Actress Kerry Washington & Shonda Rhimes
(L to R) at the GLAAD Media Awards
(Pic: Max Morse/Getty Images for GLAAD)

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) honoured LGBT-friendly media, including Grey’s Anatomy and Facebook, at a glitzy event in San Francisco on Saturday night.

Shonda Rhimes – creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and the new hit series Scandal – was presented with The Golden Gate Award, awarded to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality.

Grey’s Anatomy also took home the award for Outstanding Drama Series. The long-running soapie Days of Our Lives received the Outstanding Daily Drama gong.

“I think that love is universal,” said Rhimes in her acceptance speech. “And I think in telling LGBT stories, I’m telling everyone’s story. Love is, in fact, universal, right?”

Rhimes continued: “I want my daughters to grow up in a world in which there is more love than hate. I want them to know a world where everyone is free. So that’s why I write the stories that I do, because everyone should be free. Love should be universal. And no one should get to tell me or you or my kid who they can love, or who they can marry or have babies with.”

Social networking site Facebook received a Special Recognition Award for the company’s strong support of its LGBT users.

“This is incredibly important and I couldn’t be more pleased that Facebook is among those being honoured by GLAAD this year,” said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in a pre-recorded video.

“I’m thankful that GLAAD has recognised our commitment to helping young people make safe, smart and responsible choices online and offline. We’re committed to helping people express who they really are.”

Facebook’s award was presented by Brittany McMillan, the creator of Spirit Day which inspires millions to wear purple or ‘go purple’ on social media in support of LGBT youth.

Saturday’s event was the last of three GLAAD Media Awards this year. Previous awards were presented in New York on March 24 and in Los Angeles on April 21.

The awards recognise and honour media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect its members’ lives.

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