Sex And The City star Cynthia Nixon took to the streets of Washington, D.C. on Sunday (11Oct09) to lead a gay rights march.
The actress and her long-time partner Christine Marinoni were among the thousands who participated in The National Equality March in the U.S. capital.
Nixon was spotted holding up a banner as she walked with hundreds of fellow New Yorkers, before taking to a podium to address the crowd.
Holding back tears, Nixon said, "I drove down here with 1,400 other New Yorkers from the theatre community and from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and I am prouder than ever to be from New York today because last month my congressman Jerrold Nadler introduced a bill that will at long last repeal the hateful, discriminatory and absurdly named Defense of Marriage Act."
The star then paid tribute to late student Matthew Shepard, a teen who died in 1998 after he was tortured for being gay.
She added, "Our right to marry is of paramount importance. It is important because when a country has different laws for different categories of people it sends its population a message that the different group of people with lesser rights are somehow inferior or less deserving of respect.
"That message is heard loud and clear by the worst elements in our society. It instructs them that if they are looking for someone to bully or beat or even kill, if they are looking for someone vulnerable to prey upon, gay people are a ready target. And that is why this movement is not just about our ability to get married. It is about demanding equal rights, equal responsibilities, equal opportunities, equal treatment and equal protection under the law so that we can herald in a new day."
Singer Lady Gaga was also spotted at the rally.