the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, today announced it will honor former President Bill Clinton at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles. Entertainment attorney Steve Warren will also receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award during the event at the JW Marriott on April 20, 2013.
Bill Clinton will receive GLAAD's first Advocate for Change Award during the event. In 2011, Clinton advocated for marriage equality in New York, stating that "for more than a century, our Statue of Liberty has welcomed all kinds of people from all over the world yearning to be free. In the 21st century, I believe New York’s welcome must include marriage equality.” In 2012, he joined the Coalition to Protect North Carolina Families in working against North Carolina's proposed Amendment One to ban marriage and civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. Most recently, he called for the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act in an op-ed for The Washington Post.
During his administration, Clinton became the first U.S. President to appoint out gay and lesbian people to all levels of government. He appointed more than 150 including James Hormel as America's first openly gay ambassador. During the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis, his administration convened the first White House Conference on the epidemic, created the national AIDS Policy Coordinator post, and expanded funding for research. In 2002, his Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) began as the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative to address the HIV/AIDS crisis in the developing world.
"President Clinton's support of the LGBT community and recognition that DOMA, the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, is unconstitutional and should be struck down shows that the political landscape continues to change in favor of LGBT equality," said GLAAD's Wilson Cruz. "Leaders and allies like President Clinton are critical to moving our march for equality forward."