Los Angeles - Robin Tyler, with her partner, Diane Olson, and The Reverend Dr. Troy Perry and his husband, Phillip Ray De Blieck, the first couples to file suit in California for equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians, today called on actors, producers, directors and anyone who accepts awards based on gay, transgender, or progressive-themed movies, to come out publicly in support of same-sex marriage during the 78th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday, March 5, 2006.
"The Hollywood community has given us a tremendous gift by nominating great achievements such as Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Felicity Hoffman in Transamerica. Despite the cultural recognition, gay people are still second-class citizens in the United States. We ask the tremendously talented people involved in these movies to come out in support of same-sex marriage to the tens of millions who will be watching the Awards," Tyler and Perry said in a joint statement today.
"Nobody will be hurt if Thelma gets to marry Louise, or Oscar holds hands with Oscar," said Robin Tyler, plaintiff in the lawsuit Tyler vs. County of Los Angeles. "In the United States, the 'L' word means 'Lesbians' -- but it also means 'Less' rights."
The Reverend Dr. Troy D. Perry, the first openly gay member of the Los Angeles Human Relations Commission and founder of the 43,000-member Metropolitan Community Churches, said, "The Hollywood community has a great Academy Awards tradition of speaking out for social justice issues. This year's Oscar recipients have an opportunity to honor movies with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender themes by speaking out for full legal equality, including marriage equality, for LGBT people."
Perry's Metropolitan Community Churches perform more than 6000 same-gender marriages each year. "These marriages are blessed by God and our communities, but are still denied recognition by our government."