Upton Sinclair crowd in rare mood

The night of May 9 at the Beverly Hilton was a celebration of diversity in more ways than one, since Liberty Hill’s 30th annual Upton Sinclair Awards happened to fall on the same day that President Obama announced his backing of gay marriage. Dr. Robert Ross, topper of the California Endowment, said, “I understand our president did something very special today.” The crowd erupted with cheers, and chuckled when honoree Manuel Pastor assured the aud, “This Tea Party madness will pass … but it may pass more like a gallstone than a common cold.”

After accepting the Upton Sinclair Award, Paris Barclay revealed his own interesting connection to the U.S. government. In a slideshow featuring pics of a young Barclay, one photo showed him in high school seated next to then peer and now conservative Supreme Court Justice John Roberts.

“John was in the class ahead of me,” quipped Barclay. “And I didn’t realize that he would actually be attempting to ruin my life with virtually every decision he made! … But you know, the school helped me blossom and added to my fabulousness,” he added with a grin.

Dustin Lance Black joked, “There was a ‘Charlie Brown’ school play where Paris played Snoopy … and it was John Roberts — yes, Chief Justice Roberts — who played Peppermint Patty.”

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