A little over a week ago we went with several church friends to see the much-acclaimed film Milk, which tells the story of the first openly elected gay politician in the United States, Harvey Milk. It was mesmerizing. I am overjoyed that Sean Penn took home the Best Actor trophy at last night’s Academy Awards. He definitely deserved it.
After Penn gave the usual thank-yous, he offered the following powerful words:
For those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight, I think it’s a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect on their great shame and their shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that support,” Penn said. “We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone.
Milk also won Best Original Screenplay, and I love what the writer had to say during his acceptance speech.
“I think [Milk] would want me to say to all the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight … that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value, and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours.”
It seems that religion and homosexuality will always be inextricably linked, no matter which side of the debate you are on. Although Christianity has historically been one of the biggest opponents to gay rights and personal freedom, watching the film with a group of churchgoers made me feel extremely hopeful for the future.
If you haven’t had the chance to see this film yet, run – don’t walk – to the nearest theater. I guarantee you’ll be deeply moved.