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Posted at 07:18 PM ET, 10/02/2011

Human Rights Campaign dinner: President Obama, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mike Bloomberg, Greyson Chance (photos)

Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese with President Obama at the 15th annual HRC dinner at the Washington Convention Center. (Riccardo S. Savi/Getty Images)
Scenes from the Human Rights Campaign dinner: A week after chiding the Congressional Black Caucus to “stop complaining,” President Obama returned Saturday to the Washington Convention Center with a more rah-rah message for the gay-rights crowd. Big cheers when he dinged GOP hopefuls for that moment at a recent debate when some audience members booed a gay soldier’s question. “You want to be commander-in-chief?” Obama said. ”You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States.” (More from the president’s HRC speech.)

Sarah Jessica Parker and NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg (Riccardo S. Savi/Getty Images)
Somewhat less starpower at the 3,300-person dinner than in past years, reports our colleague Ned Martel: Cyndi Lauper (instead of Lady Gaga ), 14-year-old YouTube star Greyson Chance (instead of Ricky Martin ), “Modern Family”’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, back again. . . Sarah Jessica Parker, in strapless black, introduced Mike Bloomberg, in an oversized gray bowtie, honored for his support of gay marriage — a step beyond President Obama, who favors civil unions. Said the NYC mayor: “Near equality is no equality.”Dinner: Chicken and shrimp, but POTUS probably passed: Later that night, he whisked Michelle off to Alexandria for a 19th anniversary dinner at Restaurant Eve.

More photos of the dinner? We’ve got them. . .

Cyndi Lauper performs. (Riccardo S. Savi/Getty Images)

Guests crowd in to shake the president’s hand. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, right, with boyfriend Justin Mikita. (Riccardo S. Savi/Getty Images)

Greyson Chance performs at the HRC dinner. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

From previous years:

Ricky Martin turns Human Rights Campaign dinner into surprise coming-out party, 10/10/10

Lady Gaga, already a gay icon, shows she’s an activist too, 10/12/09

By  |  07:18 PM ET, 10/02/2011

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