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Meredith Baxter Speaks Out at HRC Dinner: Video

Meredith Baxter Speaks Out at HRC Dinner: Video

Meredith Baxter graced center stage at the Human Rights Campaign Carolinas dinner in Raleigh, N.C. The openly lesbian actress made her first major address for an LGBT advocacy organization.?The "Family Ties" star, 62, spoke candidly about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," coming out lesbian and harassment of gay youth in schools. Baxter joked about tabloid exposure, thanking Tiger Woods. "American Idol" star Clay Aiken, 31, also made an appearance. Watch the video here. 

Meredith Baxter graced center stage at the Human Rights Campaign Carolinas dinner in Raleigh, N.C. over the weekend.

According to the Advocate, The openly lesbian actress made her first major address for an LGBT advocacy organization since coming out last year.

The Family Ties star, 62, spoke candidly about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," coming out lesbian and harassment of gay youth in schools.

After warming up the audience with jokes about tabloid exposure in lieu of her big announcement, Baxter thanked a troubled celebrity for lightening the load, "My big public moment was a big news item for about five minutes because... I owe a major debt of gratitude to Tiger Woods."

"It's a very strange thing to do this official coming out to the world," the actress told the crowd. "To tell you the truth, I've never heard of a straight person do that. They just make you guess. They drop hints, some innuendo, the way they walk."

Speaking of a young boy in upstate New York who was harassed for being gay and ignored by school officials, Baxter said, "Students said that he ought to die, and one of his teachers told him that he ought to be ashamed.... You have to ask, 'What kind of society creates these harassing students and these unsympathetic teachers?' Our society. And when you look at some of the laws of our society, it's not hard to see why."

On DADT, Baxter spoke without mincing her words, "When our government discriminates against gay soldiers, then our citizens, our everyday folks, are given a federal validation to harass their gay neighbors."

American Idol star Clay Aiken, 31, also made an appearance at the HRC saying, "We have a great deal of more work to do...our time is now, and it's about damn time."

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