Stars, No on 8 Supporters Turn Out for S.F. Milk Premiere 

No on 8 protesters lined Castro Street, shouting at the top of their lungs for marriage equality as Hollywood gathered for the premiere of Gus Van Sant's Harvey Milk biopic. Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, James Franco, Diego Luna, and Sean Penn were all on hand. Penn, notoriously press-shy, got out of his car and went over to shake hands and give a thumbs-up to the protesters. It was a fitting celebration of a great man's legacy. 

BY Corey Scholibo

October 29 2008 12:00 AM ET

 milk PREMIERE James Franco X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM

Milk producers Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks were there
with their partners. Cohen, who was resplendent
in a '70s-inspired outfit, talked about the
film’s message of hope, relating it to his
hope that his marriage will remain legal.

A portion of the
film is devoted to Milk’s instrumental work in
defeating the Briggs Initiative -- also known as
Proposition 6 -- in 1978, which would have barred
gay people from teaching in California public schools.
Milk's costume designer Danny Glicker had
made up special buttons for the premiere that said "No on
8" in the font and color of the "No on 6" buttons from the
'70s, and the crowd wore them with pride.

With the election
looming, perhaps the most memorable scene from the
screening came when Milk and his operatives are in their
headquarters, certain they were loosing, only to
receive a call that the polls were way off and
the initiative was going to go down 2-to-1.

“It was
very important for us that this film was screened here in
San Francisco before the election,” James
Shamus said. “Not to tie into the election but
to make a stand and say 30 years ago, humanity won. And here
it is 30 years later, and this is what art should do, it
should tell you, whenever you think you’ve won,
it reminds you, you’ve got to keep
fighting.”

As the film ended
with Milk’s famous words “You gotta give
‘em hope,” everyone was allowed for a
moment to hope that Prop. 8 would meet Prop. 6's fate
on Tuesday. 

Tags: film

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