Sunday, January 31, 2010

No "haters" at Sundance

Headline: Few protesters show for Prop. 8 Mormon film at Sundance fest

Despite rumored anti-gay protests, a Sundance Film Festival documentary about the Mormon church's role in a 2008 California political battle over gay marriage played to a friendly audience on Sunday in Park City.

Only about two dozen gay marriage activists chanted — "Separate, church from 8" — in a parking lot outside the premiere of 8: The Mormon Proposition.

The film by Reed Cowan, a former Utah Mormon, contends that the locally based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the driving force behind Proposition 8. The ballot initiative reversed an earlier court decision that legalized gay marriage.

Before the screening, festival director John Cooper had said he expected a small, but loud, group of "haters," might picket the film, but doubted that Mormon church members would be among them.

In fact, no "haters" showed up. And, the only protesters were from the opposite camp. Notwithstanding the implication of the headline, no one protested any one's right to show an anti-Mormon film.

Regardless of your position of the underlying issue (and I support marriage equality), shouldn't the headline have been, "Mormons respect free speech at Sundance fest; Advance agenda through free elections"?

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