GLAAD to honor Bill Clinton at LA awards show
This just in: GLAAD has announced that President Bill Clinton will receive the Advocate for Change Award at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles.
The award is certain to be controversial to some since it was Clinton who signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law in 1996 as well as the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in 1993.
But GLAAD points out that in 2011, Clinton advocated for marriage equality in New York.
He stated 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.
GLAAD’s Wilson Cruz says of Clinton: “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. Leaders and allies like President Clinton are critical to moving our march for equality forward.”
GLAAD also points out that 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.