Redford: argument against Gay Rights Boycott of Sundance ’09.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jan 19, 2009
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It would seem self-defeating, like shooting yourself in the foot after your heart was hacked in two, to boycott one of the few bright spots in Utah—Sundance Film Festival—but that’s just what many gays and gay advocates have resolved to do following the Mormon Church’s activi$m in helping pass Prop 8, which takes away basic human rights from the gay community in California. While the anger is understandable, and one we all should share, hurting Sundance (already overwhelmed by Obama’s Inauguration, this year) is akin to boycotting the only fair-labor factory in a Chinese child-labor town.

Fight injustice wherever we find it—even if in liberal California—that seems obvious. But, too, we must support justice wherever you find it…even, and especially, if it’s in Mormon Utah.




At the Sundance Film Festival’s opening news conference this afternoon, Robert Redford addressed calls by gay rights groups to boycott Utah and, by extension, the festival.

“I think to try to target Sundance is self-defeating. Diversity is what we do. We’ve been there giving full freedom of voice to all kinds for years,” Redford said

The boycott is a response to the Mormon Church’s support of California’s Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage.

Despite the boycott call and the weak economy — leading to speculation that attendance this year, the 25th festival, was going to be low — both Redford and festival director Geoffrey Gilmore seemed upbeat.   

“The festival’s ticket sales are ahead of last year’s by substantial numbers,” Gilmore said.

Journalists packed into the Egyptian Theatre on Main Street in Park City to hear Redford and Gilmore’s remarks. Director Spike Lee, whose documentary “Passing Strange” is playing at Sundance this year, was in the audience too. He seemed to particularly enjoy Redford’s remarks on Barack Obama’s inauguration, which falls in the middle of this year’s festival.

“This may sound weird, but if attendance thins out [beacuse of the inauguration], that won’t bother me,” Redford said. “We can focus on the art here, and I’m just glad to see that the Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight is out.”

Redford was asked if he would accept a role as a much-rumored Cabinet-level secretary of arts and culture, if Obama offered it. Redford was quick to respond…read the rest, here.



About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


One Response to “Redford: argument against Gay Rights Boycott of Sundance ’09.”

  1. Bot says:

    Although not the only religious group opposing same-gender marriage, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) has received a great deal of attention concerning their active opposition to marriages for same gender couples. This website ( seeks to help people understand the Church’s stand on this subject, and on marriage in general.

    Marriage was ordained by God from the very beginning of time. He created two people, a man named Adam and a woman named Eve. They were married by Him, not just during this lifetime, but forever. Together, they were told to begin a family and raise their children together. From the first days of the earth, God set the pattern for family life—a man and a woman, and, if possible, children. This basic family structure creates an appropriate foundation for all other units of society and for an eternal life.

    Mormons teach that gender is an essential part of who we are, and that it was determined long before birth. However, they do not teach that having homosexual inclinations is a sin. Only the practice of homosexuality is a sin. Feelings are not sinful; practice of inappropriate feelings can be.

    Members of the church with homosexual inclinations who choose not to act on them or advocate for the acceptance of such actions can be members of the church in full standing. They may hold any role in the church that may be held by any other unmarried person of his or her gender, which means that most positions are open to them.

    The church teaches its members to love and to respect those with homosexual inclinations, just as they do anyone else, and make it clear that mistreatment is not tolerated. However, this does not mean they feel inappropriate behavior must be condoned. Churches are, by nature, in the business of defining right and wrong. If they refuse to do so, to remind people of God’s teachings on any given moral subject, and to stand for something, they have no real reason to exist.

    With this in mind, the Mormons, as representatives of God, must take a firm stand on anything that affects the sanctity and well-being of the family, one of God’s most sacred creations. This site will help you understand more about this eternally critical subject.

    In order to entirely understand why Mormons object to changing the legal definition of marriage, one must understand a number of critical doctrines of the church. With a complete understanding of these doctrines, while you might still disagree, you will better be able to understand why we feel obligated to fight for the traditional family. Please follow the following path of articles to help you build a foundation for your study.

    Child of God—Mormons know that what you consider to be your defining characteristic has a powerful impact on your life. Mormons with homosexual feelings do not consider same gender attraction to be what defines them. They consider the primary defining factor to be that they are a child of God.

    Gender was determined prior to birth. What this means to Mormons struggling with same-gender attraction.

    Gay Mormons: A summary of what the church believes about homosexuality

    Attitude Toward Trials

    Mormons and Marriage: How Mormons view marriage and why they don’t want the legal definition of marriage changed.

    Mormons and the Same Sex Marriage Battle

    Can Churches Participate in the Political Process?

    Is Polygamy a Valid Gay Marriage Argument?

    The remaining articles on the site ( ) are about basic beliefs of Mormons, for those who want to know more, and they may be read in any order.