Young advocate Zach Wahls – whose impassioned plea for equality before the Iowa state legislature has attracted over 18 million views on YouTube – will share his story and make a special presentation at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards, it was announced today.
In Febrary 2011, 19-year-old Wahls spoke about the strength of his family during a public forum on House Joint Resolution 6 in the Iowa House of Representatives. Wahls has two mothers, and came to oppose House Joint Resolution 6 which aimed to end civil unions in Iowa. That bill later passed in a 62-27 vote, although it appears unlikely to clear the Iowa Senate.
Broadway legend Bernadette Peters, ‘Smash’ star Megan Hilty, Russell Simmons, ‘Jersey Shore’s Vinny Guadagnino, John Stamos, Laverne Cox, Carson Kressley, Janet Mock, Kim Wayans, MSNBC's Thomas Roberts and talk show host Wendy Williams are among the stars joining Wahls at the New York ceremonies, hosted by Glee's Naya Rivera and Cory Monteith.
As previously announced, Smash producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will receive the Vito Russo Award. Weinstein Company Co-Chairman and outspoken anti-bullying advocate Harvey Weinstein will present a Special Recognition Award to high school student Katy Butler. Seventeen-year-old Butler launched a Change.org campaign last month to advocate that the 'R' rating of the upcoming documentary Bully be changed to 'PG-13.'
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.