Posts Tagged ‘brad pitt’

Celebs Support ‘NO on Prop 8’…

Friday, October 17th, 2008

California gay marriage fundraiser reaches for stars


Thu Oct 16, 2008
By Alex Dobuzinskis


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Battling to save the right to same-sex marriage in what is expected to be a close state vote next month, California gay rights backers are turning to Hollywood celebrities for help at a major fundraiser.


Actress and singer Barbra Streisand is expected at the event on Tuesday and singers Melissa Etheridge and Mary J. Blige will perform, organizers said on Thursday.


Supermarket billionaire Ron Burkle will host the event at his Beverly Hills home (Green Acres), with a private $25,000-a-plate dinner. Among other entertainment figures planning to attend are actor/director Rob Reiner.


In recent weeks, director Steven Spielberg and actor Brad Pitt each donated $100,000 in support of the campaign to preserve the right to gay marriage.


The fundraiser comes as backers of same-sex marriage fight to stem a tide of support for Proposition 8, a November 4 ballot measure that seeks to define marriage under the California Constitution as only between a man and a woman.


A poll released last week by Survey USA showed 47 percent of Californians supported the measure, while 42 percent opposed it.


“We’re feeling very good about the surge in the campaign,” said Sonja Eddings Brown, a spokeswoman for Protect Marriage, the group advocating for a “Yes” vote on Proposition 8.


The “Yes” campaign has raised $25.4 million, compared with $15.8 million for those who wish to maintain the right to gay marriage.


In recent weeks, advocates of same-sex marriage have chided the Hollywood community for failing to contribute cash to the campaign to defeat Proposition 8.


But Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, said the fundraiser would show Hollywood’s support for same-sex marriage rights.


“Having support from Hollywood leaders who are visible, who reach a wide audience, is critical to our success,” Kors said.


“It’s always really scary when you’re being outspent 2 to 1 in an election, and when your rights are at stake and someone’s trying to take your rights away,” he added.


In recent days, opponents of same-sex marriage have stepped up their television advertising and warned voters that if Proposition 8 is defeated, children will be taught about gay marriage in elementary schools.


Gay-marriage supporters call that argument misleading.


In California, an estimated 11,000 same-sex couples have married since the state’s highest court in May overturned a state ban on same-sex marriage.


Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and actress Portia de Rossi wed in August in one the most high-profile same-sex unions. Etheridge has said she plans to marry girlfriend Tammy Lynn Michaels before November 4.


DeGeneres released an online video message this week urging California voters to strike down Proposition 8.


Gay and lesbian marriage was legalized last week in Connecticut, bringing to three the number of U.S. states that allow it. (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Jill Serjeant and Peter Cooney)



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Hollywood Challenge…

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

A challenge to Hollywood



By Tina Daunt
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 30, 2008


Ohio entrepreneur and political activist Jonathan Lewis on Tuesday challenged the entertainment industry to donate money to fight California’s Proposition 8, which would bar same-sex marriages.


“With election day six weeks away, we are concerned that the entertainment industry hasn’t stepped up to the plate to fight this unnecessary initiative,” Lewis said in a statement. “We are pleased to see the leadership of Brad Pitt and Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg. Now it’s time for the entertainment industry as a whole to take the lead.”


He added: “My family and I are issuing a $500,000 challenge to the entertainment industry. We will match the next half-million dollars that entertainment industry leaders contribute. This is an urgent time in the campaign, and we have to act now.”


So far, few in Hollywood have gotten involved in the anti-Proposition 8 campaign (Pitt and the Spielbergs have each donated $100,000).


Lewis said the match also applies to Florida’s Proposition 2, an initiative similar to California’s Proposition 8.



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Brad Pitt Supports Gay Marriage…

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Pitt donates $100,000 to support gay marriage



Actor fighting California initiative that would overturn same-sex marriages

The Associated Press
Wed., Sept. 17, 2008

Brad Pitt has donated $100,000 to fight California’s November ballot initiative that would overturn the state Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.


It’s the first time voters will be asked to ban same-sex marriage in a state where gay couples already have won the right to wed. Same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts and California.


“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,” Pitt said Wednesday.


Trevor Neilson, Pitt’s political and philanthropic adviser, told The Associated Press that Pitt was surprised that his colleagues in the entertainment industry had not donated more money to support the battle against Proposition 8.


Earlier in the week, Pitt and Angelina Jolie announced they donated $2 million to help fight HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in Ethiopia.



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