Calvin Klein‘s white-walled, two-story flagship was buzzing on Wednesday night as designers, actors and business leaders – including Uma Thurman, Andy Cohen and Neil Patrick Harris – turned up to show their support for Americans for Marriage Equality.
Francisco Costa, the women’s creative director of Calvin Klein Collection, told DuJour, “It’s no secret that we support HRC [an advocacy group that speaks out on behalf of the LGBT community] because Calvin is a forward-thinking company.”
City Council speaker Christine Quinn echoed the importance for society as a whole, when it comes to supporting marriage equality: “When people are treated equally they rise to that level of treatment,” she said, “When laws embrace all people, people want to be a part of that jurisdiction.” The mayoral candidate credited Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein’s signature as “a turning point” for the cause when she introduced him to the audience.
After the enthusiastic applause dissipated, Blankfein explained why he calls same-sex marriage a major move for companies: “It’s natural as a business leader to become great advocates for the people that work for them. It becomes a great competitive advantage that we can treat our talented people better.” And this includes everything from providing medical benefits to issuing a work visa. “It’s hard to move when they aren’t recognized as spouses,” Blankfein added.
As of today, nine states (including the District of Columbia) acknowledge same-sex marriage. Although Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson can’t wed in his home state, the actor said he plans to marry fiancé Justin Mitika this year. “We would love to get married in California, where we are living right now, but unfortunately that’s not legal so we’re doing it here in New York,” he said. “Mitchell would be very pleased and very excited,” Ferguson said of how the fictional character he plays on TV would respond to the HFC’s efforts, “He’s a lawyer, so he would probably be very passionate. And then try on all the clothes in the nearby racks.”
Take a look in the DuJour gallery for more from the event.