Broadway Erupts With Joy and Tears for Marriage Equality – Audra McDonald, Jonathan Groff, Harvey Fierstein, Lea DeLaria, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Fun Home Stars and More React!

News   Broadway Erupts With Joy and Tears for Marriage Equality – Audra McDonald, Jonathan Groff, Harvey Fierstein, Lea DeLaria, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Fun Home Stars and More React!
 
Following the Supreme Court of the United States' June 26 landmark ruling effectively making Marriage Equality the law of the land, members of the Broadway community spoke with Playbill exclusively to share their emotional reactions to the historic victory for the LGBT community.

Audra McDonald

We sat down with the kids and we read them the last paragraph of Kennedy's beautiful ruling and said, "This is a day that will go down in the history books. This will be in your American history books by the time you get to high school. And you were here for it, you got to see this happen, you got to see the evolution of this happing and this is a big day." We made sure that they understood what Kennedy's words meant and how important it is."

Read the full exclusive interview with McDonald on the SCOTUS ruling here!

Chita Rivera

FINALLY!!!!
I am thinking of all of my friends.
This is as it should be.
Thank you Supreme Court.

Audra McDonald
Audra McDonald Photo by ABC

Dale Soules

Way back in 1962 the theatre community and it's acceptance of who and what I was really saved my life. I am so happy that this acceptance has now been extended in a legal way to everyone in America by this historic decision. The law does not change every heart but it does give us protection from those still unchanged. Love and thanks to all who helped bring this about.

Harriet Harris

In a garden, on a glorious afternoon in 2008, I served as ring bearer to two of my best friends. Their wedding took place twenty years into their union, yet the validity of their marriage has remained in question until today. This SCOTUS decision smacks of empathy. A fine thing, indeed. I am transported back to the garden ceremony, those identical gold bands, and weep again with tears of joy.

Harvey Fierstein
Harvey Fierstein Carol Rosegg

Josh Grisetti

We were the generation that saw the first black President and the passage of Marriage Equaility. Love always wins. My faith in humanity is restored today.

Harvey Fierstein

As we stand in the unerring sunlight of this new day, across the distant horizon the storm clouds of inequity are in retreat leaving in their stead a rainbow of the American covenant "equal justice for all." Celebrate America! We've earned this party."

Sierra Boggess

It is so awesome to be alive on a day like today! History has been made! Love will always win!

Justin Sayre
Justin Sayre

Justin Sayre

It a was great surprise to wake up this morning and find out that now, I can truly be Elizabeth Taylor. Here's to 8 or more lawful mistakes in every state in the Union, Dream weddings in Missouri, and Alimony when it's over. Happy Gay Marriage Everybody!

André De Shields

I am a black man
The sting of the lash
Is forever encoded
In my cultural DNA

I am a black man
Who loves other men
The sting of society's tongue
Tells my love how to play

My history demands
That I live furtively
That I love secretly
That I refute my appetite for joy

I've lived this long to find
That at the age of sixty-nine
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
Are no longer a political ploy

Hail SCOTUS!

Wesley Taylor

minds and hearts shift,
people evolve and change,
history is made.

Leo Ash Evans

I am filled with giddy joy and excitement, but also relief. Marriage for ALL. Love is love is love is love is love.... I'm a very proud American today.

David Burtka

Today is a day to celebrate – EQUALITY FOR ALL! It's about time! Thank you Supreme Court.

Bernadette Peters

I have always thought it was important to give everyone equal rights and certainly marriage is one of them.

Beth Malone

"It's all just been about trying to be seen. Just see us, see us as we are right in front of you, as these couples who are going to live their lives side by side; that is who we are, that's what this is. Now everyone will see that we are married just like you are married."

 

 

 

The Cast of Fun Home

 

 

Baayork Lee

I am so filled with Pride and Happiness at this time for our nation. More personally, I am so overjoyed for my many friends, family, and members of our community who I have rallied for and supported for many years in hopes that we'd see the day that everyone was acknowledge and given the same rights regarding their love and marriage. I am excited to celebrate as we all move forward in a more equal and unified way.

Allison Case

Love always wins! So joyful for this victory! Sending loads of gratitude to everyone before us- for your work, love and dedication. From hundreds of years ago until yesterday, it has truly been a journey with the right ending. As my wife said beautifully, "When you lead with love, you're heading in the right direction. This is an epic win for the gay community but an even bigger win for LOVE."

Colin Hanlon

I think everyone can agree that today feels better than yesterday. If you don't, you will. Trust me. #MarriageEquaility #JUNE26TH

Patti LuPone

Yay! It's all about, and always was about, love and commitment. Now, let's get rid of the guns.

