LGBT rights advocate GLAAD on Saturday
honored Google, YouTube, Rick Welts, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier at
GLAAD Gala San Francisco: Game Changers.
Google and YouTube received the
inaugural Ric Weiland Award, which the group says “honors
innovators who advance LGBT equality through tech and new media.”
The late Weiland, a computer software
pioneer, was an avid supporter of LGBT and HIV/AIDS organizations.
“Google is proud to be considered a
Game Changer, especially in the memory of Ric Weiland and what his
work represents,” Arjan Dijk, vice president of marketing at
Google, said in accepting the award on behalf of Google and YouTube.
“Google has a longstanding history of standing up for the LGBT
community and we work hard to make sure that Google and YouTube are
platforms that make information accessible to everyone. I am so
proud and happy that YouTube and Google are global platforms that can
help people find their way in life.”
Actress Taryn Manning (Orange is the
New Black) hosted the event, which featured performances by Alex
Newell, Stephan Jenkins, Eli Lieb and Neon Hitch.
Golden State Warrior President and
Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts received GLAAD's Davidson /
Valentini Award, which is given to an out media professional who has
made a significant difference in promoting LGBT equality.
Golden State Warriors assistant coach
Jarron Collins presented the award. Collin's twin brother, Jason
Collins, earlier this year became the NBA's first openly gay active
Welts came out in 2011, becoming the
highest-ranking executive in men's professional team sports to
publicly announce he's gay.
“No one really could have imagined …
what's unfolded in our country over the past three years, even in the
sports industry,” said Welts. “Robbie Rogers, Jason Collins,
Brittney Griner, Michael Sam, as each one came out and told their own
compelling personal story, they added to the quality and the depth of
the conversation that's unfolding in professional sports. Much has
been accomplished, but much is left to be done, not just at a
professional level but in our colleges and in our high schools. Acceptance starts early.”
Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, lead
plaintiffs in the landmark case that struck down California's gay
marriage ban, Proposition 8, received the group's Presidential Local
Hero Award at the event.