estate broker who was born in Rome, helped found Rome Gay Pride and was an early leader of the historic Italian city's LGBT movement before he moved to the United States and become a citizen, according to Lambda Archives San Diego.

Other nominees were Raye Clendening, a retired teacher and president of the Vista Community Clinic Board of Directors, and Marcus Sneed, a retired Marine officer and longtime Boy Scouts of America volunteer at Camp Pendleton.

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