Rory O'Malley

Today is a historic day and the Broadway community played an extremely vital part in making happen. I feel so honored that Broadway Impact gave me a front row seat to all of their passion, enthusiasm, and hope. We are a powerful group of artists and I can't wait to see what kind of positive change we bring to the world next.

Jeanine Tesori

YAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

John Cameron Mitchell

I'm more emotional than I expected to be since it was predicted. I know the Right Wing will see it as some kind of Gay Pride agenda plot. John Roberts has the face of someone who knows that history will not honor his decision and I can't help but think the timing was his little Easter egg. Sad. But I am now looking up at my late dad's picture. He was against gay marriage for a long time, but 7 years ago I told him that if he ever refused to come to my wedding I wouldn't know what I would do. He looked at the tears streaming down my face and he said to me, "I will be there."

John Cameron Mitchell in <i>Hedwig and The Angry Inch</i>
John Cameron Mitchell in Hedwig and The Angry Inch Photo by Joan Marcus

Lin-Manuel Miranda

You know what I'm thinking about? I'm thinking about the cast of Hair marching on Washington years ago. We all sponsored buses for Broadway Impact, so that they could all go down. And, I'm thinking about Gavin Creel, and I'm thinking about the Keenan-Bolgers, and I'm thinking about Harvey, and I'm thinking about so many people who fought so hard for this… That's so f*cking awesome! I'm thinking about those guys who were on the front lines for every step of the way.

Jonathan Groff

Woohoo!!! I am eternally grateful to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and the Supreme Court as well as all of the super human activists that have been fighting for years to achieve this victory. I feel so proud to be an American today during this historic moment! As if I wasn't excited enough to sing gay love duets with Aaron Lazar - I can't WAIT to get to the theater and celebrate through performing tonight!

Jonathan Groff rehearses for <i>A New Brain</i>
Jonathan Groff rehearses for A New Brain Photo by Joan Marcus

Ashley Park

Overwhelmed with happiness and pride to witness today's historic victory for marriage equality. Joyful for all my beautiful friends who deserve all things good. And honored to be in a community that has led this crusade for acceptance for generations. In a time when our country's news is headlined with acts of hate, crime, and fear... Today, our country celebrates LOVE and the human right to equality. Yes, we are truly in the "Land of the free *TO LOVE* and the home of the brave." (*insert happy jig here)

Dick Scanlan

I am in rehearsal for Little Shop of Horrors at Encores! Off-Center. Little Shop premiered 33 years ago. If anyone had told me then, as I watched Ellen Greene sing "Somewhere That's Green" at the Orpheum Theatre, that Audrey's dream of a "normal" life with a husband and a home would one day be available to me, I wouldn't have believed it. At today's run-thru, Ellen's heartbreaking performance of that perfect song had a new kind of resonance for me."

Seth Rudetsky

This A.M, James and I sat down at the (really nice!) Huffington Post live studios to begin a segment about our June 29th benefit for foster kids. Our interviewer began by saying she had to first ask our thoughts about the ruling. James and I hadn't even spoken about it because it had happened while we were getting our makeup on (I took the subway there and my forehead required extra powdering from the crazy shine). James talked about how happy he was because he's from Texas and now he can visit and not be scared that, if something happened, I wouldn't be considered his husband. We both talked about how great it is for our kid Juli because now her parents are considered married everywhere. And what a great world she's growing up in. I never, ever thought this would happen just a few years ago. Remember proposition 8? Remember how Obama didn't even speak out against it? Remember how Hillary was against marriage equality for "personal reasons." Remember how even NY state voted against it? The crazy amount of progress that's happened over just a small amount of time is mind-blowing. Thank you to so many trailblazers like the folks from the original Stonewall, Larry Kramer, Harvey Fierstein, the brilliant Harvey Milk. I always get nervous that things like this leads to backlash, but hopefully, there are so many people on this train that we can keep pushing it forward even as we get attacked. Of course, it infuriates me that any money was spent to fight marriage equality. What an incredible waste. Think how many people that money could have helped were it not used to prevent people who love each other from getting married? Regardless, let's revel in the happiness everyone is feeling. I've been seeing such incredibly joyous tweets from so many people. I love it. AND my ex-boyfriend, whom I'm still very close to, just called me to tell me...HE'S ENGAGED! YAY!

Edward Hibbert

What a thrilling day for all my brothers and sisters.

