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Tell the Smithsonian to Stop Censoring Gay Artists
Petition Background (Preamble):
Ironically, the work was part of an exhibit highlighting the marginalization of gay people, called "Hide/Seek," the first such exhibit in a public museum in the United States. (See www.hideseek.org for more information.)
Museum Officials Caved In to False Charges, Censored Work
The "objectionable" content was 11 seconds of a 4-minute video; the brief imagery within the larger work consisted of a crucifix crawling with ants, an image of the late artist's feelings of abandonment and isolation as he was dying of AIDS in 1980s America.
Anti-gay forces knowingly mischaracterized the work as "an obvious attempt to offend Christians during the Christmas season," even though the exhibit opened in October 2010 and is scheduled to run through February 2011.
Protesters Banned From Museum
When free-speech protesters attempted to restore the art to the museum, they were SILENCED, DETAINED, and BANNED from all Smithsonian facilities. (Watch the protest video here, and read the news coverage here and here.)
Smithsonian Continues Long Tradition of Silencing Gay Americans
Just as gay- and AIDS-related art was censored by the U.S. government in the 1980s, it's still happening today. AND WE REFUSE TO BE MADE INVISIBLE AGAIN.
Tell the Smithsonian -- which is part of the U.S. government -- that there is room in America for ALL people and ALL points of view.
Tell the Smithsonian to stop censoring art!
Therefore, WE CALL ON THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION TO REVERSE ITS CENSORSHIP of gay artist David Wojnarowicz and restore his work, "A Fire in My Belly," to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
The Tell the Smithsonian to Stop Censoring Gay Artists petition to The Smithsonian Institution was written by Mike Blasenstein and is in the category Civil Rights at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags: gay, art, wojnarowicz, ant, ants crucifix, censorship, smithsonian, boehner, gay rights