Former president Bill Clinton will receive GLAAD's first Advocate for Change Award at a ceremony in Los Angeles April 20.
GLAAD is recognizing Clinton's efforts in bringing marriage equality to New York State, his fight against Amendment One in North Carolina, and his recent op-ed in The Washington Post calling for the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, which he signed into law in 1996.
"During his administration, Clinton became the first U.S. President to appoint out gay and lesbian people to all levels of government," GLAAD says in a release. "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, creating the national AIDS Policy Coordinator post, and expanded funding for research. In 2002, his Clinton Health Access Initiative began as the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiaitve to address the HIV/AIDS crisis in the developing world."
Clinton has indeed come a long way since his presidency, where he ushered in "don't ask, don't tell" after failing to integrate out gays and lesbians into the military.
Also honored at the L.A. event will be entertainment attorney and GLAAD board member Steve Warren. Leonardo DiCaprio, Charlize Theron, and Jennifer Lawrence are some of the presenters expected at the ceremony.