Broadway Celebrates Marriage Equality Decision

Among the many Americans celebrating Friday’s historic ruling by the Supreme Court to legalize gay marriage nationwide were members of the Broadway community -- many of whom have been using their platform to raise awareness around the cause for years.

From 2015 Tony hosts Alan Cumming and Kristin Chenoweth to prolific gay playwright Harvey Fierstein and “Hamilton” scribe Lin-Manuel Miranda, the community shared their celebrations and congratulations on social media.

“It’s a new day,” wrote Neil Patrick Harris. “Thank you Supreme Court. Thank you Justice Kennedy. Your opinion is profound, in more ways than you may know.”

Six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald appeared to be elated by the news. “Love must win? LOVE HAS WON!!!!” she tweeted after the Supreme Court ruling was announced. The actress has been so dedicated to the movement, she even has word “equality” in her official twitter handle.

McDonald’s husband, Tony nominee Will Swenson (“Les Miserables”) also shared in the joy. “Gay pride in NYC this weekend might just permanently coat the city in beautiful, pink Happy-Joy-Love glitter,” he said. “SO happy for equality today!”

Swenson’s “Hair” co-star Gavin Creel had a lot of reasons to celebrate. The Tony nominee, currently starring in “Book of Mormon,” co-founded Broadway Impact alongside Tony nominee Rory O’Malley and Jenny Kanelos in 2009 -- the “first and only grassroots organization dedicated to mobilize the nationwide theater community in support of marriage equality.”

“Thank you SCOTUS, America, Broadway Impact, and everyone who believes in love and justice,” Creel said.

In addition to many rallies and charity benefits, Broadway Impact also been mounting nationwide productions of Dustin Lance Black’s play “8,” which chronicles the historic Prop 8 trial. The show premiered on Broadway in September 2011, with an all-star cast including Morgan Freeman and Ellen Barkin.

“It feels like my wedding day all over again,” O’Malley tweeted, sharing a photo (seen below) of with husband Gerold Schroeder.

The decision was particularly touching for TV’s “Modern Family” star Jesse Tyler Ferguson. On July 20, the actor, who is currently starring in The Public’s Shakespeare in the Park production of “The Tempest,” will celebrate his 2 year wedding anniversary with husband Justin Mikita. The two have worked tirelessly for marriage and global LGBT equality through their charity organization Tie The Knot, which raises money for the cause through the sales of custom bow ties designed by Ferguson and Mikita.

“Hugely emotional that marriage equality has finally come to the U.S.” Ferguson wrote. “History! Love ALWAYS wins.”

George Takei, who makes his Broadway debut this fall in “Allegiance,” released a statement on behalf of the company of his new musical. “This is a happy day, not just for LGBT Americans, but for all Americans,” he said. ‘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.”

Many of the Broadway casts celebrated post-curtain, including the 2015 Tony-winning Best Musical "Fun Home" -- the first Broadway musical to feature a lesbian protagonist. Cast members brought a rainbow flag onstage, which Tony nominee Beth Malone waved around with glee. 

"What an amazing night to be an American," Malone said. "We owe this night to the people who came before us."

They then shared a cast photo on Instagram (below), wearing special pride t-shirts with a "Ring of Keys" logo, taken from one of the songs in the show. 

“It Shoulda Been You,” which features a gay wedding, a lesbian wedding and a straight wedding, closed Friday night’s performance with a post-curtain speech from star Tyne Daly.

Daly shared her story of how “Loving v. Virginia,” the 1967 cast which led the Supreme Court to invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage, personally affected her marriage with ex-husband Georg Stanford Brown.

She then quoted a line from the show (“We are all getting a family out of this”), before repeating a quote from a parishioner in South Carolina, who said “Hate is very strong, but love is stronger.”

Now if that isn’t worth applauding, we don’t know what is.

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