In honor of devoted LGBT advocates Lea DeLaria, Google, and Swish, the Marriage Equality USA 15th Annual National Gala celebrates the marriage equality movement by bringing together LGBT community members, leaders and allies, entertainment industry and corporate spearheads, and celebrities to generate awareness and funds.
“This has already been a tremendous year for marriage equality. With four wins last fall at the ballot box and three more in statehouses in the last three weeks, it is truly an honor to recognize the contributions our honorees have made in helping us make this an historic time for marriage equality,” said Brian Silva, Marriage Equality USA Executive Director. “¨”¨
The event will feature guests such as Stephen Wallem (Showtime’s Nurse Jackie) as emcee, and Vicci Martinez (NBC’s “The Voice” finalist) performing live during an evening of cocktails, dinner, entertainment, awards, and a silent auction.
“On Tuesday May 21, on the verge of historic rulings in the landmark marriage cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, our community will gather in New York City to celebrate how far we’ve come and to acknowledge the leaders who are going the distance to make sure the constitution’s fundamental guarantees of freedom and fairness apply to all Americans,” concluded Cathy Marino-Thomas, Marriage Equality USA Board co-President.
The first openly gay comic to appear on television in the US, Lea DeLaria, allied honoree, is also a jazz musician, Broadway Diva, actor, writer, and standup comic with a plethora of accreditations under her belt including specials on HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, concerts in Carnegie Hall, and was the featured vocalist for the 50th Anniversary of The Newport Jazz Festival.
“As an out performer this issue is incredibly personal to me, which is why I have proudly supported both the cause and Marriage Equality USA (MESUA) for many years,” commented DeLaria. “It is an honor to be recognized by my friends at MEUSA.”
Google, corporate honoree, has maintained an active engagement with the LGBT community, showing support in marriage equality campaigns in Fall 2012 which included a viral video of their employees pushing the public to become involved, speaking out against Prop 8 in 2008, and their recent global “Legalize Love” campaign for LGBT rights.
“Google is proud to support marriage equality and proud of the work our Googlers are doing in cooperation with national leaders like Marriage Equality USA,” said John Burchett, Director of Public Policy for US States, Latin America and Canada for Google. “¨”¨
Community partner honoree, Swish, has made an immense impact developing opportunities for volunteer, advocacy and education for straight allies to take a stand. The first organization to endorse the National Equality March in Washington, DC 2009, they were named among the Best of Gay New York City by Time Out NY. With over 3,000 members internationally, Swish has logged hundreds of hours pushing for marriage equality.
“Swish is deeply honored to be acknowledged by Marriage Equality USA with its 2013 Community Partner Award. Our 3,000 straight ally and LGBT members around the world are working in partnership with MEUSA to win the freedom to marry – everywhere, and for everyone. Love is love,” remarked Sue Sena, Swish President and Co-Founder. “¨”¨
Founded in 2001, Marriage Equality USA is a volunteer-based national grassroots organization striving to “secure legally-recognized civil marriage equality for all, without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity, at the state and federal level through grassroots organizing, education, action and partnerships”.
The Marriage Equality USA 15th Annual National Gala will take place Tuesday, May 21, from 6:00-10:00pm at 404 NYC, 404 10th Avenue, New York City. “¨”¨