Brad Pitt | California | Gay Marriage | News | Steven Spielberg

Spielberg and Capshaw Give $100,000 to Fight Gay Marriage Ban

More high-profile Hollywood figures have joined the fight against Proposition 8. Brad Pitt donated $100,000 last week and Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw matched that, Variety reported late yesterday.

Spielberg_capshawSaid Spielberg and Capshaw: "By writing discrimination into our state constitution, Proposition 8 seeks to eliminate the right of each and every citizen in our state to marry regardless of sexual orientation. Such discrimination has NO place in California's constitution, or any other."

Said Producer Bruce Cohen: "It's phenomenal that Kate and Steven are affirming their unwavering commitment to equality in such a significant a way. More than 15 years ago, Steven was the first person in Hollywood who I came out to, news which he greeted with his full love and support then and ever since. It is my fervent hope that other entertainment industry leaders will follow the lead of Brad Pitt and the Spielbergs and fight to maintain equal rights for all Californians."

Today, the L.A. Times reported that backers of the ban are outraising opponents: "So far, the main group promoting the Constitutional amendment, which would overturn a recent California Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage, has raised $17.8 million. The main No-on-8 campaign has raised $12.4 million."

No on Prop 8 [official site]

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  1. It was a great thing that Spielberg did but if Brad Pitt could donate $100 grand, couldn't Spielberg have easily dropped a $1 million?

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Sep 23, 2008 8:38:27 AM

  2. Here comes the "Where is Madonna?" comment in 3... 2... 1...

    Posted by: crispy | Sep 23, 2008 9:07:26 AM

  3. Yeah, not to sound ungrateful or anything, but surely Spielberg could have donated just a bit more without doing too much damage to his bank account.

    Posted by: Roscoe | Sep 23, 2008 9:30:26 AM

  4. Soulbrotha....where is Madonna in all this? keeping the money that all queers are spending on her stupid show to herself! BOYCOTT MADONNA'S ALBUMS FOREVER!!! SHE IS NOT A FRIEND OF OUR COMMUNITY ....

    Posted by: Sean | Sep 23, 2008 9:42:21 AM

  5. I've known Steven and Kate for a few years and it brings tears to my eyes to know that they're good for the support. No matter what happens, I'm happy that I work with the "good ones"

    Posted by: what | Sep 23, 2008 10:10:32 AM

  6. Isn't opposition to this measure starting to grow? I thought I saw a poll to that effect.

    The haters are raising more $$ because they are more desperate .. they know this is the first domino.

    Posted by: ATLsteve | Sep 23, 2008 10:32:30 AM

  7. Excellent! I hope the actions by Pitt and Spielberg/Capshaw signal to other wealthy entertainment industry figures (celebrities or not) that this is the right to do and that they will be in good company. I wouldn't complain about the figure--the consistency between the amounts sets $100K as a standard ante. There are many entertainment figures who can afford that.

    Posted by: Gianpiero | Sep 23, 2008 10:33:02 AM

  8. Come on, guys. $100k "not enough"? Who says we're the only cause he's supporting? $1m may be easy for him to drop, but if he's got a dozen or two or three different causes/charities he supports, he can't give $1m to each and every issue.

    This is a very important cause, but not the only important one.

    Posted by: Pete | Sep 23, 2008 10:36:36 AM

  9. C'mon boys, open up your wallets and donate. If we all give a weekend's worth of cocktail $$ this horrid prop 8 will be defeated. Do we really want to be out funded by the Knights of Colombus and the Mormons? Let's fight!!

    Posted by: busytimmy | Sep 23, 2008 11:02:49 AM


    Posted by: huh? | Sep 23, 2008 11:26:41 AM

  11. Spielberg is a notorious penny pincher.

    It's great that he donated $100,000, but when you realize he's worth like $3.5 billion, in relative terms to a regular middle-class household with $500k in assets, that $100,000 is $14.23.

    In fact, I'll bet it only took a few minutes for his hoard to generate the equivalent in interest.

    I say all this to put it into perspective. There are regular people who are giving a couple of thousand $$, relatively much more.

    PS I know I'm ragging on Senor Spielbergo, but I think he's been far too greedy for far too long, and it's hurt his filmmaking. He needs to go out on a limb, take risks again, etc.

    Posted by: Tim | Sep 23, 2008 11:36:11 AM

  12. WHERE are the rich/celeb gays??? According to last week's IN LA mag, as of 9/10 they could find no evidence that Ellen, Rosie, Melissa, Elton, Paul Colichman (here!TV) Greg Berlanti (Brothers & Sisters), Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives), Bryan Singer (Superman Returns), Joel Schumacher (Batman & Robin), or Gus Van Sant of "Milk" adulation had GIVEN A SINGLE FUCKING DIME to fight Prop 8!!!!!!!!!

