Push for Change at Smithsonian

BY Advocate.com Editors

January 30 2011 1:10 PM ET

Following last year's scandal involving a gay artist's video being pulled from the "Hide/Seek" exhibition (pictured) at the Smithsonian, a group is calling for reforms at the government-funded institution.

Responding to complaints from Catholic groups and House speaker John Boehner, the Smithsonian pulled A Fire in My Belly, a video by the late gay artist David Wojnarowicz, from "Hide/Seek." Wojnarowicz's video depicted ants crawling on a crucifix and was a tribute to a former lover who died of AIDS complications.

Led by the National Coalition Against Censorship, numerous arts and civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, sent a letter to the Smithsonian's Board of Regents "asking them to adopt explicit policies that uphold First Amendment principles, as well as an open procedure for responding to complaints, whether coming from the general public or from elected politicians," according to a press release.

The Smithsonian's Board of Regents meets Monday to discuss the "Hide/Seek" controversy.

Tags: World

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