White Collar star Matt Bomer and his partner, PR exec Simon Halls, were honored Friday in Los Angeles by GLSEN, Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network. Attendees at the event also included Big Bang Theory actor Jim Parsons and country music star Chely Wright.
Here's the news release:
LOS ANGELES, AUGUST 8, 2012 - The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) today announced it will honor DreamWorks Animation co-founder and CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife Marilyn Katzenberg; White Collar star Matt Bomer and his partner, respected Hollywood publicity executive Simon Halls; and the 2012 GLSEN Student Advocate of the Year at its eighth annual Respect Awards - Los Angeles on Friday, Oct. 5 at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
The Respect Awards, held annually in Los Angeles and New York, showcase the work of corporations, individuals, students and educators who have made a significant difference in the areas of diversity, inclusion and the safe schools movement, and who serve as exemplary role models.
"GLSEN is thrilled to honor these incredible supporters who have worked to advance our vision to make schools safe and affirming for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression," GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard said. "We are proud to recognize Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg, Matt Bomer and Simon Halls and our 2012 Student Advocate of the Year for their meaningful contributions toward creating a world where every child learns to respect and accept all people."
The event is co-chaired by Linda Bell Blue (Executive Producer, Entertainment Tonight); Bonnie Curtis (Film Producer - Albert Nobbs; Red Eye; Minority Report); Donald De Line (Film Producer - Green Lantern; I Love You, Man; Observe And Report); Dave Karger (Senior Writer, Entertainment Weekly); David Phoenix (Interior Designer); and Chip Sullivan (Head of Publicity, DreamWorks Studios).
GLSEN bestows awards to a select few leaders that recognize exceptional efforts to ensure schools are safe for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. This year, GLSEN is proud to announce honorees in the following categories:
Lifetime Achievement Award: Marilyn & Jeffrey Katzenberg
Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg's contributions and leadership to the community have been immeasurable. Together, they provide support and lead fundraising efforts on behalf of many local, national and international organizations focused on healthcare, tolerance, education, the arts, Jewish causes, children, civic improvement, political issues and the environment. A former kindergarten teacher, Marilyn has actively supported efforts to improve the quality of healthcare and education including her involvement with the Tower Cancer Research Foundation, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, College of General Studies' Study Center and the establishment of the "The Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg High Definition Center" at Boston University, their children's alma mater. Jeffrey is the chief executive officer and a co-founder of DreamWorks Animation SKG. Under Jeffrey's leadership, DreamWorks Animation has become the world's number-one independent animation studio enjoying a number of critical and commercial theatrical successes, including the franchises Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Megamind, How to Train Your Dragon and Puss in Boots. Marilyn and Jeffrey are longtime supporters of the LGBT community with a shared conviction of overcoming prejudice and intolerance through their commitment to GLSEN, Human Rights Watch, the ACLU, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, People for the American Way, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.
Inspiration Award: Simon Halls & Matt Bomer
Simon Halls and Matt Bomer are known for their commitment to family and causes they care for, including GLSEN. A young but already accomplished actor, Matt currently stars as Neal Caffrey on USA's critically acclaimed show White Collar. Matt most recently starred on the big screen in Magic Mike alongside Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey and will star opposite Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo in the upcoming The Normal Heart. Other film credits include The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Flight Plan and In Time. Simon is a well-respected entertainment insider who is one of the chief publicists at Slate PR. Simon's A-list client roster includes Ridley Scott, Sam Mendes, Ang Lee, Tom Ford, Jude Law, Annette Bening, Gore Verbinski, and Joe Wright. Matt and Simon live in Los Angeles with their three sons: Kit, Walker and Henry.
Student Advocate of the Year: TBD
After a nationwide search, GLSEN will present the 2012 Student Advocate of the Year. This award recognizes a student who has advanced LGBT equality in their school or community, working to ensure that all students are safe and free of bullying, name-calling and harassment.
Special Recognition: Adam Fitzgerald & Blake Drummond
Film director Brett Ratner will also recognize filmmakers Adam Fitzgerald and Blake Drummond on-stage at the Respect Awards for their winning submission to create a public service advertisement (PSA) for GLSEN and the Ad Council that addresses the prevalent use of anti-gay language among teens. The nationwide PSA contest is an extension of GLSEN's award-winning national Think Before You Speak campaign. The contest was spearheaded by Brett Ratner and hosted by Talenthouse. In addition to Brett Ratner, Tom Ford and Evan Bernard served as guest judges for the contest.
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.