Category: David Geffen

Jane Lynch, Ellen DeGeneres and more sign letter to Obama to kick off same-sex marriage campaign

Jane Lynch and Lara Embry sign same-sex marriage letter to Obama This post has been updated. See the note below for details.

Celebs and VIPs including Jane Lynch, Anne Hathaway and Ellen DeGeneres kicked off the "Say I Do" campaign Monday with a letter to President Obama asking him for clarity on the topic of same-sex marriage and urging him to support an end to "exclusion from marriage."

The campaign will continue until Obama expresses his support, according to Freedom to Marry, the group behind the effort.

Other signers from the entertainment ranks include actors Eric McCormack, Martin Sheen, Lily Tomlin, Jane Wagner and Portia DeGeneres, musicians Melissa Etheridge, Mya and Rufus Wainwright, playwright Tony Kushner, and studio honchos Bob Wright, with wife Susan, and David Geffen, The Times has learned exclusively.

Tech VIPs signing their names along with those of civil rights leaders and other activists include Twitter creator Jack Dorsey, Chris Hughes of Facebook, Sean Parker of Napster and Mark Pincus of Zynga, along with athletes Brendon Ayanbadejo and Scott Fujita of the NFL.

"My wife and I were married in May of 2010, and I can say without a doubt that marriage matters," Lynch said in connection with the letter, which will be delivered to the White House by same-sex couples and families this spring.

"As President Obama continues his journey toward recognizing our right to equal taxation, protection and dignity under the law, I encourage him to listen to gay and lesbian couples and families so he can better understand how marriage equality affects us all."

Tony Kushner signs same-sex marriage letter to Obama Lynch and Lara Embry got hitched in Massachusetts, one of five states -- plus the District of Columbia -- where same-sex couples can marry. Ellen DeGeneres married Portia de Rossi locally in 2008, during the window when same-sex marriage was legal in California. De Rossi has since changed her name to Portia DeGeneres.

Kushner and editor-writer Mark Harris, another signatory, had a commitment ceremony in New York in 2003 and planned to be wed in California in 2008, but ultimately tied the knot that year in Massachusetts. Tomlin is not married to Wagner, her partner since 1971, but said in February that although it's not her thing, "I certainly want anybody in the gay community to marry if they wish to."

"In law, in love, in life, marriage says 'we are family' in a way that nothing else does," the letter reads. "Marriage is the coming together of two lives, marked by a public promise of love and responsibility in front of friends and family. And marriage brings not only public respect and personal significance, but also a safety net of legal protections, rights, and responsibilities for which there is no substitute."

Portia and Ellen DeGeneres sign same-sex marriage letter to Obama A Pew Research Institute poll released the first week of March shows, among those expressing an opinion, about equal numbers for and against same-sex marriage, a significant change from 2-to-1 opposition a decade ago. In the West and Northeast, a majority of people give it the thumbs-up, the poll said.

In addition to the letter, the "Say I Do" campaign will spotlight stories of same-sex couples and their family members across a variety of media, organizers said.

Updated at 10:40 a.m., March 14: This post originally neglected to mention the District of Columbia as a spot in the U.S. where same-sex marriage is licensed. Thanks to commenter @Fabrisse for the reminder.


Cynthia Nixon welcomes a son with partner Christine Marinoni

Oscars: Elton John, David Furnish will after-party with their "little guy" Zachary

Melissa Etheridge has a new girlfriend, Linda Wallem; Tammy Etheridge isn't surprised

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Upper photo: Jane Lynch and Lara Embry. Credit: Craig Barritt / Getty Images

Middle photo: Tony Kushner. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

Lower photo: Portia and Ellen DeGeneres, lower left. Credit: Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times

David Geffen, in person, at the Geffen? (Kudos, Annette Bening!)

Geffen1 Something was definitely up Wednesday evening in Westwood: David Geffen was actually spotted at the Geffen Playhouse.

As a free service of the Ministry, we'd like to read that tea leaf for you: It was a starry, starry night.

At the opening of Joanna Murray-Smith's "The Female of the Species," Annette Bening headed up a cast that also included David Arquette and Julian Sands. And, of course, Hollywood begets more Hollywood: supportive spouses Warren Beatty and Courteney Cox-Arquette came with Arquette's sister, Rosanna. Patricia Arquette was also spotted, as was NBC Universal honcho Ron Meyer.

Kirk Douglas showed, and later got lost in a cloud of autograph hunters waving "Spartacus" soundtrack record covers. So did former Geffen actress Sharon Lawrence, "Let's Make a Deal's" Monty Hall and Peter Jacobson, a.k.a. Dr. Taub from "House M.D." They showed up, that is -- no "Spartacus" for them.

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Obamas go Hollywood: Heads of showbiz at first White House state dinner [Updated: photo gallery]

Couple We at the Ministry love a good party, as well as the precursor of the good party: the leaked guest list. Especially when the president and first lady are the hosts.

[UPDATE, 8:26 p.m. Nov. 24, 2009: Click here for a photo gallery of the event.]

The Obamas' first state dinner is tonight at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., and the seating chart almost reads like an award show ballot.

The crowd will feature Hollywood heavyweights mingled in with journalists and politicians, with the likes of Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg, Ari Emanuel, M. Night Shyamalan and Sony Pictures chair Michael Lynton.

Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson will serenade the first couple -- and guest of honor Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India -- for the tented fete on the South Lawn.

The showbiz types will join the poli-chic including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and (shout out, Madam Planner!) White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers

The possibilities with a list like this! The Ministry prays Michelle will wear Rodarte, Emanuel and Pelosi can ask Dr. Gupta for tips on stress management, and Shyamalan can try to make nice with the former Dreamworks boys!

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