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Screening of Hudson's marriage-equality video draws celebs
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times
2015-06-09

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\NEW YORK CITY—W Hotels Worldwide, in partnership with the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ), hosted an exclusive screening of Jennifer Hudson's new music video for the song "I Still Love You" at the W New York-Union Square on June 4 as part of the hotel chain's "Turn It Up For Change" LGBT marriage-equality campaign.

The event drew about 250 people, but not the singer herself. She told the audience in a taped speech that she wanted to attend, but instead was at her son's graduation—and that led to a comical response from the event's host, Andy Cohen, the Bravo TV host who moderated a panel after the premiere.

Cohen joked that he was wondering what Hudson was doing that kept her away from the star-filled event.

Nonetheless, the evening event featured appearances by Perez Hilton, drag sensation Lady Bunny, film directors Tabitha Denholm and Molly Schiot, LGBT model/activist Claudia Charriez; HRC's Fred Sainz, recording artist Aiden Leslie and many others.

Topics in a 30-minute panel ranged from trans issues to W Hotels' overall campaign in support of LGBT marriage rights to future plans to help push marriage equality in all 50 states.

"It's a controversial [topic] but, in the end, it's the right thing to do," Anthony Ingham, the global brand leader for W Hotels Worldwide, told the audience.

The six-person panel followed a cocktail reception and the traditional red carpet-style photo shoot. Ingham said it was "a great event and the people [in the crowd] were really engaged, so that's a great thing."

Sainz, the vice president of communications and marketing for HRC, said, "I think it's a testament to W's leadership that they put on events like this in order to really talk about the importance of marriage equality, and equality to our country overall. I thought it was an incredibly powerful event."

The screening was the fourth marquee event celebrating the partnership between W Hotels in partnership with Hudson and HRC. The video depicts a father's last-minute decision to attend his gay son's wedding.


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