Sean Penn, 'Milk' writer continue talking politics backstage

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Best actor winner Sean Penn extended some of his serious, socially conscious message from the podium to his comments backstage.

"What I mentioned from the stage earlier tonight is to see this culture of ignorance, it breeds this kind of hateful expression," he said. "These people had the [anti-gay] signs outside essentially telling you you're less than human."

Penn added that he would like to tell them "to turn in their hate card and find their better self."

Penn also had some dissenting words for President Obama's stance -- the president has said he opposes gay marriage -- which Penn has said he hopes will change. "I would like to believe that's a political stand right now and not necessarily a future one or a felt one. I don't think any of us, particularly our president, would long be able to take that position because it's not a human luxury. These are human needs, and they will be gotten."

"Milk" screenwriter Dustin Lance Black was not shy about politics when he greeted reporters backstage.

Asked about what he'd like to see from President Obama, he said that "a few things I'd love him to do immediately is, repeal 'don't ask, don't tell' and the Defense of Marriage Act." Then he got broader: "For inspiration, we need to look not at Proposition 8 but look back to 1964. No group has ever won full civil rights in this country going state by state, county by county." But he also couldn't resist a more emotional moment. Shedding a tear, he said, "Harvey gave me his story, and it saved my life."


The Hollywood Reporter

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6 Comments

Thank you Sean, and thank you Dustin. When all citizens are afforded the same rights and priviledges, as well as the responsibility to insure all others are respected for their differing views, then we shall be a truly Great Nation.
When President Obama was on Ellen's show I thought he said it best. Lets give everyone the 1200+ rights that are being denied gays and let the churches determine if they will offer a marriage ceremony. Lets keep Church sepperate from out State, like the founding Fathers intended.
Thanks again. Lets get behind Gavin Newsome if he chooses to run.
The proud Mother of a Married Lesbian daughter.

Unfathomable. Was this unthinkable display a humble Thank You opportunity, or was he on the wrong stage?
I don't view ANY Awards ceremonies anymore.
I'm NOT entertained. I'm NOT ashamed.

you talk about gay rights in america but your friends with cuba leader and hugo chavez they don't allow gays in there country. so u don't know what the hell ur talking about. all ur movies stars should just shut the hell up for once.

So I guess what Penn and Black are saying is that Democracy is only a good thing when it works in their favor. Nevermind that the majority in California and several other states all voted in favor of the propositions banning gay marriage, it's only their minority opinion that is really valid.

Since when was marriage a "right" anyway? It's a privilege. The Constitution makes no mention of marriage at all, and shouldn't. It's not a state matter.

How typical of Penn to make the occasion one for slamming Republicans and their stand against so-called gay marriage. Thank God someone in this country stands WITH GOD for what is right! Sean Penn is a disgrace!

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/bshapiro/2009/02/22/there-it-is/

“Those who saw the signs of hatred, I think it is a good time for those who voted against gay marriage to contemplate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes. We need to have equal rights for everyone.”

Way to win over the opposition, Sean. And you can go to hell, you sanctimonious whiner. Perhaps in your magical little world, speaking to your best friends who already believe in gay marriage about gay marriage counts as courage. Perhaps in your magical little world, hanging out with Saddam and Chavez counts as courage, when they whisk you around town in limos while their citizens are murdered in secret prisons. Out here, the rest of us think you’re just preaching to the crowd, and that you’re an offensive political hack to boot — and not just that, you enable dictators who are guilty of human rights abuses of the worst sort. Nobody gets to get on their high horse about marriage after marrying Madonna.

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