Politics & Society

Don’t spoil ‘Milk’ by seeing it at a Cinemark theater

In an earlier post about the Prop 8 backlash, I mentioned the fact that the CEO of Cinemark, which runs a chain of theaters, contributed thousands of dollars to the anti-gay Proposition 8 in California and a boycott was in order.

Is this kind of response over-reacting? Is it religious bigotry to fight back against those whose “faith” led them to contribute to the Prop 8 campaign? Should we lovingly nurture them until they see the error of their ways? Tbogg put it well:

The kind of person who contributes money to deny their fellow citizens their civil rights are not someday magically going to be part of the solution: they’re the problem. These are not people to be reasoned with; they’re ignorant, they’re haters and they’re bigots and the only thing people like that understand is power.

So when they stick their noses in other people’s affairs, they forfeit the right to be considered just another “ordinary person”. They’re involved and they would be foolish to expect that those other people in whose private affairs they have meddled wouldn’t return the favor. As they say: you pays your money and you takes your chances.

You don’t get to heaven above by trampling someone else’s heaven on earth.

I don’t and won’t deny these bigots their right to practice their faith, and to be active politically within all legal perimeters. But I am done coddling them, or being silent while they deny me and others our rights. The next time someone from LDS comes to my door, they are going to get a serious earful. (I’ve already started practicing, because I want to make sure my whole list of grievances gets covered before their sorry asses are out of the range of my very loud voice.)

Anyway, among the many events and actions coming out of the passage of Prop 8 is a blacklist of the individuals, organizations and their businesses that contributed to its passage.

Cinemark Theaters is a major target of this blacklist/boycott effort, not just because of the amount of the contribution or the high visibility of the chain, but because of the upcoming release of the Sean Penn film Milk, which is about gay rights hero Harvey Milk. The No Milk for Cinemark campaign makes the very significant connection between the film and the boycott: “Don’t let Harvey Milk’s legacy finance your oppression.” (Facebook group)

As I posted before, the Cinemark theaters in Oklahoma are:

– Cinemark North Hills Cinema 6 (1106 North Hills Shopping Centre)

Broken Arrow
– Cinemark Cinema 8 (3812 S Elm Pl)

Oklahoma City
– Cinemark Tinseltown (6001 Martin Luther King Blvd.)

– Cinemark Movies 8 (6808 S. Memorial)
– Cinemark Tulsa (10802 E 71st St South)
– Cinemark IMAX┬« Theatre (10802 E 71st St South)

If you are outside of Oklahoma, note that their theaters also go by the names Tinseltown, CineArts and Century.

I have previously posted about how much I am looking forward to this film, and how much it means to me, but I will be going to another theater to see it, or waiting for the DVD if no other chain near me screens it. If you want to join me in avoiding Cinemark (until further notice, not just this film, as far as I’m concerned) and/or tell other folks about the boycott, this flyer can help (pdf).

The film is set for wider distribution in the US on Nov. 2 and then nationwide on Dec. 5, which is the earliest we’d see it around here. But no schedules are available that far ahead. I’ll be checking for when and where Milk will be screened in Oklahoma, and post the news here.

Update [2008-11-16 23:45]: Nancy in NYC has a brilliant post about this up at Pam’s House Blend, Oh no you didn’t! (Why it’s not ok to support Prop 8, then hide behind the Constitution), and at Open Left, Paul Rosenberg takes the need to challenge the right-wingnuts on their hypocricy a step further, noting that

Now, however, it’s very clear that letting this stuff slide because it’s so idiotic is simply not an option.


There is word for this sort of total disconnect from reality: psychotic. And that, quite literally, is what we are up against: organized psychosis.


  1. From reading your post and its vitriolic language against fellow Americans who have deeply held religious beliefs against homosexuality and therefore exercise their constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression, it’s readily apparent that tolerance is a one-way street for you and those who are like-minded. Disagree with the outcome all you want, but both California and Oklahoma voters followed the American democratic process in rejecting homosexual marriage. Instead of being angry, hateful, intolerant, and possibly inciting violence against those with whom you disagree, you need to accept the will of the majority, and if you want a different result, seek to change people’s minds through peaceful persuasion.

  2. What language in the post do you consider “vitriolic” Dan? Where does anyone “incite violence?”

    It is an act of violence to deny rights to whole groups of people rights based on a characteristic. It is violence to demean and dehumanize, to ridicule, torment, attack and stigmatize.

    It is not violence to call such behavior wrong, to demand through legal means that it cease, to seek redress and respect.

    On both sides any physical attacks to people or property should be rejected, but merely to stand up for sanity and decency is hardly fomenting violence, regardless of how unhappy it makes the original perpetrator to be called out on their activity, exposed for their bigotry or have their business boycotted.

    Whining and moaning about the (foreseeable) backlash they are now receiving is stupid — they should have thought about the consequences before deciding to legislatively hurt their fellow Americans. If they believe so deeply in their position, they’ll take it like a martyr. But that isn’t the Christian way anymore, it seems.

    Dan is right about one thing, tolerance is a two-way street. When the religious right starts showing some, I’ll be the first to applaud. But up till now, it’s been a one way street, with all the power to design, legislate and impose intolerance going in a pretty obvious direction.

    Another thing, which seems to be a frequent tactic of the newly challenged religious right: claiming impingement of freedom of speech. I wish they would actually read the 1st Amendment once in a while.

    Freedom of speech refers to the right of citizens to be free from government curtailment of their speech/assembly, not from fellow citizens or other institutions. Besides, no one’s freedom to express religious belief has been questioned, challenged or curtailed. They can go right on being hateful bigots if they want to, in their own homes, churches, schools, etc. But they do not control the public sphere. Gays and their allies will no longer allow themselves to be walked on and given second class citizenship.

    Further, the documents founding this country clearly protect the minority from the majority. There is no “majority rule” in this country. I think they teach that in 4th grade.

    Granted, the majority imposes its will through social norms and other non-legislative means. But, throughout our history, the progressive view has always won in the end, and this time won’t be any different.

    As for changing people’s mind through peaceful persuasion, how about those who promoted and voted for this law do that, instead of meddling in other people’s lives and taking away their rights, which has serious consequences in real lives of real Americans.

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