Adam Heller

As a matter of law and morality, it is a beautiful day in the land! Hooray!

Anne L. Nathan, Edward Hibbert, Adam Heller and Lisa Howard
Anne L. Nathan, Edward Hibbert, Adam Heller and Lisa Howard Photo by Joan Marcus

Kate Shindle, President of Actors Equity

I speak not only for our members, but for the overwhelming majority of our industry when I say "FINALLY!" Actors’ Equity Association has been advocating for marriage equality since the passage of Proposition 8 took this movement to the next level. With all the rhetoric and fear-mongering surrounding the issue, it's important to remember what this is really about: loving, consenting adults who want to commit their lives to each other. And that is always a good thing. AEA is proud to be part of this tremendous, historic moment.

George Takei

This is a happy day, not just for LGBT Americans, but for all Americans. It is the beginning of an era where we no longer will speak about same-sex marriage, but of marriage. And one day, we need not speak of LGBT rights, for they simply will be human rights. Across this great land, families are celebrating because we truly are one family.

This is a thrilling moment in time. As with the story of Allegiance, we are truly "One Family…Indivisible." This historic day and decision by the highest court in our land makes us all truly united and one.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Justin and I are both so emotional over today’s SCOTUS ruling. As a kid, it’s a day I never thought I would see and it brings tears to my eyes to know that the next generation of Americans will grow up in a country where their love is equal and their rights cannot be denied. I am so proud of everyone who has been on the front lines fighting for equality. Today is a great day for celebration, but tomorrow there is more work to do to expand LGBT equality beyond marriage. Everyone at our foundation, Tie The Knot, is excited to continue our work dedicated to that cause. In the meantime, cheers to a day for the history books!

Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Dustin Lance Black

I will celebrate for a day… but there's so much work ahead… [Looking back], I was already starting to get onto the federal strategy train before that Oscars speech. It was something that came from a combination of having researched where our movement had been and how we could succeed it in the past and where we were at the time — which I felt like the pendulum was swinging backward, and part of the blame lied with the gay and lesbian leadership. So, when I got up there and promised full federal equality to young people across the nation, it was quite a controversial statement to insiders in the movement. It was not welcomed. I was chastised for having said it. I was told it was unrealistic and too soon, so if you know me, I don't like taking no for an answer. I thankfully found a small group of very dedicated activists: Cleve Jones; Chad Griffin before he was the head of HRC, when he was just this young, politically savvy guy out in L.A.; Rob Reiner; and Bruce Cohen. And we just said, "We'll do it ourselves." It wasn't what we preferred to do, but when every major group was speaking out against us, we took action. And, truly… I put filmmaking on the backburner for about half a decade now. I still do it, and things still get out there, and scripts are being written, but I felt like I made a big promise, and I had to make sure it fulfilled. And, I'm very hopeful that in the next few days, we — this group of people who pushed so hard in 2009 — can say, "Our promise is fulfilled on marriage, but…" And, it's a big but — I didn't get up there and say full federal marriage equality, I think we need full federal equality in all matters governed under civil law in all 50 states. Full equality for LGBT people. I don't feel like the work is done just because we have marriage equality, and that promise that I made on that Oscars stage was fueled by the marriage movement, but certainly that's not all I meant when I said those words. I think young people not only need to know that their love will be honored when they first fall in love as an LGBT person, but that they can also hold a job and not be kicked out of their home.

Dustin Lance Black
Dustin Lance Black

Michael Michetti

"Looking back even ten years ago, I never would have thought we would have made this much progress towards marriage equality in my lifetime, but I am awed by today's ruling by SCOTUS. Working on The Twentieth-Century Way, which is historically based on a particularly ugly moment of gay persecution exactly 100 years ago, reminds me of the astonishing progress of the last century. The play depicts a climate of hiding and entrapment and oppression and public humiliation, worlds away from today's just and compassionate ruling by the highest court in the land. I am moved and proud and deeply grateful."

Michael Cerveris

I think it's an extraordinary moment and it makes you proud to be American once again. It's hard to put into words. I suppose but I've been watching people try to do it all morning. It just feels like I guess there are moments in history where the tide of change can't be stopped, and this feels like one of those moments that people's hearts and minds are opening up to each other and focus on the right things for once.

There are examples everyday in the news of intolerance and people's refusal to see each other and accept each other. And I think, sometimes as the biggest most positive changes are happening, the people and the forces who want to resist that change the most dig in the most and sometimes when I get the most defeated and negative feeling when I'm watching the news, I try to comfort myself thinking, "This is just the reaction of the most extreme people to the fact that really the world is changing for the better. All of the most negative things are really evidence that movement of history is towards more inclusiveness and more understanding and more compassion."

