Actress Sara Gilbert and musician Linda Perry, parents who married in 2014, will receive a 2016 Impact Award from media personality Sharon Osbourne
Family Equality Council, the advocacy group representing the country’s 3 million LGBTQ parents and their 6 million children, announced that Greg Berlanti, Sara Gilbert and Linda Perry will be honored at its annual Impact Awards gala March 12 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Berlanti is the ground-breaking producer who fought network execs to put the first passionate kiss between two men on prime-time as a writer/producer on Dawson’s Creek, gave Kevin and Scotty a baby via surrogate as executive producer of Brothers & Sisters, and minted TV’s first mainstream LGBT superhero when he introduced bisexual Sara Lance/Black Canary as co-creator of Arrow.
He will also become a father in February via surrogacy. Says Berlanti, “I am touched and incredibly honored to receive the Impact Award from Family Equality Council, which everyday advocates for equality and acceptance of LGBT families. As a gay man about to begin the journey of parenthood, I’m extremely grateful for the tireless efforts of this wonderful organization, which has helped build a better and more tolerant society.”
Sara Gilbert and Linda Perry are two moms raising a beautiful family together. Gilbert has worked in the entertainment industry for over three decades and is perhaps best-known for creating the iconic character Darlene on the long-running TV show Roseanne. She went on to star in blockbuster programs like ER and The Big Bang Theory. In 2010, Gilbert created the daytime talk show hit The Talk, also appearing as the co-host and executive producer.
Perry is a singer-songwriter and record producer who was inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2015. She first became known as the lead singer and primary songwriter of 4 Non Blondes, and has since founded two record labels as well as composed and produced hit songs for some of the biggest names in entertainment. The two were married in 2014 and have a 10-month-old son. They recently released a children’s album — recorded with Gilbert’s other two children — called “Deer Sounds.”
Says Perry, “Receiving the Impact Award from Family Equality Council is truly an honor for us. We are inspired by their tireless efforts. Family Equality Council is building a supportive and stronger community for LGBTQ families. As parents, we overcome many obstacles when raising a child. When one of those obstacles is acceptance, we are grateful to know there’s an organization like this one standing in the forefront fighting for equality right beside us.”
Calista Flockhart will present the Impact Award to Berlanti, her Brothers & Sisters executive producer. Sharon Osbourne will present the Impact Award to Gilbert (her Talk co-host) and Perry. The event will feature additional honorees, live performances and appearances by notables in the world of arts, entertainment, politics, and the LGBTQ movement.
The gala is chaired by three Los Angeles executives, all of whom are LGBTQ parents themselves.
“We won marriage equality in 2015, but across the country, LGBTQ parents and their kids still face discrimination at school, in housing, and in the workplace,” says Vince Klaseus, President, Brand Development at NBCUniversal, Inc., who is co-chairing the dinner with David Marshall Grant, Executive Producer of Code Black and Brothers & Sisters, and Stuart Bell, Co-owner of Growing Generations.
Adds Klaseus, “Family Equality Council stands up every day for families like ours, fighting for non-discrimination protections, greater adoption and foster care rights, and increased job security for LGBTQ parents.”
Says Brent Wright, Interim Co-Executive Director and Director of Programs at Family Equality Council, “We are thrilled to give Impact Awards to Greg, Sara and Linda, longtime role models for the LGBTQ community — and now, for LGBTQ parents.”
Adds Emily Hecht-McGowan, Interim Co-Executive Director and Director of Public Policy at Family Equality Council, “These three artists are helping to shine a light on our families and the work that still needs to be done. We won’t rest until all LGBTQ-led families are protected, supported and respected.”
The event’s Honorary Committee includes Casey Bloys and Alonzo Wickers, Bruce Bozzi and Bryan Lourd, Dan Bucatinsky and Don Roos, David Miller and Ryan Murphy, Carolyn Strauss, and Sonny Ward and Michael Lombardo. The event’s Host Committee includes Lance Bass and Michael Turchin, Matt Bomer and Simon Halls, and Jonathan Murray and Harvey Reese.
Past honorees at the awards dinner include Modern Family, Glee, NBC, Honey Maid, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, and Peter Paige and Bradley Bredeweg. Past special guests include Sandra Bernhard, Darren Criss, Melissa Etheridge, Cheyenne Jackson, Adam Lambert, and Sarah Paulson.
The 2016 event is on track to be Family Equality Council’s most successful L.A. gala in its history.
Silver level sponsors: HBO, Target, and Warner Bros. television. Bronze level sponsors: CBS, Creative Artists Agency, The CW, HRC Fertility, Mattel, NBCUniversal, Thinkway Toys, and William Morris Endeavor.