The Marriage Equality USA 15th Annual National Gala, honoring Lea DeLaria, Google and Swish, will bring together LGBT community members and leaders, straight allies, entertainment industry and corporate leaders, and celebrities to raise funds for and highlight contributions to the marriage equality movement, on Tuesday, May 21st, from 6:00-10:00pm at 404 NYC, 404 10th Avenue, New York City.
With the hilarious Stephen Wallem ( Showtime’s Nurse Jackie) as emcee and NBC’s “The Voice” finalist Vicci Martinez performing, guests will enjoy a celebratory evening of cocktails, dinner, entertainment, awards, a silent auction and more! For complete information including media credentials, please visit www.marriageequality.org/gala.
“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 performer Lea DeLaria. “It is an honor to be recognized by my friends at MEUSA.”
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
LEA DeLARIA, Allied Honoree
Lea DeLaria has distinguished herself in every form of entertainment that she touches. She is a Jazz Musician, Broadway Diva, Actor, Writer and Standup Comic. It is plain to see why Ben Brantley describes Lea as “every inch a star!” She was the first openly gay comic to appear on television in the United States (Arsenio Hall 1993). From that point forward Lea toured the world with her one of a kind blend of cool Jazz and in your face comedy, including specials on HBO, SHOWTIME and COMEDY CENTRAL, as well as work in television and movies. She has 5 records out on The Warner Jazz and Classics label and has given concerts in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Sydney Opera House, and Royal Albert Hall and was the featured vocalist for the 50th Anniversary of The Newport Jazz Festival. She has done all of the above without ever having once been in the closet!
GOOGLE, Corporate Honoree
Google and its employees actively engaged with the marriage equality campaigns of Fall 2012, including encouraging employees to get involved via a video the employees made to push for others to get involved. As one of the largest corporations to speak out against Proposition 8 in 2008, Google continued that work most recently with the launch of their worldwide “Legalize Love” campaign for LGBT rights.
SWISH, Community Partner Honoree
With more than 3,000 members internationally, Swish creates volunteer, advocacy, and educational opportunities for straight allies to make a difference in the LGBT rights movement. In 2009, Swish was the first organization to endorse the National Equality March in Washington, DC, for which they were named among the Best of Gay New York City by Time Out NY that year. Over the last four years, Swish volunteers have logged hundreds of phone-banking and canvassing hours with state coalitions to win marriage equality in NY, RI, ME, MD, WA, DE and MN!