If the 2012 GLAAD Awards had a theme, it would be this: Bullies must be held accountable for their actions and those who've been bullied need their voices heard.
Bullying of LGBT youth is a topic of public discourse once again following the conviction of Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi in the Tyler Clementi suicide case and the recent news that the Weinstein's upcoming advocacy documentary Bully received an R-rating by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Harvey Weinstein attended the Saturday night awards show to present a special award to 17-year-old Ann Arbor, Michigan activist Katy Butler who gathered more than 400,000 signatures in an online petition pressing the MPAA to lower its R rating for Bully, which is set for release this Friday. The MPAA says language used in the film warrants restricting children under 17 -- the target audience -- from viewing it without supervision.
Weinstein said, God must work in mysterious ways to let me produce a movie like this, joking that he's known to be intimidating.
The awards, hosted by Naya Rivera and Cory Monteith of Glee, boasted a star-studded roster of presenters including Dakota Fanning, Russell Simons, Padma Lakshmi, and Vinny Guadagnino.
In the music categories, GLAAD honored Lady Gaga for Born This Way, while Ricky Martin took home the Spanish-language award for Musica + Alma + Sexo.
Carson Kressley accepted the Outstanding Reality Program award for Dancing with the Stars while the stars of Pariah collected for Outstanding Film - Limited Release. Oprah and Anderson Cooper 360 were among other winners announced at the ceremonies.
For theater, Tony Kushner took home top honors with The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a key to the Scriptures. The play won for Outstanding New York Theater: Broadway & Off Broadway. The musical Southern Comfort won for Outstanding New York Theater: Off-Off Broadway while No Word in Guyanese for Me won for Outstanding Los Angeles Theater.
Neil Meron and Craig Zadan received the honorary Vito Russo Award, presented with great fanfare by Broadway veteran Bernadette Peters and the night's biggest ham John Stamos. Meron and Zadan are known for their work on Hairspray and Chicago as well as the current NBC drama Smash. Peters said her recent cameo on Smash was not a one-off appearance, hinting she'll return for the season finale of the show, which was recently picked up for a second season.
The night's most exciting moment came when hosts Rivera and Monteith opened the floor for a kissing auction that put each of them up for grabs. Monteith ended up kissing Megan Hilty in a five-thousand-dollar Glee-Smash match-up. Stamos also got in on the fun, offering himself up to the highest bidder.
The GLAAD Awards recognize and honor mainstream media for their fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives. The 23rd annual awards series will continue in Los Angeles on April 21 and later in San Francisco on June 2.