Jennifer Lopez will receive the Vanguard Award at the GLAAD Media Awards.

The singer-and-actress will be presented with the honour, which is given to ''artists and media professionals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community'' at a ceremony in Los Angeles next month, and one of the reasons she was chosen for the accolade by the gay rights organisation is her role as producer on 'The Fosters', a TV series about a lesbian couple raising a family of biological, adopted and foster children.

Sarah Kate Ellis, president of GLAAD, said: ''Through her work to bring 'The Fosters' to life and by consistently speaking out as a powerful ally, Jennifer Lopez has not only sent a message of acceptance to LGBT adults and young people, but inspired new support for our community among her many fans around the globe.

''Family is about love, and that's a message Jennifer has shared with millions through her groundbreaking work on 'The Fosters'.''

Jennifer - who has six-year-old twins Max and Emme with third husband Marc Anthony - is a big supporter of marriage equality.

She said: ''When it comes to gay marriage, I just believe in love,'' she said. ''I believe that when two people find each other and love each other, they should be able to spend their lives together with all the same benefits and privileges as everyone.''

Previous recipients of the Vanguard Award include Josh Hutcherson, Janet Jackson, Drew Barrymoore, Antonio Banderas, Kristin Chenoweth, Whoopi Goldberg, Eric Mccormack, Liza Minnelli, Sharon Stone and Dame Elizabeth Taylor.

The 25th annual GLAAD Media Awards take place April 12 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.