    "Bruce Cohen, who produced Milk, ... did contribute. Max Muchnick (Will & Grace) also contributed, as did David Geffen, partner in DreamWorks, who gave $50,000, and Bryan Lourd, managing partner of Creative Artists Agency who contributed $5,000."

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Sep 23, 2008 11:42:56 AM

  13. You're completely missing the point.

    The amount of money is relatively unimportant... what is most important is having names of this caliber lending their support, and the fact that it is being reported by mainstream media.

    Posted by: crispy | Sep 23, 2008 11:51:16 AM

  14. Tim, How much did you donate?

    Posted by: what | Sep 23, 2008 11:52:58 AM

  15. You want to know why more people aren't contributing? Because as soon as they give money to a gay cause, the blogosphere lights up with bitchy queens from coast to coast complaining that it's not enough.

    Posted by: Red Seven | Sep 23, 2008 12:15:17 PM

  16. Yeah, Crispy, the power of the Spielberg name being connected to this cause is of some importance, but the amount of the donation is part of the point too.

    I have no particular knowledge of Mr. Spielberg's finances. He may be all donated out for the year. But I find it hard to believe that he couldn't have coughed up a bit more.

    Posted by: Roscoe | Sep 23, 2008 12:19:06 PM

  17. I am extremely grateful to Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw for following the example set by Brad Pitt, in donating $100,000.00 to the "No on 8" campaign. These men and women are doing a tremendous service to the gay community, and to ALL Americans who believe that it is morally obscene to enshrine discrimination and bigotry into the highest law of the State of California.

    To those who are crying out for a boycott of Madonna (and other celebrities who have not yet contributed to the campaign) -- please bear in mind that Brad Pitt made his contribution only days ago, and that it takes time for other celebrities to follow such examples. It is premature in the extreme to call for a boycott of a rich celebrity merely because he or she has not yet contributed to the "No on 8" campaign. These people deserve better than your contempt, and deserve better than shrill cries for boycotts. Did it occur to you to write to Madonna and others, and to ask them, politely, to part with their money? Also, did you contribute to the campaign?

    Give the others a little time -- they will almost certainly follow the example set by Brad, Steven, and Kate.


    Posted by: Philip Chandler | Sep 23, 2008 12:22:04 PM

  18. Again, the first issue is not what STRAIGHT celebrities, with or without claims to gay icon status have done/not done, it is SHAMEFUL that apparently our OWN rich celebs have given NOTHING!!!

    Forbes magazine ranking Ellen's personal worth in 2007 at $65 million. Rosie, who's given money to other things and, admirably seems to, unlike Ellen, put people above puppies, is worth probably more, etc., etc., etc.






    Posted by: Leland Frances | Sep 23, 2008 1:11:18 PM

  19. Leland Frances -- the best course of action under these circumstances is to WRITE to these people and to ASK them to contribute! Not all celebrities make donations publicly -- for a very good reason! Nobody likes to feel coerced when it comes to parting with his or her money, and I am sure that many of the celebrities to whom you refer HAVE made contributions without any fanfare. Why not do the simplest possible thing -- perform a Google search for their addresses and fax numbers, and politely ASK them to contribute to "No on 8"? Also, have you thanked Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie for both their money and their public determination not to get married until all of us can get married? I have their fax number, and if you Google {"Brad Pitt" address} you will find Pitt's fax number and mailing address. Nothing does more than a piece of PHYSICAL mail (as opposed to email) thanking the person for his or her contribution.


    Posted by: Philip | Sep 23, 2008 1:53:20 PM

  20. Thanks for the suggestion, Philip, but, at best, your suggestion is dated and, however well intentioned, naive.

    1. There are less than 45 days until the vote on Prop 8. Even if one could find VALID contact information by Googling these people, you certainly know that 99% of it would be for their publicists/agents at whose mercy we would be to promptly pass on such requests at all.

    If we make this a PUBLIC discussion, I assure you their publicists WILL make them aware of it immediately and LONG OVERDUE money will start pouring in. [My interest ISN'T to shame them but to see Prop 8 defeated which can only happen through an adequately funded fight.]

    2. The larger point is that we should not HAVE to ASK them. There is no reason to believe that a single one of them is unaware either of Prop 8 or the need for money to fight it. As San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom so accurately put it, "This issue is this election second only to whom we elect President."

    Are you suggesting that Ellen and Portia's recent marriage was in a vacuum? Ellen deserves credit for lobbying for marriage equality on her show, and, as the article I linked to acknowledges, their marriage itself—as all gay marriages intentionally or not—was a political act.

