Excelsior! Theatre Community Gives New York's Same-Sex Marriage Law a Standing Ovation

By Kenneth Jones
27 Jun 2011

Gavin Creel
photo by Robert Mannis

Gavin Creel, the Tony Award-nominated actor, singer and activist who has worked for marriage equality through his organization BroadwayImpact, said in an email, "I'm so proud of New York, its citizens, its lawmakers and most fabulously, its theatre folk. Our industry is making its voice heard, and while this victory is a true moment to celebrate, our country hasn't even begun to hear the noise that our theatre community is going to make to bring the issues surrounding FULL EQUALITY for all LGBT citizens to the attention of everyone...everywhere. BroadwayImpact is dedicated to staying in this fight and we are growing every day because of actors, directors, producers, stage managers, musicians, stage hands, and more, all joining us to stand up for what is right. We'll keep fighting state by state, but our true frontier is FULL FEDERAL EQUALITY, and we need everyone in our business to join in to make that happen. Stay tuned. We have a lot of exciting things coming. Visit www.BroadwayImpact.com."

Tom Beckett, whose partner is Dr. Roy (Trip) Gulick, is a New York City actor whose work includes the recent Treasure Island at Brooklyn's Irondale Center. Beckett said, "We watched the vote on TV, and as soon as the bill definitely passed, we simultaneously proposed to each other. We didn't plan it; just popped out. I still await my diamond engagement ring, though.

"I was worried that when we do finally hitch it would feel anti-climactic after being together for 15 years, but I now think it will simply be a wonderful celebration. Yes, getting married for legal protection is a legitimate reason, but I don't think I'd do it if that was my only reason. It seems so, well, clinical."

Mark H. Dold
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Mark H. Dold, a New York City actor currently in Off-Broadway's Freud's Last Session, said, "I was at the end of a show day, and had just arrived home. My post-show routine is to turn on the news when I get home to see what's happened in the world while I've spent the day on stage. I was thrilled, lost for words, but slightly confused by the news and actually began to get quite choked up. When I think of my 15-year relationship, and how proud of it I am, how it's the greatest accomplishment of my life, it boggles my mind to think that anyone would consider it less legitimate than any other. Now, at least legally, in the state of New York, there will be no question. I also believe that emotionally, spiritually and psychically the tide will continue to turn for equality. It must. It's the right thing, and I'm so proud of New York and can't thank those enough who worked tirelessly to make this happen.

"My partner, Edgar, and I have been legally domestic partners since 2008 and there will likely be a wedding in our near future, but as of this moment I'm still not completely sure what it all means. I won't be any more committed to our life together just because we now have the freedom to be 'married.' I couldn't feel or be any more married in my heart than I already am.

"Oddly, while I was watching the news, I received a phone call from a friend telling me that her marriage of almost ten years was over. So, I know 'marriage' or not, the word can never be the glue. But the choice, the choice. To not be excluded, denied, that's awesome. Truly awesome. I'm glad it came in my lifetime, I'm glad it came period! Six states down! Who will be next?"

Paul Hilepo, whose partner is fragrance executive Tom Knotek, is a talent agent at the Hartig-Hilepo Agency. He told us, "I am happy because I am a gay man in a committed and loving nine-year relationship who now has the choice and privilege that I deserve to have. My partner Tom and I may not necessarily run to the church tomorrow, but we can now realistically have the experience when the time is right for us in a fuller way....and that makes me feel great."