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Antigay groups
quiet on Brokeback Mountain

Antigay groups
quiet on Brokeback Mountain

As the groundbreaking gay love story opened in limited release on Friday, antigay Christian groups fail to protest

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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