Anti-Gays Outside Oscars Say Ledger Will Burn In Hell
A group of Christian demonstrators outside the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles spent Oscar night protesting gay marriage and attacking the memory of Heath Ledger because of his role in “Brokeback Mountain”. When Sean Penn accepted his best actor award for playing gay politician Harvey Milk, he jokingly referred to the industry by thanking, “You commie, homo-loving sons of guns.”
Penn addressed the issue of the outside protesters saying, “For those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight, I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that way of support. We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone.”
Backstage, he dismissed the demonstrators’ ‘Heath in Hell’ placards. “I think if we get used to dismissing these kind of comments rather than commenting on them, we’ll be better off. It’s meaningless jibberish,” he said, expressing his sadness at the “culture of ignorance that has bred this kind of hateful expression, that these people have their signs outside essentially telling you that you’re less than human”.
Dustin Lance Black won for best original screenplay for “Milk”, talked of being raised in a strict Mormon family and then moving to California and learning of Harvey Milk’s life story. Milk, shot dead in 1978, was the first openly gay elected official in California, and that inspired Black to live life as who his is.
“It gave me the hope one day I could live my life openly as who I am and then maybe even I could fall in love and one day get married,” Black said.
“If Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he would want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are ‘less than’ by their churches, by the government or 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. Thank you, God, for giving us Harvey Milk.”
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