The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s Excellence in Media Award has been presented to the mother of a murdered gay teenager.

At the GLAAD Media Awards in New York yesterday Judy Shepard was honoured for her tireless work for LGBT Americans.

As executive director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, she has become one of America’s most vocal advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.

The foundation was created by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of their 21-year old son, Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming in October 1998.

Matthew’s murder was a watershed moment in the perceptions of LGBT people in America.

For the Bible Tells Me So, an Academy Award-nominated documentary that explores how people of faith deal with homosexuality, was named Outstanding Documentary at yesterday’s awards ceremony.

The New York Times won the awards for Outstanding Newspaper Overall Coverage and Outstanding Newspaper Article for “Aging and Gay, and Facing Prejudice in Twilight” by Jane Gross.

Singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright was named Outstanding Music Artist.

CNN.com won the award for Outstanding Digital Journalism – Multimedia.

GQ was honoured with the Outstanding Magazine Article award for “Dying to Come Out: The War on Gays in Iraq” by David France.

The GLAAD Media Awards recognise and honour media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives.

The winners in 26 of this year’s 40 media categories were announced in New York yesterday.

Additional awards will be presented in Florida on April 12th, Los Angeles on April 26th and in San Francisco on May 10th.

GLAAD yesterday announced an exclusive agreement with Bravo, its new broadcast partner, which will broadcast the 19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards later this year.

This will be the first televised airing of the celebration on a fully distributed national cable network.

GLAAD works to promote and ensure fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.