California | Gay Marriage | Jay Leno | Judy Shepard | Los Angeles | Mark Cornelsen | News | T.R. Knight

Leno, Knight, Shepard Attend Mass Commitment Ceremony in WeHo


A symbolic mass commitment ceremony (planned before California's same-sex marriage court decision) was held last night at the Abbey in West Hollywood. Above, WeHo Mayor Jeffrey Prang speaks to the assembled crowd.

I've also clipped a segment from local news station FOX 11, AFTER THE JUMP...


Jay Leno, Judy Shepard, and T.R. Knight were on hand to show their support. Despite Leno's history of cracking distasteful jokes about gays I think he needs to be given credit for showing up. It may be the gayest event he's ever been to, and, as we know, familiarity and exposure is the number one killer of ignorance and bigotry. So, we'll see.

Said Leno to the AP: "I have friends in the gay community. Who doesn't know gay people in Hollywood?"

Below, Jay's gayest look?


Leno even signed a symbolic marriage license:


T.R. Knight and Mark Cornelsen were looking dapper. Those ring pendants around their neck were likely supplied by Love and Pride, the jewelry company sponsoring the event.

Said Knight, who had late last month been rumored to be marrying Cornelsen: "There's a lot of hate around and until that hate disappears, you're going to have people trying to push down another group of people for whatever reason."


The AP reports: "This was a third year in a row that The Abbey, a popular lounge, kicked off Gay Pride month in Los Angeles with such a ceremony. Faded pink rose petals sprinkled the white carpet as a guitarist performed Pachelbel's 'Canon in D.' The crowd of family and friends gathered in support as their loved ones stood in front of the mayor of West Hollywood to take a vow. 'Your joined hands are outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual bond,' Mayor Jeffrey Prang said, 'signifying to all your commitment to each other and your commitment in vowing to vote and protect your right to love.' Then, before a cadre of television celebrities and the family of a modern gay rights martyr, the couples sealed the pledge with kisses."

A few of the couples marking their love to one another and a local News report from FOX 11, AFTER THE JUMP...





Here's a local news report I've clipped from FOX 11 News:

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  1. Mr. Leno could have dressed for the occasion... looks like he just happened to be riding by on one of his dozens of motorcycles. But yeah, nice that he went.

    Posted by: BusyTimmy | Jun 5, 2008 8:13:46 AM

  2. He gains a lot of points with me for doing this. Ultimately, legal equality is what's important - I don't really consider it my problem if Jay Leno personally has old-fashioned and limited ideas about what a gay person is. That's his problem for him to sort out in his own time. The important thing to me is that he supports civil rights. Good for him.

    Posted by: Sasha | Jun 5, 2008 8:21:54 AM

  3. I am all verklemft. California here we come.

    Posted by: rudy | Jun 5, 2008 8:28:30 AM

  4. Cool. I've never liked or watched Jay, but I'm going to have to agree with Sasha.

    Good for Jay, and good for us.

    Posted by: DavidT | Jun 5, 2008 8:39:53 AM

  5. Evil Gays. Sinners. Ha ha just kidding. Good for them. Is that Reichen's fly naked jewelry around Knight's neck?

    Posted by: Matt | Jun 5, 2008 9:05:04 AM

  6. Hey, I've got an idea. Instead of Leno showing up in West Hollywood to support marriage equality, he actually endorses it on his TELEVISION SHOW WATCHED BY MILLIONS. Or is the television show reserved only for fag jokes? Just a thought.

    Posted by: John in Manhattan | Jun 5, 2008 10:16:11 AM

  7. quite thankful indeed that Jay didn't send Ross The Intern and a camera crew instead.

    Posted by: A.J. | Jun 5, 2008 11:37:19 AM

  8. Forget "Who doesn't know gay people in Hollywood?", who doesn't know gay people ANYWHERE in America?

    I doubt there is anyone anywhere in America who doesn't know gay people even if they don't know they do. EVERYONE has a gay relative, co-worker, neighbor, friend and/or acquaintance in his/her life.

    Posted by: Zeke | Jun 5, 2008 12:02:24 PM

  9. I was there it was so fucking lame. I was embarrassed to be gay.
    Absolutely retarded.

    Posted by: Lame | Jun 5, 2008 12:31:29 PM

  10. Hey A.J. Ross the Intern was there too. I was there and I was trying SO hard not to be cynical, but the event kind of reeked of a P.R. stunt. But a PR stunt for a good cause! I was with my PR rep friend and a couple of his celebrity clients, so I got to say my experience was a bit weird. To be with the "VIP's" but not one of them... Let's just say it's really kind of insulting to be shoved out of the way of the cameras because my friend and I are not "celebrities". And I can now see how scary all those big, heavy cameras can be when you're in a tight space. I had to duck a couple times to avoid being smacked in the face. Ryan and I sort of got out of the way, cornered the cocktail waiter, leaned against the bar and had a fun, if a bit surreal time. Oh, and TR is totally cute.

