.- Same-sex âmarriageâ and homosexual rights advocacy played a part in the Academy Awards when the movie âMilk,â about the murdered San Francisco homosexual politician Harvey Milk, took two Oscars.
Actor Sean Penn, who won Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Milk, said supporters of Californiaâs Proposition 8 should reflect upon their âgreat shameâ while Lance Black, the filmâs writer, claimed that churches, the government, and families had diminished young homosexuals.
Last November, the success of Proposition 8 generated protests from Hollywood after the ballot measure overturned the California Supreme Courtâs decision imposing same-sex âmarriageâ on the state.
Upon receiving his Oscar, Penn commented on some Christians who lined the street in protest of the acceptance of homosexuality near the Kodak Theater, where the Academy Awards ceremony was held.
"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."
Black, after receiving the Oscar for Best Writing in a Screenplay written Directly for the Screen, commented:
"If Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he would want me to say to all the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told they are less than [sic] by the churches, by the government, by their families, 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."
Gary Stein, a writer with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, was critical of Pennâs actions, saying he was âpompously and hypocritically ripping into protesters who were lining the streets near the Oscar show.â
âIn his speech, Penn tried to shame these people, belittle them, and basically shame anybody who might have supported Proposition 8, which passed in California.â
Stein argued that Pennâs own past involvement in activist protests made his comments hypocritical.
âStick to acting, Sean. The hypocrisy in personal politics is showing. And it's not pretty.â