Updated November 17, 2008
Although the title of this post remains the same (referring to Prop 8), I will be shifting the focus of this and future posts away from a focus on Proposition 8 and towards “marriage equality.” “Marriage Equality” is a better representation of what is occurring within the US and around the world post-Proposition 8.
These are the individuals and groups who deserve to be honored for their commitment to civil rights and justice. They have contributed to the support of marriage equality, the No on Prop 8 campaign, the effort to defeat anti-gay ballot measures in Arizona, Florida and Arkansas, and the effort to repeal Prop 8 (in no particular order):
- Keith Olbermann (video)
The most special recognition goes out to Keith Olbermann for his Special Comment on “Countdown,” November 10th, on MSNBC. Thank you MSNBC for allowing him a voice. Thank you Keith. Thank you so much.
And yet to me this vote is horrible. Horrible. Because this isn’t about yelling, and this isn’t about politics. This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it.
- Brad Pitt – $100,000
Because no one has the right to deny another their life, even though they disagree with it, because everyone has the right to live the life they so desire if it doesn’t harm another and because discrimination has no place in America, my vote will be for equality and against Proposition 8.
- California Teacher’s Association, $1,312,998
- David Geffen, Dreamworks Studios, $100,000
- Jeffrey Katzenberg, Dreamworks Studios, $25,000
- TR Knight, actor, (Grey’s Anatomy), $100,000
- Pete Wentz and Fall Out Boy, $50,000
- George Lucas, $50,000
- Lucas Films, $50,000
- Chelsea Handler (E! talk-show host, Chelsea Lately), $5,000 (see Chelsea’s video below)
- Hotel Worker’s Union, $100,000
- Apple, $100,000
- Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Google founders, $140,000
- Levi Strauss, $25,000
- PG&E, $250,000
- Ellen DeGeneres, $100,000 (airtime for No on Prop 8 PSA)
- David Hyde Pierce, actor (Frasier), $40,000
- Ron Burkle, former owner Ralph’s supermarket chain, billionaire, straight – hosted a gala fund-raiser at his Beverley Hills home to raise $3.9 million dollars – minimum $1,000 to attend dinner.
- GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), $172,081
- Bridget Fonda, actor, $200
- Jason Tam, actor (One Life to Live), $100
- Mary McCormack, actor (In Plain Sight), $200
- Gus Van Sant, director, $2,500
- Greg Berlanti, executive producer (Brothers & Sisters), $5,000
- George Takei, actor (Star Trek), $2,600
- Jonathan Murray, co-creator and executive producer of “The Real World”, $10,000
- Stephen Speilberg & Kate Capshaw, $101,000
- Pauley Perrette, actor (NCIS), $3,000
- Larry Maiman, owner Mani’s on Fairfax, $500
- Bruce Bastian, founder WordPerfect software, $1,000,000
- Stephen Bing, producer, $500,000
- Robert W. Wilson, $1,200,000
- David Bohnett, lawyer, $1,100,000
- David Maltz, $1,000,000
- John Stryker, $1,000,000
- Fred Eychaner, $675,000
- WIlliamson Capital, LP, $570,000
- Center Advocacy Project Issues PAC, $420,655
- Human Rights Campaign, $409,097
- LA Gay & Lesbian Services Center, $350,048
- Gill Action Fund, $350,000
- The San Francisco Foundation, $258,907
- CA State Council of Service Employees, $250,000
- James C Hormel, $250,000
- Esmond V Harmsworth, $225,000
- National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, $212,998
- National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, Inc., $187,675
- Equality California (Sponsor), $187,107
- David Ring, $105,416
- Democratic State Central Committee, $104,968
- Susan Orr, $102,186
- Robert Haas, $100,500
- Eugene La Pietra, Circus Disco, $100,000
- Henry Van Ameringen, $100,000
- Horizons Foundation, $100,000
- John August, $100,000
- Jonathan Lewis, $100,00
- Michael Huffington, $100,000
- Peter Lewis, The Progressive Group, $100,000
- SEIU General Fund, $100,000
- SEIU United Healthcare Workers West Political Issues Committee, $100,000
- Unite Here TIP State and Local Fund, $100,000
- Proteus Funds Civil Marriage Collaborative, $80,000
- ACLU of Northern California, $113,720
- Adam Lewis, $75,000
- Chuck WIlliams, $75,000
- Committee for a New Economy, $60,000
- Jennifer Rainin & The Rainin Foundation, $102,500
- Leonie A Walker, $51,000
- Carrie Farrell, Google, $50,360
- Anita May Rosenstein, $50,000
