Neil Patrick Harris, Partner Honored at Gay Gala

Neil Patrick Harris and partner David Burtka were among several notable gay, lesbian and transgender people honored last night at the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center’s 40th Anniversary Gala.

Chaz Bono also received honors, and actor David Arquette spoke touchingly about his family’s love and support for Arquette sibling Alexis. Harris and Burtka were lauded by Glee‘s Jane Lynch, who spoke at length about the impact of the young gay family on gay rights in America today. Lynch effused:

“As a couple they are beyond extraordinary and created the most stunning gay American family portrait. Now, it doesn’t hurt that the babies are cuter than Bradjelinas… To much of the world they are a remarkable family and they stand as a role model for young people. This is particularly important for kids out there who fear for their own futures because of their own sexual orientation… Thank you David and Neil for putting a beautiful face on America’s notion of what a gay family looks like.”

Harris was lighthearted in his comments, as usual, joking:

“We are so honored to be here on the 40th anniversary of this incredible and important institution. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 40 years since The Center first invented gays and lesbians. And we are so happy that they did.”

Burtka added, more somberly:

“More to the point, we are extraordinarily grateful that we are able to stand here today as a same-sex couple with children and not feel like we are some kind of freak show or some kind of government experiment gone awry.”

Earlier, Harris had joked:

“I just hope we can keep our speech short. I don’t know how long the valet attendants can entertain the babies without a major meltdown.”

The couple received the Rand Schrader Distinguished Achievement Award at the gala.