Stars and advocates stepped out to support current and future LGBTQ+ families at Family Equality’s annual spring gala in New York.
New York, NY — More than 750 guests gathered on May 15, 2023 at Pier Sixty in New York City to spotlight stories of love, family, and freedom at Family Equality’s Night at the Pier. With inspiring remarks, powerful storytelling, and show-stopping performances, the evening aimed to garner critical support for the work ahead, amid more than 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in states across the country.
“The need has never been more urgent,” said CEO, Stacey Stevenson, in their on-stage remarks. “We are fighting bad bills, and helping to pass [good] ones. We are innovating new ways to support and protect families using every possible resource…This is our pledge to you: Family Equality will never stop fighting for the freedom of our families. We will carry the torch—handed to us by those gay dads in the 1970s and all the heroes that came before us—and use it to light the way forward…We will do this in the name of love, freedom, and equality for our families.”
“Our enemies hope to throw laws filled with discrimination, bigotry, and hate on the books,” said Honorary Co-Chair and Gold sponsor, Nick Scandalios. “We must do all that we can to make sure those laws don’t see the light of day whenever possible. Since last year when we stood before you, Family Equality and our coalition partners defeated 91% of the anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced around the country. While we wish we could have stopped every heinous bill, that is quite a track record—and it is exactly why we must all continue to invest in Family Equality’s ability to stay in the arena and fight for what is right: love, family, freedom, and equality.”
In addition to Stevenson and Scandalios’s inspiring remarks, guests enjoyed a moving program produced by Academy Award winner, Bruce Cohen, including:
- Performances by 2023 Tony nominees Justin Cooley (Kimberly Akimbo), J. Harrison Ghee (Some Like It Hot), Lorna Courtney (& Juliet), and the Vanessa Sears of New York, New York;
- The presentation of our Visibility Award to outspoken changemakers, Amrit Kapai and Nicholas Kouchoukos for putting a national spotlight on current and future families by sharing their story with the world through Bravo TV’s Family Karma. The award was presented by Real Housewives of New Jersey star and LGBTQ+ ally, Margaret Josephs.
- The presentation of our 2023 Hostetter-Habib Family Award to Louisiana lawyer and advocate Nicholas Hite in recognition of his dedication to serving LGBTQ+ youth and families in the South as they navigate challenging legal hurdles. The award was presented by 2022 Hostetter-Habib Family Award honoree, Lydia Gray-Holifield.
Attendees included Eric Adams, Jasmine and Mo Banks, Dyllón Burnside, Harrison Ball, Sarah Kate Ellis, Stephen Hanna and Bret Shuford, Deborah Harry, Katie Holmes, Julienne Hough, Suresh and Lavina Kapai, Brian Kelly, Jamie Kelton, Tyler Lain, Matthew Lopez, Maulik Pancholy, Zac Posen, José Rolón, Kasey and Maria Tineo-Veras, Jeanna de Waal.
GETTY IMAGES COURTESY OF FAMILY EQUALITY: https://dam.gettyimages.com/assignments/family-equality-s-night-at-the-pier
ABOUT THE EVENT
The 2023 Night at the Pier Honorary Chairs are Daryl Roth and Nick Scandalios, and this year’s event chairs are Agneishka Burke, Luigi Caiola, Merritt Johnson, Jeannie Uyanik, Samantha Lippitt, Andrew Van Degna, Xavier Van Degna, Jeannie Uyanik, and Jason Weinberg.
Night at the Pier is presented in partnership with Caiola Productions and the McGill Caiola Charitable Foundation. Family Equality also gratefully acknowledges the support of the following sponsors: (Platinum) The Nederlander Organization; (Gold) the John Gore Organization, Sam Green and Chris Lacovara, and Nick Scandalios; (Silver) Jujamycn Theaters, the Shubert Organization, the Van Degna Family, and Warner Brothers Discovery; (Bronze) Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Christopher Street Financial, Hiro Premium Japanese Sake, Kramer Levin, Sam Rosenblatt and Mario D’Andrea, Weeks Lerman, and Weill Cornell Medicine at the Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine; (Friend) Agnieshka and Jared Burke, Boston IVF, Cigna, Growing Generations, Hiro Premium Japanese Sake, Insperity, Kirrin Finch, KVL Audio Visual Services, New York Flower Group, Nicholson Events, Nuage Designs, Park Slope Copy Center, Reproductive Medicine Associates, Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York, and the San Diego Fertility Center; (Event Sponsors) Teddy Bear Party, TodayTix Group, and Koolaburry by Ugg; (National Corporate Sponsors) Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, California Cryobank, Clockwork, Fidelity, Ferring, International Fertility Law Group, Gerber, Care with Pride, the LEGO Group, Nederlander, Organon, Playbill, and Target.
About Family Equality
Family Equality advances legal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. Family Equality believes every LGBTQ+ person should have the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of who they are or where they live. Learn more at familyequality.org.
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