Apr 27, 2007
Legislative offices in Lansing, at least the one I work in, have been getting bombarded with this e-mail from constituents. The letters are word for word exactly the same, and the only thing that is different is the name and address. It shows why conservatives hate drama and the arts because clearly they have no imagination.
1313 Mockingbird Lane
Midland, MI 48160
April 27, 2007
The Honorable State Representative
Michigan House of Representatives
PO Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514
Dear Representative Representative:
The Saginaw News reported April 14th that my family's tax dollars are being used to pay
illegal theater presentation of a play that promotes homosexual activity and includes full-frontal nudity in a public facility not limited to adults only.
Here's how the Saginaw News described it:
"A play 'clearly no community theater north of Detroit would touch' opens a two-weekend run Friday night at Saginaw Valley State University. ..(I)t's also in R-rated territory and suitable only for ages 16 and up...It's subtitled as a 'gay fantasia' and...deals with homosexuality and the HIV/AIDS crisis in its early days. ... It needles Republicans...It also includes full-frontal male nudity and the use of the F-word in every
way possible...'We are the only theater in mid-Michigan that can get
away with it because while we want people to come see this show, we're not tied to ticket sales to survive.' ...(Director Richard) Roberts says the Saginaw/Bay area has 'a huge gay population' that likely will attend the show." See the full article here: http://www.mlive.com/printer/printer.ssf?/base/entertainment-1/117654624374
At a time when Michigan is facing a severe budget deficit, and you're looking opportunities to cut wasteful or abusive use of our state tax dollars, here is a good place to start. Please take whatever steps are required to eliminate the use of my tax dollars to pay for this offensive and perhaps even illegal presentation by a state-funded institution.
Please keep me informed of what you do about this. Thank you.
This trash is apparently an alert from the anti-gay hate group known as the American Family Association (AFA) of Michigan, led by hatemonger Gary Glenn. Livingston County residents are all too familiar with this group’s underhanded tactics because they helped another anti-gay hate group, known as the “Love” PAC - (Livingston Organization for Values in Education), try to ban some similar award-winning books, including one by a Nobel Laureate. It led to an actual investigation by the FBI.
The assault on “Angels in America” is eerily similar. The play won both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony award for Best Play in 1993. The HBO mini-series was the most watched made-for-cable movie in 2003, and it won both the Golden Globe and Emmy for Best Miniseries. But Mr. Glenn and conservatives don’t want you to see it.
The play accurately reflects the situation in the mid-1980s when little was known about the deadly disease medically, including how it was spread and contracted, and it was an instant death sentence that the federal government took little interest in or concern of. The objection by the AFA is because the play accurately portrays homosexual men as real human beings with feelings and families that love them, not because of any language or nudity.
The letter sent to Legislators completely takes the review of the play that ran in the Saginaw News out of context, and the link it provides does not even work. The director was clearly warning people who may be easily offended by real life and death that there is mature content in the play, and they may want to stay away.
I’m happy that the SVSU President is standing his ground and not canceling the play, realizing the university is a place for learning and the free exchange of ideas.
What does the AFA expects to accomplish with all of the letters to Legislators? Only about 37 percent, on average, of Michigan’s public colleges and universities budget’s come from state taxpayer funds, and the rest comes from tuition, grants, fees and alumni.
The Michigan Constitution also directs that the Legislature cannot dictate how those state funds are spent, and the constitution strictly leaves fiscal control up to the autonomous, elected governing boards of the schools.