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Milk

Scribe Dustin Lance Black Wins Oscar

Milk

Scribe Dustin Lance Black Wins Oscar

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Milk scribe Dustin Lance Black took home his first Oscar for Best Original Screenplay Sunday night, taking the opportunity to make a political statement on same-sex marriage with a moving acceptance speech.

Milk scribe Dustin Lance Black took home his first Oscar for Best Original Screenplay Sunday night, taking the opportunity to make a political statement on same-sex marriage with a moving acceptance speech.

"When I was 13 years old, my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas, to California and I heard the story of Harvey Milk," Black said, choking back tears. "And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life, it gave me the hope to one day live my life openly as who I am and that maybe even I could fall in love and one day get married.

"If Harvey Milk were alive today, I think he'd want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian children out there who have been told that they are less than by their churches or by the government or by their families that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures who have value. No matter what anybody tells you, God does love you and that very soon you will have equal rights federally across this great nation of ours."

Black said hearing the story of Harvey Milk was a "lifesaver."

The telecast of the Oscars in India reportedly censored Black's speech. According to Towleroad.com, as Indians celebrated the numerous wins for Slumdog Millionaire , all references to Milk seemed to be cut, including Black's win, and scenes shown in montages for the film.

Homosexuality has been criminalized in India since the 1860s. India is one of about 36 countries where homosexuality is still banned in residual British colonial laws, despite being free from colonial rule for 60 years, according to Human Rights Watch. Police have legal leeway to enforce strict punishment on those who are targeted for being gay or lesbian, including harassment, extortion, arbitrary detention, and forced placement into psychiatric hospitals.

Milk was all but shut out of the Golden Globes last month. The film, one of the year's best reviewed, managed to score only one nomination -- for Sean Penn. Just three years before, Brokeback Mounatin took home four Golden Globes, including Best Picture.

But in an upset, on Oscar night , Brokeback lost to Crash for Best Picture. Director Ang Lee did take home the gold for Best Director, but many in the gay community suggested the loss might be due to a "homophobic" Academy.

Milk trailed The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Slumdog Millionaire in overall nominations, though pre-awards show predictions had Milk running neck in neck with those films in several categories.

Black went into Sunday night's ceremonies the favored winner for penning Milk 's screenplay. (Advocate.com)

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