Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Outrage Hits Home

Filed under: American Life and Society,Film and Entertainment — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 03:08

The Girlfriend ExperienceI finally had the opportunity to see the documentary Outrage (directed by Academy Award nominee Kirby Dick) tonight at the Enzian Theater in Maitland. The movie highlights closeted gay politicians (which are 90% Republican according to the most prominently featured advocate in the film) who actively legislate against progressive laws which promote equality among gay and lesbian Americans. Mountains of evidence are brought to the surface against the common culprits (Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Idaho Senator Larry Craig, and shamed former Representative Mark Foley); but in addition, a large number of other politicians are outed in the film. In addition to the outing of the lawmakers’ sexual orientations is their voting records on gay rights issues–all of which are absolutely abysmal. Perhaps this film couldn’t have been released at a better time.

GLBT rights organizations are up-in-arms against the Obama Administration for its slow response to addressing GLBT issues, particularly elimination of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policies. While I agree Obama needs to put some “pedal to the metal,” I am also willing to give him a little time given the massive amount of “mess” he inherited from our nation’s worst President ever. Still, action speaks louder than words and it’s time to start making some strides here.

In the end, Outrage highlights something research has long supported as evidence–Being OUT brings equality. Even my own doctoral dissertation research showed just how powerful being out can be. The Registered Nurses in my study who personally knew an openly gay or lesbian person as a friend or family member were MUCH less likely to harbor homophobic attitudes, perceptions, and discrimination. In this day and time, there’s simply no acceptable excuse for remaining in the closet. Outrage is an excellent film but hurry! It closes Thursday night at Enzian. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.enzian.org or visit the movie’s official Site @ http://www.outragethemovie.com/

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