    Posted by: TroyTooner | Jun 5, 2008 1:00:00 PM

  11. The pendant is the Matthew Shepard Pendant, designed by Ubi Behr to mark the 10th anniversary of Matt's passing.

    Posted by: Jayde | Jun 5, 2008 1:05:07 PM

  12. That picture of TR Knight and his BF is the sweetest, most moving thing I've seen in awhile.

    I want my chance at marriage -- now where's my hubby??

    And I'm ordering the remembrance pendant today.

    Posted by: JTluvr | Jun 5, 2008 1:24:27 PM

  13. Off hand I'm not sure I can think of a lamer place to have a mass commitment ceremony than an overpriced, stand-and-model bar in Weho. What a stupid PR stunt.

    Posted by: Jeff | Jun 5, 2008 1:42:15 PM

  14. "[how about] he actually endorses [gay marriage equality] on his TELEVISION SHOW WATCHED BY MILLIONS. Or is the television show reserved only for fag jokes?" BRAVO, John!!!! TOTALLY the point. So some Angelenos saw him there on their local news? Big whoop—NOT!

    And, Zeke's point is well-taken, too. Even "official" gay spokespeople often make verbal faux pas, but Leno, I grant unintentionally, simultaneously reinforced a stereotype—the majority of people in show biz are gay—[thus reinforcing ALL stereotypes]—and that his gay friendships are essentially a matter of default--when in Sodom--that not only are gays not in every other area of life but that he wouldn't be friends with them if they were.

    Too nitpicky? NOT at all, given how often we are have been exploited by him as "jokes" over the years. Ever him talk about how much "blacks luv watermelon"? And the fact that he has his own resident fag version of Stepin' Fetchit in Ross the Yes I'll Be The Minstrel Show 'Mo For Money Intern also shows what he thinks of us.

    Last night was one small step for Jay Leno...with a thousand miles still to go.

    And don't ja LUV how typical parasitic drag queens have discovered yet ANOTHER way to get their pictures taken?

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Jun 5, 2008 1:42:34 PM

  15. It still makes my skin crawl to not only know that Jeff Prang represents the City of West Hollywood, but can for the time being claim to be it's mayor.

    In the City's 24 year history his is personally responsible for it's biggest lawsuit payout for sexually harassing one of the City employees - and he's a creepy liar to boot.

    The worst kind of gay man - the kind you can't be proud of...

    Posted by: David B. | Jun 5, 2008 1:50:37 PM

  16. Instead of sending $59. + shipping to the jewelry company for the pendant with no way of knowing exactly how much of that will go to the Matthew Shepard Foundation, why not send the WHOLE amount directly to his Foundation? "100% of the net proceeds go to..." is one of those UNACCEPTABLE nebulous formulas. At minimum, the cost of making the pendant and shipping it to their warehouse would be deducted. Do the also deduct the cost of marketing? Ad infinitum.

    See that 100% of 100% of your money goes to help fight hate: Please donate directly at:

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Jun 5, 2008 1:55:50 PM

  17. We were the FOURTH couple in line! Yes, it was a PR stunt - to kick off gay pride, to sell some jewelry, to bring attention to the Matthew Shepard Foundation, to bring attention to the fact that we "HAVE TO COMMITT TO FIGHT NO" on this absurd Ballot Initiative come November. It was a coincidence that the California Supreme Court decided to REFUSE any STAY that day!
    So, let the weddings begin! I truly believe that when the rest of the state of California sees us spening money on weddings, flowers, invitations, cards, gifts, caterers, alcohol, cakes, party rentals, etc. that GAY WEDDINGS will pull the state of California out of its financial doldrums!

    Posted by: John Richard Petersen | Jun 7, 2008 11:28:18 AM

  18. Every event can be considered a PR stunt to some degree, so lets look beyond that and be positive about the purpose of this great event. And i bought my Matthew Shepard pendant a few months ago and i wear it everyday. I love it and i know that 100% of what i paid is going to the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Its only $59 and goes to a great foundation. i encourage everyone to get one!! i got mine through love and pride but you can also get them through the matthew shepard foundation website.

    Posted by: racines412 | Jun 8, 2008 9:57:32 AM

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