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VIDEO: Anderson Cooper says being gay is a 'blessing,' thanks partner at the #glaadawards

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Madonna presented journalist, author and talk show host Anderson Cooper with the Vito Russo Award at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York last night. In his acceptance remarks, Anderson said being gay is a 'blessing' and thanked his partner, Benjamin.

He stated: "I've had so many blessings in my life, and being gay is certainly one of the greatest blessings. It has allowed me to love and to be loved and to help open my head and my heart in ways I could never have predicted. The ability to love one another, the ability to love another person is, in my opinion, one of God's greatest gifts, and I thank God every day for enabling me to give and share love with the people in my life - my family, and my friends, and my partner Benjamin. Thank you very much, and thank you for being here."

Take a look at the video below:

Madonna wore a Boy Scouts uniform and spoke out against the Scouts' ban on gay scouts and leaders, as part of GLAAD's year-long campaign to end the Boy Scouts of America's anti-gay policy. See what Madonna had to say here.

Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell, who was ousted as her son's den leader because she is gay last year, also spoke onstage. "We’re making sure that no parent ever has to look their child in the eye, like the Boy Scouts made me do, and say that your family isn't good enough," said Tyrrell. "You really need to know about the loving way GLAAD staff has treated our family. Taking my countless phone calls at all hours of the night, crying with me and holding me through rivers of tears."

Madonna and Anderson Cooper joined hosts Lara Spencer, Josh Elliott and Sam Champion (Good Morning America); Jake Shears (Scissor Sisters); NFL players Brendon Ayanbadejo (Baltimore Ravens) and Chris Kluwe (Minnesota Vikings); Christian Borle, Andy Mientus, Krysta Rodriguez (Smash); Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey); Jenni "JWoww" Farley, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi (The Jersey Shore, Snooki & JWoww); Annie Clark, Cristine Prosperi (Degrassi); Straight But Not Narrow founder Avan JogiaMilla Jovovich (Resident Evil); John Leguizamo (Ice Age, Moulin Rouge); Laverne Cox (Musical Chairs); GLAAD's Strategic Giving Officer Wilson Cruz (My So-Called Life); producing dream team Neil Meron and Craig Zadan and others at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York, which helps fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories from the LGBT community that build support for equality.

For a complete list of winners, click here.

The 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards series will continue in Los Angeles on April 20, 2013. For ticket information, click here.

The 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards were presented nationally by Ketel One and Wells Fargo, and presented locally in New York by Delta Air Lines.

Follow GLAAD: Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Donate to GLAAD

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