GLAAD Awards feature DiCaprio, Theron, and Bill Clinton heckler

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The 24th annual GLAAD Media Awards took place in Los Angeles on Saturday, with awards for LGBT advocacy presented by Leonardo DiCaprio, Charlize Theron and Drew Barrymore, among others.

DiCaprio, star of the upcoming ‘The Great Gatsby’ and famous for such roles as J Edgar Hoover, tweeted: “It’s been a big year for #LGBT issues – I’m very proud to be at #GLAADAwards tonight to support their important work.”

He and Charlize Theron presented the Stephen F Kolzak award to attorney Steve Warren for his work promoting LGBT rights in the entertainment industry.

Among those honoured was former US President Bill Clinton, who recently urged for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – which he signed into law in 1996 – to be overturned.

He received the Advocate for Change Award, a new category in the GLAAD honours, but was berated by an audience member who shouted “You signed it [DOMA]!”

Ignoring the heckle, Clinton acknowledged the influence his daughter Chelsea and her friends had had on him in his acceptance speech.

“[My daughter] Chelsea and her gay friends have modelled to me how we should all treat each other regardless of our sexual orientation or any other artificial difference that divides us. Many of them come and join us every Thanksgiving for a meal,” he said.

He added: “I have grown very attached to them. And over the years, I was forced to confront the fact that people who oppose equal rights for gays in the marriage sphere are basically acting out of concern for their own identity, not out of respect for anyone else.”

“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,” GLAAD’s Wilson Cruz said in a statement.

Other presenters and attendees included Jennifer Lawrence, Tobey Maguire, Matt Bomer, Elle Fanning, Betty White, Chris Evans, Mary Steenburgen, Ted Danson, Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson.