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Mightier Than the

Mightier Than the


Lambda Literary Foundation's annual fund-raiser was held Saturday at the home of Anne Rice, whose son Christopher (president of the foundation) called for action against Proposition 8 by preserving the literature of LGBT people.

In Los Angeles's Silver Lake district on Saturday night, thousands of people gathered to march in the streets to protest the passage of Proposition 8.

One hundred miles away, in Palm Springs, dozens of people gathered in the home of author Anne Rice to celebrate gay and lesbian literature at the Lambda Literary Foundation's annual cocktail fund-raiser, "Written in the Sand."

Guests sipped wine and beer from crystal glasses and listened to the Calypso band playing by the pool while admiring the many religious accoutrements that decorated the house. But Prop. 8 is exactly what was on everyone's minds and what Lambda's president -- author Christopher Rice, son of the famous vampire novelist -- spoke to when addressing the crowd.

He said that a crucial part of this struggle to maintain our equality would lie in supporting gay and lesbian literature, which has always and will always continue to tell our stories. In attendance were members of the Palm Springs LGBT community as well as a sprinkling of notable authors such as David Francis (Stray Dog Winter), Noel Alumit, and Janet Finch (White Oleander). Ms. Rice was nowhere to be found for the first hour of the party, but then she appeared to an already packed house to say, "I just came out to see if anyone was here."

She spoke for a moment when everyone gathered in the living room for speeches and, just as quickly as she appeared, turned and walked away. "She promised she would speak if it could be under 30 seconds," Christopher joked before speaking of the importance of Lambda, which is the only organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of LGBT literature.

Patricia Neal Warren, who wrote the '70s best-seller The Front Runner, was also in attendance, talking at length about the importance not only of gay books but also of gay bookstores, a topic Christopher Rice also feels strongly about.

"A big part of our visibility is being visible in stores," said Christopher, who commented that ordering anonymously from was a step toward invisibility. Instead of asking for money at the end of the evening -- though the foundation was certainly not going to turn it down -- the organization asked guests to buy a book from a selected list at a book seller from another list. Admission to the event was $65 (students were charged $40).

Hosting the evening, Bruce Vilanch kept the mood light and the crowd laughing. He made jokes about everything from Sarah Palin to one of the countless dolls that surrounded guests in Ms. Rice's house. The event wrapped up fairly quickly after the speakers addressed the crowd, and people filed out to find Warren personally autographing their parting gift, a copy of Harlan's Race, the sequel to The Front Runner.

To become a member or to donate to the organization, go to

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