“WHEN EVERY VOICE IS HEARD, CHANGE IS NOT JUST POSSIBLE, CHANGE IS INEVITABLE”
New York, NY – President Barack Obama addressed the crowd at the second annual Logo “Trailblazer Honors” with a special video message that celebrated the network's tenth anniversary and the remarkable progress the LGBT equality movement has made over the last decade. Out actress Samira Wiley (“Orange is the New Black”) and out retired NBA player Jason Collins introduced the video message and paid tribute to the Obama administration for its commitment to bettering the lives of LGBT Americans. The “Trailblazer Honors,” which celebrate pioneers at the forefront of the march to LGBT equality, air Saturday, June 27 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on Logo.
Logo also announced that Miley Cyrus will open the “Trailblazer Honors” with a special video message celebrating the Supreme Court’s historic decision on marriage equality: http://logo.to/1dlrjPB
President Obama highlighted ten years of extraordinary progress for LGBT Americans and the country during his message:
I’m honored to help start the party. Tonight is a chance to celebrate, not just ten years of Logo, but ten years of extraordinary progress for our country. When this network aired its first show, gay marriage was a political wedge issue used to divide us. Today the majority of Americans live in states where they can get married, no matter who they love. Today “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” is history. We passed the hate crime law that bears Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr.’s name. And all you have to do is look at this month’s cover of Vanity Fair to see how America is more accepting of people for who they truly are. We still have plenty of work to do together, but tonight is a reminder that when everybody does their part, when every voice is heard, change is not just possible – change is inevitable. So here’s to ten extraordinary years, and all the years to come. Let’s keep standing together to make sure every American is treated with dignity and respect they deserve.”
The Obama administration’s record in support of the LGBT community includes both significant legislative achievements and major administrative actions in support of equality. President Obama signed the bill to repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law. In 2011, he and former Attorney General Eric Holder announced that they would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act, paving the way for marriage equality in 37 states and counting. The administration lifted the HIV entry ban and developed a national HIV and AIDS strategy. The Affordable Care Act expanded access to health coverage for LGBT citizens, and health insurance companies can no longer deny coverage because of someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. President Obama also issued a memorandum to all Federal agencies abroad to promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons around the world.
“Throughout his tenure, President Obama and his administration have provided the political leadership, will, and muscle necessary for the LGBT equality movement to realize so many of its highest aims,” said Stephen Friedman, President of MTV and Logo. “As the LGBT community pushes ahead into a new era, we are proud to recognize the Obama Administration for its commitment to LGBT equality and its role in accelerating the monumental progress of the last decade.”
Also during the Logo “Trailblazer Honors,” Martin Luther King III and Raven Symoné (“The View”) pay tribute to openly gay civil rights icon Bayard Rustin, whose surviving partner Walter Naegle accepts the honor. Additional honorees include Judy & Dennis Shepard, Iranian LGBT activist Arsham Parsi and, along with PFLAG National, ‘Trailblazing Parents.’ The one-hour special is held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, one of the first religious institutions in New York City to champion LGBT issues.
The largest televised LGBT Pride event features performances from Adam Lambert and Bleachers as well as presenters including TV personality Kelly Osbourne, Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), Michael J. Willett (“Faking It”), Violet Chachki (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”) and Frankie Grande (“America’s Best Dance Crew”). “Trailblazer Honors” also features special appearances from Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sir Ian McKellen, Nate Ruess, Judith Light, Billy Porter and Geena Rocero, among others.
Logo “Trailblazer Honors” is executive produced by Chris McCarthy, Ryan Kroft, and Chris Williams for Logo. Joe Buoye serves as Executive in Charge for Logo with Amy Doyle, Wendy Plaut and Gina Esposito as Executives in Charge of Music and Talent.
ABOUT LOGO TV
Logo TV is a leading entertainment brand inspired by the LGBT community and reflects the creative class across television, digital and social platforms. Logo features one-of-a-kind personalities, shows, specials, and unique stories. Logo is part of MTV’s network of brands including MTV, MTV2, MTV.com, mtvU, MTV Hits and MTV Jams.