Sunday night at the Mondrian Hotel’s Skybar brought out a sizeable chunk of gay Hollywood and those who love them (and also recognize their power.) The filled-to-capacity event raised close to $250,000 to benefit Equality California and Love Honor Cherish, two key organizations that have mobilized to defeat Proposition 8, which would amend the California state constitution to eliminate marriage rights for same sex couples.
Chad Allen, Heather Tom, Eric McCormack, Dana Delaney, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Thomas Roberts, Katherine Joosten, Eduardo Xo and Loni Anderson were some of the boldface names in attendance.
But it was Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the true star of the evening, who wowed the crowd not only with his announcement of his $25,000 donation to the campaign to defeat Proposition 8, but also with his passionate speech that embraced the gay community and took aim at the backers of prop 8, calling their intent “bigotry.”
Villariagosa linked the cause to defeat prop 8 to the civil rights movement, recalling his outsider status as a Latino who had to fight his way into a city politic dominated by a white world. He cajoled and coaxed the crowd into giving more than they already had given; in this case $100 was the minimum donation to attend the event. The mayor also made light of the whiplash nature of his evening, having come directly from a function at the Reagan Presidential Library prior to the Mondrian fundraiser.
A silent auction was an aspect of the benefit, with everything from a Gus Van Zant-signed script of his forthcoming film, Milk, (about Harvey Milk, the gay San Francisco council member who was gunned down because of his championing of gay rights legislation) to a noninvasive “lipo-smoothing” session ( I don’t even want to know what that is) to a wedding cake with same sex “toppers.”
Somehow, I didn’t fall into the pool in the dizzying swirl of elites. But in an election season where the future of the country is at stake, the point was also made that my future as a gay man in California is also up for grabs.
More coverage at Out in Hollywood.