Academy Award winning screenwriter and social activist Dustin Lance Black was the guest of honor at the Royal Oak home of Michael Chetcuti and Kyle Evans on Thursday evening. The intimate get together paves the way to Black’s appearance at the sold-out American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan dinner at the Henry Ford Museum this evening.
Black, 38, won an Oscar for his screenplay for the 2008 film “Milk,” the biopic of the late Harvey Milk—the first openly gay man elected to public office in California. A fervent LGBT rights activist, Black said he is committed to equality for all.
“I try to work at the federal and national level, but it all starts here locally,” he said. “We have to include more people in the promise of America.”
Kary Moss, executive director of the ACLU of Michigan since 1998, said the organization reached out to the young and successful screenwriter to speak at their annual dinner for 500 people in Dearborn tonight. The fundraiser will raise money for programs in Detroit, Lansing and Grand Rapids.
“The ACLU of Michigan has a 22 person staff, which includes a seven-person legal staff,” Moss said. They also have a full-time lobbyist in Lansing to be their “eyes and ears” to watch over bills, including HB 5711, a controversial abortion bill, she said.
Chetcuti and Evans, both supporters of the ACLU’s efforts on behalf of the LBGT community, women’s reproductive rights, and education equality, met Black for the first time Thursday at their Fourth Street loft, which has 5,000 square feet of floor space and an automobile in the living space. The couple’s home, which former President Bill Clinton visited last month, was featured in the Royal Oak Woman’s Club Home and Garden Tour in June.
“When I walked in here, I knew not only were we going to do some important work, I knew we were going to have a lot of fun,” Black said.
More on Black
Having grown up in the Mormon community, Black was inspired to write and co‐produce HBO’s Emmy and Golden Globe nominated polygamist drama, "Big Love." Other writing credits include the 2011 film "J. Edgar." Black is currently promoting "8," an original play based on the heated battle of the Proposition 8 trial deciding the constitutionality of California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
More on the ACLU
To learn more about the ACLU of Michigan or to make a donation, visit www.aclumich.org.
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