Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
By Cornelius A. Fortune
As cautionary tales go, the documentary “Ballot Measure 9,” might well be a time capsule more relevant today than it was in 1995.
The events depicted in the film echo Michigan’s struggle to rally support against the passing of Proposal 2 in 2004, and provide a kaleidoscopic view into the mid ’90s.
As tech savvy and as “progressive” as we’ve become with a woman and a black man being serious contenders for the White House, we’re still fundamentally struggling with the same issues that plagued us over a decade ago.
This 72-minute exploration (scheduled for release on Jan. 29) into the inner workings of the Ballot Measure 9 is mesmerizing, both for its simplistic approach to the subject matter and its ability to handle the material without preaching at the viewer or cajoling them.
Directed by Heather Lyn MacDonald, and originally released in 1995, “Ballot Measure 9” chronicled the gay rights battle in Oregon that sparked fear, anger, death threats, and a lot of lives being forever changed.
Shot over a nine-month period leading up to the election, examining Measure 9’s attempt to revoke civil rights protections for homosexuals (or those perceived to be gay), the film delivers a lot with very little.
Those already familiar with the outcome will still feel a great deal of dread for the people interviewed. For them, it’s not recorded history; this is their lives captured in real time, and they didn’t know then how any of it would turn out. As a dramatic device, we know what the participant doesn’t, which makes the journey far more important than the destination.
The Oregon Citizen’s Alliance, the group behind the legislation, come off as a bunch of misinformed, hatemongering zealots, as they continually try to make a connection between child abuse and homosexuality – as in homosexuals being more likely to prey on younger minds. More frightening is the idea that giving rights to the LGBT community is akin to taking away the rights of heterosexuals.
New York, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey and Rhode Island are the only states in the country that currently have neither a statute nor a constitutional provisional prohibiting same-sex marriage, which means “Ballot 9” will continue to be a source of inspiration and an educational tool to those who encounter it.
Extras include a commentary with director MacDonald and guests Donna Red Wing, director of the First Freedom First Project at the Interfaith Alliance, and Kathleen Saadat, a LGBT rights activist. There’s also the film’s trailer and some bonus scenes from the cutting room floor.
Thought provoking and provocatively presented, this DVD should be required viewing in every middle and high school class in Michigan and across the country. B+