GLAAD Honors Charlize Theron

04/10/2006 at 02:05 PM EDT

Charlize Theron was among those recognized for increasing "visibility and understanding" at the 17th annual GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Awards in Hollywood on Saturday. The movie Transamerica, starring Felicity Huffman, also garnered top honors.

Last year, Theron – who won a 2004 Oscar for her role as real-life lesbian serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster – told TV's Extra that she and longtime boyfriend Stuart Townsend would not wed until gay marriage is legal in the U.S.

"This is very surreal for me because two years ago, I stood right here and won my Oscar for Monster," Theron told the audience at the Kodak Theatre as she accepted GLAAD's highest honor, the Vanguard Award.

"I feel so fortunate that I am in a relationship with a wonderful man," she continued. "I find it incredibly unfair that because of our sexual preference, we have the rights that we have, and that, because of someone else's sexual preference, they don't have those same rights."

Teri Hatcher presented the award for outstanding film in limited release to Transamerica, although the movie's star (and Hatcher's Wisteria Lane neighbor) Felicity Huffman was not able to attend the ceremony.

Melissa Etheridge was presented the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, named after a Los Angeles casting director and given to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights.

As for TV, Showtime's The L Word was named outstanding drama series, while NBC's Will & Grace, now wrapping up its final season, was named outstanding comedy series.

The awards are divided into four ceremonies – in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco. On March 27 in Manhattan, GLAAD named Brokeback Mountain the outstanding film in wide release.

The LOGO cable network will air the Hollywood ceremony on Saturday, and VH1 will show it the next day.

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