Last Saturday, television show host Kelly Ripa was awarded the Excellence in Media Award during GLAAD’s 26th annual media awards. Accepting the award from reputed CNN reporter Anderson Cooper, Ripa expressed that she felt odd receiving an award for “treating people like people.”
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The Live! With Kelly and Michael co-host said, “It’s kind of 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 [the LGBT community] my entire life. Or, quite frankly, that I should be celebrated for treating people like people.” During her acceptance speech, Ripa acknowledged that there are still many parts of America and of the world where members of the LGBT community are not fully accepted. Residing in New York with husband Mark Consuelos, she related how grateful she was for being able to raise her children in an environment free from gender discrimination.
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Ripa recalled a conversation with her son.
“A few years ago, our youngest son Joaquin asked me if it was legal for me to be married to Mark, because all of our friends at the time getting married were same-sex couples. It dawned on him that a heterosexual couple getting married might actually be illegal.”
She added that even if the Supreme Court rules in favor of legalizing same sex marriage nationwide, “it must not end there, equality means equality across the board.” She pointed out that discrimination should not be “rebranded” and “used against people in other facets of society, including housing, employment and education.”
“Like everybody in this room, I watch hoping and trusting that [the expansion of LGBT rights] will move the nation towards the same type of acceptance that my own children are growing up with here in New York City,” Ripa said.
Overall, Ripa delivered her speech in a light-hearted manner and was even joking with Cooper who apparently was also her personal friend. As he introduced Ripa, he mentioned that she is so genuine on television that she does not hold back in sharing some of her experiences like clubbing the night before at a gay bar.
The CNN reporter joked, “Even the gay ones don’t talk about that on the air and there’s a lot of gay morning hosts.”
Aside from Ripa, another journalist recognized for promoting equality in the LGBT community is MSNBC news reporter Thomas Roberts who came out as gay back in 2006.
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