Go inside Family Equality's May 15 event Night at the Pier, an evening gathering support to fight more than 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills across the country with speeches, storytelling, and performances by 2023 Tony nominees.
Oscar winner Bruce Cohen led the program which included 2023 Tony nominees Justin Cooley (Kimberly Akimbo), J. Harrison Ghee (Some Like It Hot), and Lorna Courtney (& Juliet), as well as Vanessa Sears (New York, New York). Family Equality's Visibility Award was given to Amrit Kapai and Nicholas Kouchoukos of Bravo TV's Family Karma. Louisiana lawyer and advocate Nicholas Hite was awarded the 2023 Hostetter-Habib Family Award.
“The need has never been more urgent,” said Family Equality's CEO Stacey Stevenson in their onstage 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."
Go inside the evening with the gallery below.
Attendees included Eric Adams, Jasmine and Mo Banks, Dyllón Burnside, Harrison Ball, Sarah Kate Ellis, Stephen Hanna and Bret Shuford, Deborah Harry, Katie Holmes, Julianne Hough, Suresh and Lavina Kapai, Brian Kelly, Jamie Kelton, Tyler Lain, Matthew López, Maulik Pancholy, Zac Posen, José Rolón, Kasey and Maria Tineo-Veras, and Jeanna de Waal.
Family Equality works to advance legal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ families present and future through building community and driving policy change.
The 2023 Night at the Pier Honorary Chairs were Daryl Roth and Nick Scandalios, who were joined by this year's event chairs 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 was presented in partnership with Caiola Productions and the McGill Caiola Charitable Foundation. Support was also given by sponsors The Nederlander Organization, the John Gore Organization, Sam Green and Chris Lacovara, Nick Scandalios, Jujamycn Theaters, the Shubert Organization, the Van Degna Family, Warner Brothers Discovery, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Christopher Street Financial, Hiro Premium Japanese Sake, Kramer Levin, Sam Rosenblatt and Mario D’Andrea, Weeks Lerman, Weill Cornell Medicine at the Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine, 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, the San Diego Fertility Center, Teddy Bear Party, TodayTix Group, Koolaburry by Ugg, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, California Cryobank, Clockwork, Fidelity, Ferring, International Fertility Law Group, Gerber, Care with Pride, the LEGO Group, Organon, Playbill, and Target.