At the Friendfactor benefit at Lavo last night, attendees were encouraged to take advantage of their existing friend networks to try to get the word out about gay marriage — the focus of the new charity group that uses social networks to effect change. Forgetting Sarah Marshall star Kristen Bell brought along her boyfriend, Dax Shepard, and Bravo star Andy Cohen brought along his own straight ally, actor and husband-of–Kelly Ripa Mark Consuelos. "I would say roughly 70 percent of my friends are gay,” estimated Bell as she perched on a banquette in a rainbow T-shirt. (The former Veronica Mars star is locked into voicing the newly renewed Gossip Girl next season, she added as an aside. "It's the best job ever. I can show up for work in my pajamas, and I get to see all the episodes in advance." She says all her girlfriends and many of the other 70 percent are particularly jealous of that last bit.)
Also at the party were political figures like Andrew Cuomo’s secretary, Steve Cohen, former RNC chair and newish gay activist Ken Mehlman, and former first daughter Chelsea Clinton — who brought along husband Marc Mezvinsky for moral support. "I am proud to be here to support [Friendfactor founder Brian Elliot]," she said. "I certainly believe that all of my friends, as Marc and I did, should have the right to marry their best friends."
Clinton continued. "I certainly believe that those of us who are straight cannot expect our gay friends to do this on their own," she said. "And I certainly expect our straight friends to help us achieve that for all New Yorkers, for all Americans, and for all the children that at least Marc and I hope to have someday."