Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Milk - The Re-Run

There are the first rumblings of a Sundance Film Festival boycott; not just the boycott of Mormon businesses in Utah advocated by many enraged Gay Rights activists, but an actual wholesale rejection of the esteemed (but increasingly creaky) festival itself.

Last week, Proposition 8 was passed by a vote in California. It reverses the right to civil gay unions and has effectively annulled over 18,000 of them (including the George Takei one) retrospectively.

The perception is that it was largely bankrolled by the Mormon Church (who spent tens of millions of dollars in a well-resourced campaign) has lead to five days of picketing in Hollywood, with Drew Barrymore manning the barricades and Melissa Etheridge announcing that she will refuse to pay income tax until she's "allowed the same rights" as other taxpayers. Mormon entertainers, including Gladys Knight and Brandon Flowers of the Killers, look likely to get an ugly reception at their California gigs in the next few months.

In a recent development, one influential blogger has called for the boycott of the Sundance Film Festival. This has created an angry response from liberal Mormons who point out that an attack on the festival and on Utah tourism in general will only harm the liberal areas and cities of Utah.

This has lead to an impassioned plea from Sundance blogger David Poland who has suggested a Harvey Milk model for boycotting specific businesses. The host hotel for the festival, The Marriott, can expect a downtown in business after it was outed by various bloggers as Mormon-owned. Hotelier Brent Andrus is on record as donating $20,000 for the Prop 8 Campaign.

It's extraordinary to think that a late-arriving Gus Van Sant film, whose gayness has been deliberately downplayed by the studio that made it (nothing sinister there - just a close observation of the way Brokeback Mountain reporting may have damaged its Oscar chances), has suddenly become the template for a whole new political campaign.

With uncanny timing, Harvey Milk's fight against Proposition 6, and his select boycotting of homophobic businesses nearly thirty years ago, looks likely to play itself out all over again.

The official website for Milk is here


John Bisceglia said...

RE: Melissa's taxes ~

More and more of us are WAKING UP, America. No taxation without equality; simple math.

Now the feds will need to repeal DOMA and DADT, grant us FULL equal rights (including marriage), and begin to start viewing our families - OUR FAMILIES - as the tax-paying contributing members of society we are.....well.....we USED to be!

Because if our HOMES, our FAMILIES, our very BELOVED are not acknowledged and valued as other families are legally, whatever we do outside of that home will never be acknowledged and valued legally, such as adopting children, working without discrimination, or serving openly in the military.

FAMILY FIRST. What is more important than FAMILY?

We owe the IRS absolutely NOTHING until equal. NOTHING. Get it?

This is NOT a test.
This is NOT a debate.
This is NOT a vote.
This is definitely NOT a popularity contest.

This IS justice - GAY TAX PROTEST.
Watch Melissa FRI on Oprah!

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