Barack Obama may be America’s “first gay president” — but Bill Clinton is the (former) commander-in-chief GLAAD has chosen to honor at its Media Awards in Los Angeles this month. (The advocacy group’s New York Media Awards ceremony was held March 16 in Manhattan; its San Francisco awards are scheduled for May 11.)
Clinton will receive GLAAD’s inaugural Advocate for Change Award. The ex-president began advocating for marriage equality in 2011, worked against North Carolina’s proposed amendment to ban both marriage and civil unions for gay couples, and recently penned an op-ed urging the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act — a bill that Clinton himself originally signed in 1996.
“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,” GLAAD strategic giving officer Wilson Cruz said in a statement. “Leaders and allies like President Clinton are critical to moving our march for equality forward.”
GLAAD also announced Wednesday that prominent entertainment lawyer Steve Warren will receive a special award — the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, presented each year to “an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality for our community.” Previous recipients include Ellen DeGeneres, Sir Ian McKellen, Bill Condon, Wanda Sykes, Alan Ball, and Robert Greenblatt.
Guests including Leonardo DiCaprio, Charlize Theron, and Jennifer Lawrence will appear at the L.A. event. The Media Awards will be held in the midst of the Supreme Court’s landmark DOMA/Prop 8 deliberations; a decision about the constitutionality of both is expected in June.