When Joe Biden let it slip on Sunday’s Meet the Press that he’s now completely comfortable with gay people marrying each other, he attributed the nation’s shift on gay rights to the trailblazing gay-themed sitcom Will & Grace. “I think Will & Grace probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody’s ever done so far,” Biden told David Gregory. Last night, during a Joyful Heart Foundation gala at Cipriani Wall Street, Debra Messing, one of the show’s titular stars, told us how it felt to hear the vice-president say that.
“I think it was one of the proudest moments of my entire life, besides the birth of my son,” she told us. “It’s in the top five moments of my lifetime. You know, we knew when we were doing Will & Grace that we were doing something important that was having social effect and political effect, but to have the vice-president of the United States come out in support of equal rights and marriage rights for gay and lesbian people, and to say that our show did more than anything else is an incredibly humbling thing to hear and just makes me feel grateful over and over again that I was lucky enough to have been at the right place at the right time with the right people.”
Speaking of timing, Messing thinks President Obama’s could have been a bit better. “It would have been great,” she mused, if he’d made his big gay-marriage announcement “a couple of days ago, assuming that it may have had an impact on North Carolina.” But still. “The president of the United States has come out clearly in support of equal rights and I think it’s a day to celebrate,” Messing said.