    But where, in all the causes for which she has encouraged and accepted donations on her show, is this ULTIMATE one for her personally, her wife, and the millions of others gays and lesbians she genuinely cares about.

    And your theoretical anonymous donations by such public people already identified with gay equality generally in this instance would be IRRESPONSIBLE.

    I have it on good authority that some are expected to participate in fundraisers in the works, but, again, time is running out. And EXCUSES of why they haven't ALREADY made large PUBLIC donations when Prop 8 has been in the news for months evaporated weeks ago!!!

    "It is not enough to be compassionate—you must act."

    "The price of greatness is responsibility." - Winston Churchill

    "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Sep 23, 2008 2:39:58 PM

  21. LELAND -- I certainly agree with you that time is running out, and I also agree with you that the best course of action is to raise awareness of this issue by taking this discussion and making it as PUBLIC AS POSSIBLE. However, I don't think that it does our cause any good whatsoever to try to coerce money from these people by shaming them. The publicists who protect and insulate these stars from their fan base must be made aware of the urgency and seriousness of this issue -- and I maintain that it will do a world of good to send thousands of faxes and letters (and emails, provided you also send hardcopies) to whichever contact fax numbers and physical addresses you are able to derive from Google.

    I know that many of these telephone, fax, and email accounts are screened by agents -- but I can only suggest (1) contacting these people at these accounts, (2) conducting a vigorous a public debate as possible focusing on this issue, and (3) THANKING those stars who have made financial to the "No on 8" campaign.

    In addition to seeking funds from celebrities, we should be writing letters to the editors of California newspapers, discussing this issue with friends and family members, and exposing the hypocrisy of those people who are in favor of the amendment, but who cannot keep their own heterosexual marriages together for more than a few years at a time.

    If you have any better ideas, I would certainly like to hear about them. I am utterly determined, as an activist, to do whatever I can to defeat this monstrous proposed constitutional amendment.

    I am certainly interested in any ideas that you may have. Please, spell them out -- although I am currently spending time with a sick relative in the UK, this issue is of great significance to me, and I will do everything in my power that is legal and that can tip the scales in our favor. To those gay men and lesbians who have not come out -- PLEASE do the right thing, and come out of the closet! Study after study has shown that those Americans who know gay people personally are much less likely to be homophobic than are those Americans who do not know any gay people personally.

    Thanks for the help...


    Posted by: Philip Chandler | Sep 23, 2008 6:27:20 PM

  22. No more money to Madonna ever again....she needs to her into the groove and remember ....Her career would never be where is at if it wasn't for the Gays...

    Posted by: Tim | Sep 23, 2008 9:01:20 PM

  23. Roscoe...Roscoe, I can't believe you are saying that out celeberties should wait for others to donate before they do!! Total bs. That they should be asked before giving to an cause that will give them legal rights that have been denied to them. The same rights that they themselves have already complained about publicly. And now they have it and others want to take it away. And they don't bother to send some $ to the cause, plus they are worth tens of millions easly. Waiting to the last days doesn't help much either. They should of right off put their money into the cause and made public statements and done anything else to help. Ellen , Rosie, Etheridge sure as hell have no exuse. Fyi.. yes i have donated, and i don't live in california.

    Posted by: randy | Sep 23, 2008 9:18:16 PM

  24. There is no maximum limit on something like this although there is a state-required form to fill out if you donate over $10K.

    I'm glad you folks are waking up and asking WHERE those loud-mouths are on this.

    There shouldn't be a more important issue in 2008 for social activist gays and lesbians of extreme wealth.

    This is true, genuine, marriage equality already in existence for gays and lesbians.

    This is one of those stand-up and be counted moments.

    L.A.-based "Perez Hilton" makes a big deal about forcing celebrities to come out. Where's his money? Mario Lavandeira hasn't donated as of the 19th.,0,2463893.htmlstory

    Ian McKellen, Chad Allen, George Takei each donated. Apparently so did "Boy Meets Boy" winner Wes Culwell. Even Mary Cheney gave $3000.

    Where are Rosie? Ellen? NPH? TR Knight? BD Wong? Clay? Lance? David Hyde Pierce? Reichen Lehmkuhl? QAF alums like Robert Gant (Gonzalez)? Randy Harrison? Peter Paige? James Getzlaff? Jeff Lewis? Greg Berlanti?

    The ignominious list of no-show celeb gays is endless.

    Posted by: queendru | Sep 24, 2008 5:00:55 AM

  25. Hey, Andy, have YOU donated? Surely you can spare a few bucks.

    Posted by: queendru | Sep 24, 2008 5:28:16 AM

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