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The Marrying Kind

The HRC and Calvin Klein Collection celebrate Americans for Marriage Equality

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Carolyn Murphy and Francisco Costa   
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There's no arguing that the fight for gay rights and marriage equality has made great strides in the last few years. Just yesterday, New Zealand legalized same-sex marriage. The legislation was a buzzy topic at last night's Human Rights Campaign event, which was hosted by Calvin Klein Collection at the brand's Madison Avenue Flagship. "The temperature this year is so different with what HRC has accomplished," said Neil Patrick Harris. "The political spectrum has changed in only eighteen months, so I was absolutely thrilled to come here on a celebratory level."

"I'm here because I'm gay and I'm a human being and I believe people should be treated equally, which is, you know, headline news," said Andy Cohen, who, it was just announced, will host the 2013 CFDA Awards. "I'm so nervous. I have a black DVF wrap dress on hold, so I feel like my outfit is solved," he told Style.com, "but otherwise, I have no plan."

There were two big highlights of the cocktail fete: On the fashion front, Calvin Klein revealed a collaborative dress by designer Francisco Costa and artist Ellsworth Kelly, who's about to celebrate his ninetieth birthday. The color-blocked frock, which will be produced in limited quantities, was on display at the store, as were a series of Kelly's paintings. "It was so beyond. Honestly, when I got a call for this collaboration, I was like, 'What! Ellsworth! Impossible! He's so inspiring,'" said Costa.

The second highlight was the soiree's speaker—mayoral candidate Christine Quinn. She told a heartfelt personal story about her wife's brother, Anthony Catullo, who lost a battle to cancer just days after the Supreme Court took on Edith Windsor's DOMA case. "Here was an openly gay man who struggled with coming out…and one of the final memories in his life is that his country was moving to a place where men like him, women like him, women like his baby sister were going to be fully recognized," she said.

Despite the speech's serious nature, there were light bits, too, which were particularly appreciated by Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson. "She taught me something about comedy," said the actor, who's gearing up to play Dromio in Shakespeare in the Park's upcoming production of The Comedy of Errors. "When Christine tells a joke, she's always the first to laugh. And it's so infectious that everyone just laughs automatically, so I'm going to steal that."

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