LOS ANGELES -- Former President Bill Clinton was honored at the star-studded annual GLAAD Media Awards on Saturday night at the JW Marriott in Downtown Los Angeles.
Clinton received the organization's inaugural Advocate for Change Award from his daughter Chelsea, after speaking to the crowd about his support of equality.
Entertainment attorney Steve Warren also received high honors, and gave a moving acceptance speech.
Actress Drew Barrymore hosted the event, and other Hollywood VIPs who were on hand included Leonardo DiCaprio, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lawrence, Tobey Maguire, Betty White, Chris Evans, Matt Bomer, Kelly Rowland, Darren Criss, Cloris Leachman, Chaz Bono and Beth Ditto.
The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives. The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories of LGBT people and issues that build support for equality.
In accepting his award, President Clinton called for the end of the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" or DOMA: "I'm very honored to join with Edie Windsor […] and with so many others, including President Obama and Vice President Biden, the whole Obama administration, urging the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act. I want to keep working on this until not only DOMA is no longer the law of the land but until all people no matter where they live can marry the people they love."
President Clinton continued, "I want to thank GLAAD for the award and congratulate the other honorees […] I think that the staff, the board of directors, and the most active supporters of GLAAD deserve the award I'm getting because they are the real agents of change. They had this idea, a long time ago, GLAAD did -- there would be a lot of people lobbying Congress, but somebody ought to be personalizing and humanizing these issues for the LGBT community. They actually believed you could reach a human heart. They actually believed that people could think and feel differently."
DiCaprio and Theron presented the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to entertainment attorney Steve Warren.
During his acceptance speech, Warren called on the Supreme Court Justices to join the majority of Americans in supporting full equality for all couples: "Four weeks ago, Justice Anthony Kennedy remarked that the court is heading into uncharted waters. It can lead to a wonderful destination, he said, or to a cliff. I almost wept when I heard these words. They are so true. In fact, all of us in the LGBT community have been living our entire lives in uncharted waters. Each time one of us comes out, each time we commit our love, whether privately or publicly, each time we decide to create our own families with children and partners of our own, we plunge head first into those waters and it can be terrifying. But those waters have been calmed and made more welcoming over the past fifty years with greater and greater effectiveness by the work of organizations like GLAAD."
GLAAD also presented an award to GLAAD co-founder Dean Hansell, who spoke about the organization's early efforts to change the way LGBT people are portrayed in the media.
Ryan Murphy, the co-creator of "The New Normal," accepted the award for Outstanding Comedy Series with cast members Andrew Rannells, Justin Bartha, Georgia King, and Jayson Blair. Murphy also accepted the trophy for "American Horror Story: Asylum" which received the nod for Outstanding TV Movie or Mini-Series.
Writer, director Stephen Chbosky accepted the award for Outstanding Film - Wide Release for his film "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." He was joined by cast members Logan Lerman, Johnny Simmons, and Mae Whitman. "Raising Hope" received the award for Outstanding Individual Episode for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell Me What to Do." The award for Outstanding Daily Drama went to "Days of Our Lives" for the second consecutive year.
This year, over 200 youth were able to attend the event at no cost through the Young Adults at the GLAAD Media Awards program. The Young Adults program was presented by Fox. Students affiliated with Environmental Charter High, Compton High, Fairfax Senior High, Pepperdine University, and Arizona State University were present at the event.
SDGLN Staff Writer Ben Cartwright was in attendance at the event with other members of the Hale Media team, and captured some of the evening's highlights in a live blog and on the @sdgln Twitter account.
The evening ended with a performance of "When Love Takes Over" by Kelly Rowland, and an announcement that guests had contributed over $163,000 to GLAAD throughout the evening, far surpassing the organization's goal of $75,000.
GLAAD presents the Media Awards in three cities each year, with the New York City event taking place last month, and the San Francisco awards on May 11.
Following is a complete list of GLAAD Media Award recipients announced Saturday :
• Advocate for Change Award: Bill Clinton (presented by Harvey Weinstein and Jennifer Lawrence)
• Stephen F. Kolzak Award: Steve Warren (presented by Leonardo DiCaprio and Charlize Theron)
• Outstanding Film - Wide Release: The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Summit Entertainment) [accepted by: writer and director Stephen Chbosky with Logan Lerman, Johnny Simmons, and Mae Whitman]
• Outstanding Comedy Series: The New Normal (NBC) [accepted by: co-creators Ryan Murphy with Andrew Rannells, Justin Bartha, Georgia King, and Jayson Blair]
• Outstanding Individual Episode: "Don’t Ask, Don't Tell Me What to Do" Raising Hope (Fox) [accepted by: show creator Greg Garcia with Cloris Leachman, and Shannon Woodward]
• Outstanding TV Movie or Mini-Series: American Horror Story: Asylum (FX) [accepted by: show creator Ryan Murphy]
• Outstanding Daily Drama: Days of Our Lives (NBC) [accepted by: Freddie Smith]
• Outstanding Talk Show Episode: "At Home with Neil Patrick Harris, His Fiancé David Burtka, & Their Twins" Oprah's Next Chapter (OWN)
• Outstanding Los Angeles Theater: The Children by Michael Elyanow
• Outstanding Daytime Talk Show Episode: "Confirma su identidad como mujer" Showbiz (CNN en Español)
• Outstanding TV Journalism – Newsmagazine: TIE: "Los transexuales buscan su identidad en medio de ignorancia y prejuicios" Encuentro (CNN en Español) and "La vida en rosa" Aquí y Ahora (Univision)
• Outstanding Newspaper Article: "Gays y padres excelentes" by Pilar Marrero (La Opinión)
A photo gallery from the event is online HERE. SDGLN's photographer will have photos available on SDPIX.com later this week.