American Foundation for Equal Rights

Sir Elton John to Join Prop. 8 Case with Private L.A. Benefit

For Immediate Release: November 30, 2010
Contact: Marissa Moss 917-544-1473 /

Sir Elton John to Perform Wednesday, January 19

Concert to Raise Funds for the American Foundation for Equal Rights’ Perry v. Schwarzenegger Federal Case; 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to Hear Case on December 6; Federal District Court Ruled Prop. 8 Unconstitutional, Denies Equal Protection Under the Law

Contact for Ticket Information.  For a Chance to Win Concert Tickets, Hotel and Transportation to Los Angeles, click here.

NOVEMBER 30, 2010 — Sir Elton John will perform a concert on Wednesday, January 19 at a private home in Beverly Hills to raise funds for the American Foundation for Equal Rights. The Foundation’s case, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, is the federal constitutional challenge against Prop. 8. The Foundation was victorious in federal district court earlier this year, and will argue before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on December 6.

“We are deeply honored to have the support of Sir Elton John,” said Chad Griffin, Board President of the American Foundation for Equal Rights. “The American Foundation for Equal Rights stands for the enduring principle that all Americans are created equal, and believes that ending state-sanctioned discrimination is a critical step we must take toward ending the hate crimes and suicides that continue to claim the lives of young Americans.”

The event will be held at the “Green Acres” estate of Ron Burkle.

Ticket information is available by contacting The event’s proceeds will support the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the sole sponsor of the Perry case. The Foundation’s legal team is headed by Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, opposing attorneys in the Bush v. Gore case that decided the presidency in 2000. The American Foundation for Equal Rights is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Sir Elton John’s performance comes off the heels of an art auction in New York that raised $600,000 for the Foundation that drew support from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Barbara Bush (daughter of President George W. Bush), and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt. The auction included works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Diane Arbus.

In September 2010, the Foundation garnered more than $1.3 million in support from an event that drew together a surprising array of GOP and Wall Street leaders.

The American Foundation for Equal Rights, which launched the Perry case just 18 months ago, has endeavored to expand equality for all Americans by linking marriage equality to the nation’s founding constitutional principles, including the right of all Americans to equal protection under the law. Its coalition of support has grown to include a diverse and unprecedented array of leaders including Julian Bond (past Chairman of the NAACP), Dolores Huerta (co-founder with Cesar Chavez of the UFW), the California NAACP, MALDEF, Ken Mehlman (former Chairman of the Republican National Committee and top adviser to President George W. Bush), major LGBT civil rights and legal organizations, and thousands of grassroots supporters across the nation. Its advisory board is co-chaired by John Podesta (White House Chief of Staff in the Clinton Administration and head of the Center for American Progress) and Robert Levy (head of the Cato Institute).

“Fourteen times the Supreme Court has stated that marriage is a fundamental right of all individuals. This case tests the proposition whether the gay and lesbian Americans among us should be counted as ‘persons’ under the 14th Amendment, or whether they constitute a permanent underclass ineligible for protection under that cornerstone of our Constitution,” attorneys Olson and Boies wrote in their brief to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“More than 30 years ago, the United States Supreme Court recognized that marriage is one of the basic rights of man,” Olson and Boies wrote in their original filing in the Perry case, referring to the Court’s decision in Loving v. Virginia, which struck down bans on interracial marriage.