The winner of the evening’s first award, the Angels in America revival star Andrew Garfield, set the emotional tone for tonight’s Tonys, offering up his Best Actor in a Play win in tribute to the LGBTQ community. “At a moment in time where maybe the most important thing that we remember now is the sanctity of the human spirit, it is the profound privilege of my life to play Prior Walter in Angels in America because he represents the purest spirit of humanity and especially that of the LGBTQ community,” said an emotional Garfield. “It is a spirit that says no to oppression. It is a spirit that says no to bigotry. No to shame. No to exclusion. It’s a spirit that says we are all made perfectly and we all belong.
Continued the actor, “I dedicate this award to the countless LGBTQ people who have fought and died to protect that spirit, to protect that message. For the right to live and love as we are created to.” Garfield ended his speech with a reference to the recent Supreme Court ruling, which found that a Colorado bakery was legally permitted to deny service to customers attempting to order a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding. “We are all sacred, and we all belong,” said Garfield. “So let’s just bake a cake for everyone who wants a cake to be baked.”