Where Was “Milk” Before the Election?

I saw Milk last night at my favorite independent theater.

It’s an amazingly powerful movie and I highly recommend you see it as soon as possible.

I saw it with two lesbian friends and a young gay man. When Anita Bryant made her appearance (as historical footage) in the film, he leaned over to me and whispered “I’ve never heard of her.”

Based on that alone, this film should be required viewing for every young LGBT person.

Coming out of the theater, the first thing that came to my mind was “Why wasn’t this released in late October, before the elections?” I sure it would have helped to sway voters in California, Arizona, and Florida – all states that voted to restrict the rights of gays and lesbians.

I understand that the release was timed to the 30th anniversary of Milk’s death, but it seems like the election climate made an earlier release imperative. What marketing executive made decision to keep Milk in the can until after the election? I hope that person is looking for a new line of work.

While the film is making a splash now, I’m reasonably certain it could have helped protect the civil rights of hundreds of thousands of people if it was released before Nov. 4.

As the saying goes, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

And because of that, the film should be required viewing for conservatives and bigots too.

It’s not a celebration of gay culture, or an indoctrination movie, it’s a film about civil rights, protest, and right action.

If the members of the Mormon Church, Knights of Columbus, and other conservative churches and organizations that supported California’s Proposition 8, had reviewed the historical footage of Anita Bryant and John Briggs included in the movie, and seen how hateful, self-righteous, and antiquated they sound now, they might have understood why they’re now being criticized and vilified.

At least they wouldn’t have been surprised by the backlash.

See the movie.

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