As a part of next week’s Fourth Annual Straight for Equality Awards Gala in New York, Broadway stars Audra McDonald (The Gershwin' Porgy and Bess, Private Practice) and Will Swenson (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Hair) will receive the 2012 Straight for Equality in Entertainment Award. Speaking on behalf of the couple, McDonald said, “Will and I are thrilled and honored to be recognized by PFLAG National.”
joined pro-marriage-equality marchers, performed at the marriage rally, and lobbied New York state senators at New York’s state capitol building in Albany and, in July 2011, she sang at the New York City Hall wedding reception for City Hall employee John Feinblatt and Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Jonathan Mintz. Officiated by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the wedding was one of the first same-sex civil marriage ceremonies to be performed in the state of New York.
Tony Award-nominee Will Swenson has also been an outspoken advocate for marriage equality, and sits on the advisory board, along with McDonald, of the marriage equality advocacy organization Broadway Impact. Swenson, who was raised in the Mormon faith, narrated “Bring them in from the Plains,” a 10-minute video prepared by the Foundation for Reconciliation to help raise awareness about the issue of gay suicides in the LDS community. He is set to direct a film adaptation of Carol Lynn Pearson's play, Facing East, which follows a Mormon couple struggling with their faith after their gay son dies by suicide.
“We couldn’t be more excited to honor Audra and Will,” said Jody Huckaby, Executive Director of PFLAG National. “Their work together, and separately, speaks volumes about what it means to be a straight ally, and goes right to the heart of the mission of Straight for Equality. That they are also a loving, straight couple, raising children in the spirit of equality for all, goes a long way in supporting PFLAG’s 40-year mission of support, education, and advocacy by and for parents, families, friends, and allies of GLBT people.”
Stay tuned this week for more about the 2012 Straight for Equality Awards Gala award winners, Workplace honoree KPMG LLP.