Antigay groups
quiet on Brokeback Mountain

As Ang Lee's
groundbreaking gay love story Brokeback Mountain,
starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, opened in
limited release on Friday, right-wing Christian groups
who oppose the film's positive gay theme weren't out in
the streets with picket signs denouncing the movie. Instead,
they said, they were employing the quiet approach in
hopes that the film would simply fall into obscurity.

In a report by
the online magazine, there is a
concerted effort—on both sides—to avoid
turning Brokeback Mountain into a political battle.
Instead of boycotts, picket lines, or enraged letters to the
editor, conservative Christian groups are hoping to
kill the film with silence. Robert Knight, director of
the antigay Culture & Family Institute at
Concerned Women for America, told Salon his
group had made a conscious decision not to campaign
against the film. "People aren't going to walk around
outside theaters with protest signs," Knight said.
"This is not The Last Temptation of the Christ, which
was such an affront that people felt they had to
respond. This is something that could be and should be
ignored. We've actually discussed whether to do
some sort of action. But the consensus was, Why give it that
much credit, or why call attention to it?"

Peter Sprigg,
vice president of the antigay Family Research
Council—the group that a year ago led a
campaign against Kinsey, the biopic about America's
most famous sex researcher—told Salon
that his group came to a similar conclusion. "We
talked about whether we should do something, but at
this point we don't have any plans," Sprigg said.
"Some of these things, we don't want to draw attention to
them. We would almost be doing them a favor if we were
to mount a big campaign—we'd be making a martyr
out of the movie, so to speak. I don't think we want
to fall into that."

Even the
notoriously antigay Focus on the Family, which on Thursday
announced it would stop using Wells Fargo because of the
bank's contributions to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance
Against Defamation, has been mum, indicating that it
would release some sort of statement on the film but
that it had no campaign planned. (

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