Kelly Ripa was given a GLAAD Award for Excellence in Media recently. GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis said of Kelly Ripa:
"For over a decade, Kelly Ripa has greeted millions of viewers with messages of acceptance and inclusion," she said. "By sharing inclusive stories with her audience and loudly voicing support for her LGBT friends and fans, Kelly is helping to drive acceptance forward."
Kelly Ripa marveled about the award. I feel that it's odd in a way that I should be given an award based on the fact that I've had the privilege of being surrounded by, loved by and influenced by this community my entire life. Or, quite frankly, that I should be celebrated for treating people like people. The LGBT community -- this community -- has led the way in treating people like people. I should be giving this award to all of you in this room."
Kelly Ripa pointed out the fact that she recently celebrated her 19th wedding anniversary. She lamented that people across the country have been prevented from experiencing the joy that she has know in marriage.
While not specifically naming the recent legislative attempts at curbing the rights of LGBT individuals by calling those efforts "religious freedom" initiatives, she did warn against allowing discrimination to sneak in under different guises.
"It must not end there, equality means equality across the board. We must not allow discrimination to be rebranded and to be used against people in other facets of society, including housing, employment, and education."
In introducing her, Anderson Cooper joked that Kelly Ripa is so genuine in her support for the gay community that she admits on the air that when she has gone to a gay bar the night before.
"Even the gay ones don't talk about that on the air," he said, "and there's a lot of gay morning hosts."