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‘Thank You God for Giving Us Harvey Milk’

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Posted on Feb 23, 2009
Dustin Lance Black

The 81st Academy Awards ceremony was a politics-free affair, except for a predictably superficial nod at the economic collapse and two acceptance speeches for “Milk,” one from screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, the other from best actor Sean Penn.

Dustin Lance Black (complete with Tina Fey/Steve Martin intro):

Transcript of Dustin Lance Black’s speech from Oscar.com:

Oh, my God! This was, um, this was not an easy film to make. First off, I have to thank Cleve Jones and Anne Kronenberg and all the real-life people who shared their stories with me. And, um, Gus Van Sant, Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, James Franco and our entire cast, my producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, everyone at Groundswell and Focus for taking on the challenge of telling this life-saving story. When I was 13 years old, my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas, to California, and I heard the story of Harvey Milk. And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life. It gave me the hope one day I could live my life openly as who I am and then maybe even I could even fall in love and one day get married.

I wanna—I wanna thank my mom, who has always loved me for who I am, even when there was pressure not to. But most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he’d 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. Thank you. And thank you God for giving us Harvey Milk.

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By melpol, February 25, 2009 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

There is a vicious group that claims that they are the only ones that have “Family Values” and all others live in a vacuum.  But all people belong to a family and have “Family Values” even an orphan was once a family member. It is true that many families are called “dysfunctional” but that does not mean that they have no “Family Values”.  There are many reasons for their hardships and most of them are economic. The loss of a job by the main provider is almost sure to make a family dysfunctional. On the other side of the coin if the main provider has a good job the family is almost sure to be functional. There is an old proverb that says: “When poverty comes in the door love flies out the window”. That sums up the idea of “Family Values” and its fiction.

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By KDelphi, February 24, 2009 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

dr wu—I know what you measn. I hate the Awards Shows (I didnt watch all of it) and all the money involved.

But, since they are going to have them anyway. (they wont even cut the costs), I am glad that Milk got some recognition, in a year of people patting themselves on the back for watching a movie about a tragic situation in INdia,(that has, admittedly, existed forever) rather than spending the money to help the people out…I dont know if they have done profit-sharing with the actors yet, but, I do know that the people living in the area do NOT see it as a good thing..

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By dr wu, February 23, 2009 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

Hollywood makes nothing happen.

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By KDelphi, February 23, 2009 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

Bravo to Penn and Black! I was thrilled. I was afraid another award would go to SDM—which, I hear is a good movie, but, Milk deserved it. If you ask me, Hollywood “owes” gays. They wouldnt exist without progressive minded people.

Do you think alot of people in Georgia will see any of these movies?

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By gail, February 23, 2009 at 11:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Milk was the best movie!  These two acceptance speeches are inspiring especially to the Mother of a young gay person.  We are doing a good job with love and hope along this journey to equality.  We need more love!!

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By Stephen Smoliar, February 23, 2009 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

It may be early in the week, but Sean Penn gets my Chutzpah of the Week award to place beside his Oscar!

http://therehearsalstudio.blogspot.com/2009/02/worthy-chutzpah-from-sean-penn.html

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By Blackspeare, February 23, 2009 at 7:54 am Link to this comment

One of the best acceptances speeches ever——clearly right to the point!

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