- CA Community Foundation Endowment, $50,000
- Frank Pond, $50,000
- James Johnson, $50,000
- Kate O’Hanlan, $50,000
- Kathy Levinson, $50,000
- Kazan, McClain, Abrams, Lyons, Greewood & Harley, $50,000
- M Quinn Delaney, Akonadi Foundation, $50,000
- National Center for Lesbian Rights, $50,000
- Service Employees International Union Local 1000 CA State Employees Association Issues PAC, $50,000
- Thomas Bombardier, MD, $50,000
- CA Nurses Association, $40,000
- Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry Action Network CA PAC, $29,638
- Democratic National Committee Federal Fund, $25,000
- Mayor’s Committee for Government Excellence and Accountability, $25,000
- My partner and I, $150 :)
In addition to these big-name & big-dollar donors (I am definitely not including myself in the “big dollar’ category), thousands of individual donors, both gay and staight gave money to defeat Prop 8. To all of you who are not included here, every dollar helped and continues to help. Thank you.
Hundreds of other celebrities and influential citizens have donated time, money and talent to help raise money for the No on Prop 8 campaign, have come out publicly to support the defeat of Prop 8 at possible risk to their careers, and have continued the struggle since Prop 8 was passed… including, in no particular order:
- Antonio Villariagosa, Mayor of Los Angeles
[at the LA Protest on Saturday, November 15th – he had to leave the site of one of the many sites of wild fires in Southern California to make it to the rally. He returned to the fire site immediately after his speech] Some have said, ‘Well, Mr. Villaeriagosa, I don’t like your position on Proposition 8.’ They said, ‘Who are you to get involved in this issue? Well I think we got elected to stand up for a constitution. I think we got elected to stand up for the ideal that in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of Got, thou shall not discriminate! (long applause). You know, I didn’t live – none of us did – during the times of Jesus. But I’d like to believe that the Jesus I love, the Jesus I pray to, didn’t just talk about being a shepherd, he knew that the role of the shepherd was to bring the flock in. All of the flock. Every one of us.
You can’t deny a fundamental right just because a majority says so.
We come today to begin a conversation because it’s not just gonna be about demonstrations. It’s not just gonna be about the Internet. We’re gonna have conversations in our neighborhoods, in our schools in our churches… in city halls and halls of congress, in the legislature. We’re gonna take every opportunity to begin that conversation all the way to The White House!
Every oe of us here has to commit to going back home, to talking to our friends and family. This is not about a march on November 15. This is not about the anger and the pain and the disappointment that we all feel just a few short days after this election. We believe in this great state, we believe in this great America. We believe that all things are possible and we will continue our fight until every one of us has the right, the fundamental right, to marry, to live in liberty and freedom, to be able to participate. To have the same civil rights that we expect in this country we love so much.
- David Dean Bottrell, actor, “Boston Legal”
[on the way to the LA Protest on Saturday, November 15th] I don’t love crowds but I’m willing to go down and brave it today because I really do believe that Prop. 8 has got to be repealed. I am very proud not only of the gay community but of the straight community that has come out to support this. It is very, very important that the people of California know what happened: a very large group of people lost their civil rights and it was done in a popular vote which is not how we do things in this country. This is a judicial issue and it should be settled in the courts the way that all civil rights issues are settled.
- Marissa Jaret Winokur, actor:
[at the LA Protest on Saturday, November 15th] I am here to support all of you and to support my sun in marrying a man someday. He’s only three months old, but we’re hoping!
- Ricki Lake, actor & talk show host:
[at the LA Protest on Saturday, November 15th] There’s a line that I say (in the first “Hairspray” movie) “I wish I was dark-skinned. Well today, I wish I was gay! I’m thrilled to be here to show my support.
