Jennifer Lopez received the 2013 Ally for Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign Saturday night at its annual national dinner.
Due to the government shutdown, Vice President Joe Biden skipped the affair at the Washington Convention Center, packed with 3,400 gay rights leaders and activists.
President Barack Obama sent a video message praising the group’s victories this year, saying he and Biden were working with Republicans on a budget compromise so “gay and straight people can return to work.”
There was an audible rise in enthusiasm when Lopez turned on the white carpet in her Zuhair Murad gown.
“You make me so proud to be a woman,” she told Gloria Steinem, who presented her with the award.
Sporting cowboy boots under her black dress, Steinem said she was proud “to be a girl from East Toledo introducing Jenny from the block.”
Lopez received the award primarily for her decision to produce “The Fosters,” a program on ABC family about a biracial, lesbian couple raising children. Guests included the show’s lead actress Teri Polo, civil rights activist Julian Bond and Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen.
Lopez said one of her favorite aunts was a lesbian, and that she related to “The Fosters,” because “I’m a single mom raising kids in a non-traditional family. I embraced it.”
She said she’s looking forward to attending more gay weddings. “The invites from my gay friends are pouring in.”
“Downton Abbey” actress Elizabeth McGovern accepted the Will Award for Classical Theatre from the Shakespeare Theatre Company at its annual gala at the Harman Center for the Arts last night.
She quoted one of her favorite Bard heroines, Rosalind from “As You Like It,” when she told the crowd “I would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased me.”
Among the potential kiss recipients were Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Vermont Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy, German Ambassador Peter Ammon and Ron Klain, former chief of staff to the vice president who is on the short list to be the next general counsel to the president.
Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News.