Oscars 2009: Milk and Slumdog Millionaire win for Best Screenplays

Read my article in The Examiner

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Steve Martin and Tina Fey introduced the nominees for the Best Original Screenplay and read the nominees in script form in what was probably the best intro to nominees in Oscar history.

Original Screenplay winner Dustin Lance Black made a forceful acceptance speech for his win for

“Milk”. Speaking to a gay audience he said, “I want to 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.”

Adapted Screenplay winner, Simon Beaufoy for Slumdog Millionaire, “There are certain places in the universe you never imagine standing. For me it’s the moon, the South Pole, the Miss World podium and here.”

Milk: The Slaying of Harvey Milk Was Never a Gay Hate Crime

Milk is the much anticipated new movie from auteur Gus Van Sant and chronicles the assasination of charismatic Harvey Milk in 1978. Milk was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California. His legacy is still apparent in San Francisco today where Milk is still a hero of the Bay Area.

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On November 27 1978, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were shot and killed by another city supervisor, Dan White. White had recently resigned from his position and wanted his job back and blamed his former colleagues for denying his attempt to rescind his resignation from the board. White was convicted of voluntary manslaughter after using the infamous “Twinkie Defense,” sighting his addiction to sugary foods as a factor of his depression and subsequently a cause of his diminished responsibility in the deaths of these two men. White served just five years in jail and was released in January 1984. He committed suicide the following October 1985.

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