Michael Cerveris
Michael Cerveris

(Re: his tweet) Pretty sure I didn't have anything to do with it. It's such an extraordinary moment it seems like everything form everywhere has been leading us to this.

(Re: Fun Home) When you feel like you're on the right side of history with your colleagues and friends and audiences it's a great place to work. I think in most ways our play is the most eloquent speech we could give. Allison's story that she was courageous enough to give the world and loan to us in the hands of Jeanine and Lisa makes an extraordinarily strong argument for seeing each other and learning to love each other and ourselves and our differences. And that's the message we would most want to put into the world anyway.

(And then he said this!) I'm so pleased and proud of Playbill and the way they've championed the causes of equality and acceptance.

Lea DeLaria

This is a giant step forward towards the equal rights of the LGBT community. Now I too can get drunk in Las Vegas and marry a hooker in the Elvis chapel.

Eric Ulloa and the cast of On Your Feet created this exclusive and emotional video for Playbill.com

 

Gavin Creel

I am so proud of the Hair tribe, the Hair producers, AFER, my straight friends who fought alongside us, our president, and my family. But most of all I am forever grateful for Jenny Kanelos, Rory O'Malley, and everyone who joined Broadway Impact in our quest to harness the incredible power of the Theatre Community to help achieve this victory. I'm in awe and so very grateful.

Charles Busch

I want to hug each one of those five judges!

Tom Kirdahy and Terrence McNally

Tom:

Our hearts are soaring. In 2003 we got civilly united in Vermont because marriage wasn't available anywhere in the US. In 2010 we got married in DC because it wasn't available in our home state of New York. In 2013 we attended the Supreme Court arguments as our friends Roberta Kaplan and Edie Windsor toppled DOMA. And today we are crying in our living room as we scream and shout and celebrate the triumph of love over ignorance and hate. We are filled with joy and hope and happiness and gratitude. The long and winding road to marriage equality has reached its final destination today at the Supreme Court. How wonderful that future generations will grow up knowing they can have the same dreams as everyone else.

Terrence McNally and Tom Kirdahy
Terrence McNally and Tom Kirdahy

Terrence:

And justice served. Tom Kirdahy and I are prouder than ever of our brothers and sisters in the community who worked and lived so tirelessly for this day to come. What a great day to be any kind of an American. Terrence McNally & Tom Kirdahy

Dick Scanlan

I am in rehearsal for Little Shop of Horrors at Encores! Off-Center. Little Shop premiered 33 years ago. If anyone had told me then, as I watched Ellen Greene sing "Somewhere That's Green" at the Orpheum Theatre, that Audrey's dream of a "normal" life with a husband and a home would one day be available to me, I wouldn't have believed it. At today's run-thru, Ellen's heartbreaking performance of that perfect song had a new kind of resonance for me."

Robert Bartley, creator of Broadway Backwards

As a couple married in California just prior to Prop Eight, this decision is particularly meaningful for my husband Danny Whitman and me as we prepare for the arrival of our first child in the coming weeks. After 16 ½ incredible years together, we will finally be recognized and legally protected as a family in ALL 50 states. Thank you to the Supreme Court for doing the right thing for us and countless couples and families.

Robert Bartley and Danny Whitman
Robert Bartley and Danny Whitman

Jerry Mitchell

OMG!!!!! IT is HERE!!!!! #FULLOUT the pursuit of HAPPINESS for ALL in AMERICA. #youchangetheworldwhenyouchangeyourmind #letPRIDEbeyourguide

Andrew Keenan-Bolger

I've always felt lucky to work in a community that accepted me as a gay man, I'm proud that now my country does too.

Andrew Keenan-Bolger and boyfriend Scott Bixby
Andrew Keenan-Bolger and boyfriend Scott Bixby

Douglas Carter Beane

Lewis and I are thrilled but know the thrill will be greater when we get to tell our kids at supper tonight. To think what few rights we had when we adopted Cooper 10 years and where we are now, and to know how it will all be just a given when he is 18. It was a hard fight for all of us and hooray to all who fought the good fight. I don't know about you but I'm just gonna crank up Sylvester singing "Mighty Real" and play it loud!

Tituss Burgess

This is an amazing day! Tonight I get to stand in front of my brothers and sisters and host NYC PRIDE in celebration of this historic decision!!!!!

Tituss Burgess
Tituss Burgess

Liza Minnelli

I have always said that everyone has the right to love who they love and today, with the historic decision from the Supreme Court, I am so happy it is now the law of the land.