- Lucy Lawless, actor, “Xena: Warrior Princess” (can I just say, YAY!! Go Lucy).
[at the LA Protest on Saturday, November 15th] We rode the soul train (subway) in this morning and it was so great with everybody piling in at each station, it was really exciting. There’s an old Chinese saying which is: ‘Do not fear, the enemy is outside the walls. Fear the wall builders.’ But can you feel that wall coming down? And you know what” They will fight back with their big bag of dirty tricks but keep spreading the love and doing the right thing… Be warriors for equality!
- John J. Duran, West Hollywood City Councilman
I’m pleasantly surprised and I’ll tell you why. A lot of these kids, and I call them My kids, they didn’t experience the battle during the AIDS epidemic in the 80s. They were children or not even born yet. This is sort of the first time that they’ve felt the sting of some sort of state-sponsored oppression. Half the people in this state just told them they belong as second-class citizens. That’s very upsetting. I guess for some of the old-timers like myself, this is the nature of the game: three steps forward, two back. But for them, this is the first time they’ve had the back of the hand come across them and they;ve responded as I did when I was their age. So out of these ranks is the future of the gay and lesbian community of Southern California. It’s absolutely thrilling.
- Darryl Stephens, actor “Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom”
[at the LA Protest on Saturday, November 15th] It’s really impressive that so many groups came together, leaders of organizations in Los Angeles came together to pull this into a cohesive rally and it’s great to have the support of the police and the city and the mayor and straight allies. It’s so inspiring on so many levels. It’s awful that Proposition 8 passed, but I have to say, the rallies that have happened since then, seeing all these people come together in the streets, it’s awe-inspiring and it’s really moving. I’m so happy to be here.
The fact is, gay folks kind of live in a bubble in West Hollywood and other gay neighborhoods. We held Prop. 8 protest rallies on the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Robertson where we didn’t really need to convince anybody. We really need to get out of our bubble and start reaching out to people in our communities because the gay community encompasses everybody. There are Black, Latino, Catholic, Morman. Everybody is here and we have to start reaching out to those people in our communities and in our families who don’t quite get it yet. Realy I think it’s a matter of exposure, it’s a matter of knowing people who you love who are gay. I think we’re so used to moving out of our communities, moving away from those people who don’t quite know what to do with us yet. We have to go back and we have to let them know how important equality is for us and that we are living the same lives that they’re living and we want the same rights that they have.
- Jon Meacham, Episcopalian and author of “American Lion” (there is a full video of his comments to Bill Maher below, and it is very good)
There is a very compelling religious case to be made for gay marriage… If we’re going to start throwing scripture at each other, which is always a dangerous thing, it’s much worse in scriptural terms to get divorced.
- Ashton Kutcher, actor/producer (interupting Jon Meacham with some very passionate comments, same video below):
… I appreciate the religious point of view why gay people should be able to be married, which I happen to agree with… we found[ed] this country by rebelling from a country that refused to separate church and state, right? And now we as a country, the fact that Proposition 8 is even on the ballot, the fact that it’s even on the ballot, is ridiculous! i don’t care what spiritual, religious beliefs are, it should not interfere with the government and our ability to do things through the government, ever. It’s unconstitutional!
- Reverend Ed Bacon, pastor, 4,000-member All Saints Episcopal in Pasadena
He spoke out against Proposition 8, calling the religious community’s support of it “embarrassing.” The church announced that while it could no longer legally marry same-sex couples, it would continue blessing gay civil unions. All Saints Episcopal has blessed same-sex unions for 16 years.
It is very unfortunate and embarrassing that the [Christian religion] is in large part responsible for this act of bigotry.
- Josh Brolin, actor, “Milk”:
Who gives a shit! Who cares! Doesn’t mean [gay and lesbian people] are going to stop kissing in the streets, just caus they can’t get married. And that’s the issue for the religious, that it’s visible and it’s always going to be visible, it ain’t going to go away… Gay life is more mainstream, but at the same time, things like this happen and you go, “You got to be kidding me!” especially in California. I think it’s awful, but I undersandit, everybody has their perspective.
if we can have an African-American in the White House, we can have gay marriage.
