"We couldn't be more excited to honor Audra and Will," said PFLAG executive director Jody Huckaby in a statement. "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."
"Will and I are thrilled and honored to be recognized by PFLAG National," McDonald added.
McDonald, a four-time Tony Award winner for Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime and A Raisin in the Sun, joined pro-marriage-equality marchers and lobbied New York state senators at New York's state capital building in Albany days before the decision to legalize same-sex marriage in New York. She also sang at New York City Hall employee John Feinblatt and Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Jonathan Mintz's wedding reception in July 2011.
Swenson, a Tony nominee for his performance in Hair, is a member of the advisory board—along with McDonald—of the marriage equality advocacy organization Broadway Impact. The performer also narrated Bring Them in From the Plains, a video prepared by the Foundation for Reconciliation to help raise awareness about the issue of gay suicides in the LDS community. He will 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 takes his own life.
The 2012 Straight for Equality Award recipients also include Pastor Jay Bakker (Faith Communities) and KPMG LLP (Workplace). Straight for Equality—a national outreach and education project created by PFLAG National—"invites, educates and engages straight allies to advocate for and support gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people."
For more information, visit www.pflag.org/2012gala.