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