- Christina Aguilera:
Prop 8 is discrimination. I don’t understand how people can be so close-minded and judgemental. [Given Obama’s win], this is a time in history of great cahneg and open-mindedness, why is this any different” Why would you put so much money behind something aimed at stopping people from loving each other and bonding together?
- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger:
He urged backers of gay marriage to follow the lesson he learned as a body builder trying to lift weights that at first were too heavy for him.
I learned that you should never, ever give up… They should never give up. They should be on it and on it until they get it done.
- Samantha Ronson, DJ:
I guess people care more about farm animals than they do their fellow man, that’s really sad to me. Yes, I am glad that the chickens will have more room and better conditions as they wait to die, but I just think it’s frightening that people show more compassion for tomorrow’s dinner than for the chef.
- Sean Penn, actor, Milk:
- Connie Rice, civil rights attorney
- Bill Rosendahl, the only openly gay member of the Los Angeles City Council
- Neil Patrick Harris, actor “How I Met Your Mother”
- Dustin Lance Black, screenwriter, “Milk”
- Cynthia Nixon, actor, “Sex in the City” (see interview with Joy Beharon Larry King Live)
- Lance Bass, actor
- Wanda Sykes, commedian
- Rose McGowan, actor, Charmed
- Kathy Griffin, commedian (see her No on 8 video below)
- John Cho, actor (see statement to the press below)
- Magic Johnson, basketball star, Lakers
- Eduardo Xol, designer, Extreme Makeover
- Tyne Daly, actor, Cagney & Lacey
- Amy Brennerman, actor, Judging Amy
- Jillian Armenante, actor, Judging Amy
- Carmit Bachar, musician, Pussycat Dolls
- Eric McCormaack, actor, Will & Grace
- Loni Anderson, actor, So noTORIous
- Dana Delaney, actor, Desperate Housewives
- Itzhak Perlman, musician
- Isa Dick Hackett, daughter of author Phillip K. Dick
- Margaret Cho, comedian
- Johnny Steele, comedian
- Heather Gold, comedian
- Ali Mafi, comedian
- Mark Leno, Assemblyman (D, San Francisco)
- Kamala Harris, District Attorney, San Francisco
- Therese Stewart, Chief Deputy City Attorney
- Dennis Herrera, City Attorney, San Francisco
- Janice Mirikitani, poet laureate emeritus, San Francisco
- Magot Duane, photographer
- Father Geoffrey Farrow, Catholic priest, Saint Paul Newman Center, Fresno
- Jose Cisneros, Treasurer, San Francsisco
- America Ferrera, actor (Ugly Betty)
- Tony Plana, actor (Ugly Betty)
- Ana Ortiz, actor (Ugly Betty)
- Jack O’Connell, California Superintendent of Schools
- Portia de Rossi, actor
- Gavin Newsome, Mayor, San Francisco
- Melissa Etheridge, singer
- Barbara Streisand, mega-star
- Mary J Blige, singer
- Jason Weinburg, celebrity manager
- Jared Leto, actor
- Kelly Bush, celebrity publicist
- Adam Shankman, director (Hairspray)
- Paul Colichman, CEO Regent Entertainment (leading independent film company)
- Alan Poul, producer (Six Feet Under)
- Joe Biden, Senator and vice presidential nominee, D-Delaware
- Bruce Cohen, Oscar-winning producer, (American Beauty)
- Rob Reiner, director
- Rev Deborah L Johnson
- And last, but not least… Gavin Newsom and The California Supreme Court
Keep this list in mind when it comes time to spend your money or cast a vote. These individuals and companies have proven their commitment to our civil rights.
If you know of more donors or fundraisers, or you have corrections, or you want to be on the list, or you know of someone who deserves to be on this list, please submit a comment.
Jon Meacham and Ashton Kutcher on Bill Maher, on Prop 8:
John Cho on why he planned to vote No on Prop 8:
Chelsea Handler, No on Prop 8 – very funny!
Kathy Griffin, No on 8