Go Inside Family Equality Council's Star-Studded Awards Dinner

By Lucas Grindley

Originally published on Advocate.com February 12 2014 2:30 PM ET

Melissa Etheridge joked that the big awards dinner was her first adult interaction of the day. She is a mom to four. Her performance of "Uprising of Love," a song protesting the antigay laws and culture of Russia, capped the evening's program. Listen to her story above of finding the right soccer shorts for her daughter, followed by the athem. She attended the event with her partner Linda Wallem.


Actress Amanda Bearse on the red carpet.

 


Actress Laura Prepon lit up the cameras.

 

Actors Danny Nucci and David Lambert


Actor Alex Newell rallied the audience to donate with an improvised role play on stage with Darren Criss. The duo played out the inevitable moment of confusion when your family discovers you didn't bid in an auction for a Glee set tour. Then Criss stuck around afterward for an impromptu sing-a-long of "Teenage Dream." Watch a video clip.

Honoree Jennifer Tyrrell got a standing ovation for her role as an activist, born out of being a lesbian mom who was kicked out by the Boy Scouts as a den mother. She was introduced by Zach Wahls, who said "Jennifer is what courage looks like."

 

Wahls is on the red carpet with Family Equality Council's executive director, Gabriel Blau. In his keynote speech, Blau announced that the group was asked to file amicus briefs in marriage equality cases in Utah and Oklahoma. The infuence of their previous U.S. Supreme Court brief can be seen in the DOMA ruling written by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Creators of The Fosters on ABC Family, writer Brad Bredeweg and actor Peter Paige, were honored by Family Equality Council for bringing a family headed by two moms to television. Actress Maia Mitchell introduced them by addressing the controversy that has met The Fosters: "Like many of the families in this room understand, it has just made us stronger."

 

The night was hosted by comedian Alec Mapa, shown here with another of the night's big-name guests, George Takei. Mapa, another of the night's prominent dads, had a few one-liners for ABC Family. "ABC Family is so gay it's like Logo, but with ratings." One more? "ABC Family is so gay it's engaged to Liza Minnelli."

Singer Adam Lambert, who attended with his mom, wowed the room with his performance of "Mad World." Watch some (sorry, best we could grab) low-quality video we shot of it below:


Actor Tuc Watkins, left, and a guest stand together outside the event's venue, the Globe Theater at Universal Studios Hollywood.

 

Singer and actress Amber Riley and event co-chair and Scandal actor Dan Bucatinsky (a gay dad who is also author of "Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight?") took the stage.

 

Riley was introduced on stage by writer and producer Ryan Murphy, who is a new dad. He's pictured here with Adam Lambert.