6 Academy Award nominees speak out for the freedom to marry

This Sunday, February 24 is Hollywood's biggest night: The 85th Annual Academy Awards, the annual celebration of filmmakers, actors, and artists who have shared with us so many memorable movies and cinema moments in the past year. Many of the nominees have been longtime, ardent supporters of the LGBT community and of the freedom to marry. Positive media representation for the freedom to marry is especially important at this watershed time in the movement to win marriage nationwide, and we are thrilled to see such a diversity of voices - from actors to directors to screenwriters - speaking up for why marriage matters.

Here are six great quotes from Oscar-nominated artists who support gay and lesbian people and the freedom to marry:

Anne Hathaway

Hathaway, nominated this year for "Best Supporting Actress" for her rousing turn as Fantine in Les Misérables, has been a longtime supporter of the freedom to marry. She has spoken out on behalf of her brother, who is gay, and has explained that "Love is a human experience, not a political statement." She received the Human Rights Campaign's Ally for Equality Awardin 2008, and last year, she married Adam Shulman, donated a portion of the proceeds from the sale of her wedding photos to Freedom to Marry, and she and Adam served as honorary hosts for our National Engagement Party.

Steven Spielberg

Spielberg, whose film Lincoln is nominated for Best Picture and who is nominated himself for "Best Director" for the biopic, was a leading voice against 2008's Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that constitutionally excluded same-sex couples from marriage throughout the state, taking away a previously-granted freedom. He also donated $100,000 to try to block the anti-gay amendment. 

Ben Affleck

Affleck, whose film Argo is nominated for Best Picture, has long spoken out in favor of marriage for same-sex couples. Just this year, he congratulated Good Morning America weatherman Sam Champion on his engagement and explained, "It's to our shame that you can't get married in every state in the union, but one day I hope you will be able to."

Tony Kushner

Kushner, nominated this year for "Best Adapted Screenplay" for Lincoln, is a leading voice on why marriage matters. An openly gay man himself who married his husband, Entertainment Weekly writer Mark Harris, in 2003, Kushner has written extensively about marriage and has often appeared on television to discuss the movement. Last fall, he and his husband were honorary hosts for Freedom to Marry's National Engagement Party.

Hugh Jackman

Last year, Jackman, nominated for the "Best Actor" award for his role as Jean Valjean in the epic musical Les Misérablessigned a pledge in his home country of Australia speaking out in favor of the freedom to marry. The pledge read, in part, "Australia is at its best when we value equality over prejudice and fear."

Sally Field

Field, nominated for the third time for her work in Lincoln, was awarded the Human Rights Campaign's Equality Award last year. She has vocally and fervently supported gay and lesbian people, often referencing her son Sam, who is gay, as one reason she feels so compelled to speak out.