The Fight To Pardon Thousands Of Gay Men Under ‘Turning’s Law’ Will Not Stop Until Justice Is Done

Movies are meant to influence and empower us and hopefully that’ll change our world for the better. Our films over the years like The Thin Blue Line, My Left Foot, Fahrenheit 9/11, Silver Linings Playbook, Philomena, The Hunting Ground, Citizen Four, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Fruitvale Station and The Crying Game are just a few that spark the conversations we need to be having and motivate the actions we need to take. And while those are just our films, there are so many that other studios have made like Brokeback Mountain, 12 Years a Slave, Slumdog Millionaire, Spotlight, Milk and one gem I saw this year was Disney’s Queen of Katwe with incredible performances by David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o. It was inspirational and deserves to be seen by families everywhere. Speaking your mind has risks and rewards. I’m always happy when our films that cast a light on prejudice, bigotry and ignorance go on to win awards and praise from groups like NAACP, Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD, but that comes with its share of costs. There will always be those who disagree with you, and I’ve had my share like the NRA, some of whose members have come after me on a personal level over the years. Rather than being cynical about the work we do, we should celebrate our directors, screenwriters, actors and filmmakers bringing these issues to the forefront. So I look forward to the discussions throughout this Award season and indeed all year long, not only during the Oscars. If I’ve learned anything from last month’s failed Parliamentary vote, it is this – we all need to remember, myself included, it’s not enough to start the conversation, but we need to follow through – and we will. The Members of Parliament who blocked the vote last month are hopefully about to get a new lesson in parliamentary procedure! Maybe we should show them Mr Smith Goes to Washington – that’s how filibusters move us forward, not set us back.

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