Max von Essen

I keep staring at the TV and switching channels to make sure it's real. It's powerful and wonderful to wake up one morning and feel equal. Certainly there is more work to be done, but this is a major moment the history of our country and I will never forget it. I also can't stop thinking of the thousands of people who have been tirelessly fighting for this right on behalf on the entire LGBT community. They are my heroes right now!

Andrew Lippa

Today, America is a bit more American. Harvey Milk asked us all to come out, to be seen, to be heard. He believed once they saw us they would stop seeing us as a threat and see us as the fellow human beings we are: human beings who deserve the same rights, the same dignity, the same hope. Thank you, Harvey, and thank you to those five wise souls on the Supreme Court who followed your lead!

Today, we are ALL Equal!!

Kelli O'Hara

I'm proud to be a part of a community of people who made this decision a long time ago, and I'm proud of those who are finally catching up. Beautiful friends, go live the lives you deserve.

Kelli O'Hara
Kelli O'Hara Photo by Paul Kolnik

Nick Cearley

Having been with my husband for 16 years, I have been waiting for this day to come. I can't even think about it without wiping tears and suppressing the lump in my throat. I am so happy to be alive in the day in age where we see this kind of history being made. The civil rights movement of our generation has been won and I feel proud to be a part of that.

 

 

Ron Dennis, original cast member of A Chorus Line

This is a GREAT Day for LGBT people across America. This decision is as monumental as was the changing of our Constitutional laws regarding Interracial Marriage not that far back in our American history. America Wins today, and "We The People" have been heard and supported by this Constitutional Law change. Hot damn!

Survival is so grand! That I am a 70 year old senior gay man who has survived to witness this news today, has me feeling that "It Does Get Better." And better it is on this day. People gonna hate, as they still do towards people of color like myself, and only time, life and death cycles, will remove those who are so blinded by their hatred and faux superiority, that makes them want to deny LOVE and Equality to their fellow Americans for their own selfish interests and bigotry.

Marriage inequality against my LGBT community died today and like Lazarus, has risen today, now and forever, and ever, and ever, and ever. Hallelujah. Oh, one more Hot Damn, for good measure.

Bobby Steggert
Bobby Steggert

Bobby Steggert

I'm sitting in the middle of my local coffee shop and can't stop crying. I just keep thinking about the little ten-year-old me who had no idea there were other people in the world like him. I want so badly to jump back in time and assure him that he won't feel alone forever. He didn't deserve the shame he felt, and the idea that a ten-year-old today is so astoundingly protected from that feeling of illegitimacy gives me an inarticulate comfort and belief in the potential for compassion.

Personal legitimacy provided by friends and family and colleagues is one thing, but knowing the U.S. Constitution has your back is another altogether- and my head is held a little taller today.

Telly Leung

Today's decision by SCOTUS is the reason I am proud to be an American. Today, we are one step closer to reaching the ideals we strive for in our pledge of "allegiance": "liberty and justice - FOR ALL". Happy pride, indeed.

Telly Leung
Telly Leung

David Friedman
About 15 years ago my dad, who was, at that time, pushing 80, said to me: "David, don’t worry, Gay Marriage will happen! Just let all the ups and downs roll out, let people go back and forth, and after all the debate, it will just happen. It used to be that it was unthinkable that women could vote. Now it would be unthinkable that they wouldn’t. There was a time (actually in my own lifetime) when it was a scandal if a Jew and a Catholic were a couple. That’s a non-issue today for most of us. Then, of course, an interracial couple was cause for alarm and upset. That too has become commonplace." And now, true to my father’s prediction, gay marriage is the law. And transgender is coming more and more into the limelight, subject to a controversy that also, I’m sure, in time, will pass. So many people are resistant to change, but today I am joyful that once again, the rights that are so American, to love, to express yourself, to be free to live as you wish, have won out in the courts. As Craig Ferguson would say, "It’s a great day for America."

Montego Glover
My heart is full. Equality shifts our consciousness and makes us better to ourselves and each other.

Jeff Calhoun
Yesterday I returned from South Korea where homosexuality is not even open for discussion. Today I am in Tennessee with my husband at his annual family reunion where gay marriage legislation has been pending for some time. With this new ruling, I feel both fortunate to be in the United Staes where we openly debate social issues and grateful that the Supreme Court has acknowledged that marriage is and should be a right afforded to all Americans regardless of their sexual orientation.

See Broadway stars showing their Playbill Pride!

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