Logo is honoring groundbreaking advocates who have helped the LGBT community make incredible strides this year with the first-ever Trailblazers special, airing on the network June 26.
The inaugural event will honor Edie Windsor and Roberta Kaplan, the plaintiff and attorney in the historic Supreme Court case that helped topple the Defense of Marriage Act.
Windsor, 84, lost her wife, Thea Spyer, in 2009—and discovered that because their marriage wasn’t recognized by the federal government, she would have to pay more than $360,000 in estate taxes. Refusing to abide such an injustice, she filed suit in Windsor v. United States.
On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Section 3 of DOMA was unconstitutional “as a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment,” which guarantees equal protection under the law to all Americans.
Attorney Roberta Kaplan, a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, took Windsor’s case pro bono, and devoted countless hours to taking Windsor v. United States all the way. “I was pretty confident that we would win,” Kaplan told Out magazine last fall. “I was certainly thrilled, and perhaps a little bit surprised, by the breadth of the decision by Justice Kennedy — I think it mentions the dignity of gay people and their relationships something like 10 times in 26 pages.”
Kaplan says she’s happy to be a part of Trailblazers because United States v. Windsor was judged on its merits. “What Windsor means is that all Americans, including all gay Americans, have equal dignity that must be respected under the law.”
Stephen Friedman, President of MTV and Logo, had high praise for both women: “Through their courage, Edie and Roberta redefined an institution to make it open to everybody. Like the greatest civil-rights pioneers, they secured a basic human freedom for all of us.”
Daniel Radcliffe, a longtime supporter of the LGBT community, will present at this year’s event: In addition to being a longtime volunteer with The Trevor Project, Radcliffe has been a vocal supporter of marriage equality both here and in the UK. “Gay people should have equality in law everywhere,” Radcliffe told Attitude magazine in 2012. “If you grow up as a young gay man knowing you don’t have the same opportunities as everyone else, you’re going to feel victimized.”
The show will also feature a performance by A Great Big World and special appearances by Jared Leto, Kylie Minogue, Ariana Grande, Rita Ora, Iggy Azalea, and out performers Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees and Mary Lambert, who sang on Macklemore’s equality anthem, “Same Love.”
More honorees, presenters and attendees will be named in the weeks to come.
Tune in to the inaugural Trailblazers special June 26 at 9pm, only on Logo.