The film BALLOT MEASURE 9 reports on the events in the US state of Oregon as the so-called "family rights groups" (the Oregon Citizens Alliance = OCA), a "citizens' initiative" on the ballot papers that sought to change the constitutional clause to protect lesbians and gays against discrimination, which would have introduced active discrimination. The campaign had filled newspapers with lies and nonsense free of charge, such as "Homosexuals regularly eat feces" and children can be talked into homosexuality - and thus created an atmosphere of fear and anxiety that ranged from politically motivated vandalism and with increasing violence against lesbians and gays to was accompanied to the murder. To protect their lives,In 1992 there were more reported cases of anti-gay violence in Portland, Oregon,
The measures in Oregon were rejected, but 44 percent of the votes were in favor and the OCA is preparing another anti-homosexual law campaign for 1996.
This is the background to the spread of religious rights and right-wing extremism among politicians and in politics, which in November 1994 led to the US Congress being controlled by the Republican Party for the first time in 40 years. A congress in which Jesse Helms , the notorious anti-gay senator. Is head of the international affairs of the congress. The film shows the downside of the gay and lesbian euphoria of San Francisco, New York and Stonewall ,It also provides background information on the ILGA dispute with the UN, as attempts were made throughout the campaign to equate homosexuality with pedophilia .
Colin de la Motte-Sherman spoke to Heather Lyn MacDonald , who after 15 years as an actress began making films about environmental problems as a “socially conscious lesbian” and environmental activist, including a 1990 film about lesbians and gays in Ukraine - KIEV BLUE . Heather MacDonald describes herself as a "very open lesbian", but not as a lesbian filmmaker. She often deals with human rights issues and in 1992 spent eight months in Oregon shooting the film BALLOT MEASURE 9. The film won the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival (USA 1995).
About a horror film from US reality, live
(1995 interview by Colin de la Motte-Sherman with Heather Lyn MacDonald)
CM-S .: How did you get to make this film?
H. McD .: We wanted to make a film about violence against lesbians and gays in the US as this violence increases. When we looked at the reports, we saw that there was a lot of violence in Oregon because of the upcoming election vote. So I went there and started filming. I thought it was going to be part of a longer documentary, but I realized that I was going to make a film just about what was going on in Oregon
CM-S .: Is it really as frightening as you see it in film?
H. McD.: I think the film shows a lot of reality, but the reality is much more terrifying than the film. I noticed when I talked to gays and lesbians that if you just touched them, they would start to cry. They are emotional wrecks now - most of them anyway. There are lesbian and gay activists who have continued, but a lot of the people are just "destroyed". Many had to go to a psychiatrist after the election, they were so broken. You have had nervous breakdowns. Even today, two years later, people are so mentally wounded that they collapse as soon as the Ballot or what happened then is mentioned.
CM-S.: So why the Oregon anti-homosexual campaign in this sharpness?
H.McD.: It is strange. The right-wing extremists gain power throughout the country. So why in Oregon? Perhaps because there are many in this country fundamentalist Christian groups are. Of course, the violence is not carried out by the Christians, but by skinheads and neo-Nazis .
The northwestern part of the United States is also the center of a neo-Nazi movement. In the States one speaks of the ".5 percent solution" because only 5 percent of the population there are not whites, so the new ". Aryan " Be home country.Many white "survivalists" [who believe that the white race is under threat and must fight for survival - CM-S] have moved there. There are many skinheads there, and they use violence because the "ballot measure 9" initiative created an atmosphere where lesbians and gays are viewed as "inhuman" or "dehumanized". They were denied being human by saying they were perverse, abnormal and unnatural. This gave the skinheads and neo-Nazis the "license", the rectification to fight dehumanization against people to this extent.
CM-S.: What can you do about it?
H. McD.: Right-wing radicalism is not only directed against gays and lesbians. He has a lot more on his agenda. They only started with the homosexuals because we are an easy target. Many people are afraid of us because they don't know who we are - they don't know who we are. Most people in the film have a basic message: they have to come out. You have to come out. They cannot stay in their "closet" (hidden), otherwise people will continue to believe that they do not know anyone who is gay or lesbian because they do not know that their neighbors with whom they have played cards every Saturday for years have, are homosexual. This is important.
Another important page is to make people aware that lesbians and gays were only used as a pretext for radical law [?] In order to take on functions in school committees and at local level. Radical law now controls the Republican Party in 13 states, 25 percent already, and more is expected to fall to the right. Their target is not only homosexuals, they want a fundamental transformation of the “moral” view of society. Basically, they want a theocratic from the United States make religious state. Prayers in schools teaching the creation of the earth by God, no diversity (diversification), only the American, white, male culture is then taught. They have a long agenda.They are currently trying to abolish government grants for the arts. ... There will be no more money for public television, state-supported schools will be abolished - there should only be private schools that are not under public control.
C. MS.: Is it an exaggeration to speak of "creeping fascism "?
H. McD.: In the film someone says that this is a fascist movement. If you consider ONE culture, ONE people and NO tolerance of differences as fascism - because these are their goals - then that's not an exaggeration.
C. MS.: ONE people, the master people!
H. McD.: Right. Many people have said that Initiative 9 is just the tip of the iceberg. A high school student also said, "Who will be the next? The people who are too fat, the Mormons , the Catholics? People who are too long? - And usually the audience claps at this point of the performance.
C. MS.: It is difficult to understand, but since the beginning of the 1980s, fundamentalism in the Arab world has also increased Christian fundamentalism and so on. It's like the lemmings .
H. McD.: Yes. and in the countries of the former SU, where nationalism was controlled by oppression once there was a certain degree of freedom, there is this setback. The anti-Semitism in the former Soviet Union is bad.
C. MS.: But oppression cannot explain the situation in the United States ...
H. McD.: It may be a repeat of the 1950s. I think it's an economic problem. People are afraid of losing their jobs. Whenever this is the case, there is a backlash against immigrants, against black people, against women, against everyone who "takes away your work". A lot has been written about white men's backlash lately. The white men group was in power in the United States from the start. She was the only one to vote, she owned the country and also her wives - they were like movable property and slaves.
All of that changed through the human rights movement of blacks in the 1960s, through the women's movement , and the gay human rights movement.Those who still hold power are afraid for their power, although society is still basically run by white men. You just have to look at the congress: 95 percent of the Senate are men. It is the fear of losing power - although it is an unrealistic fear.
Women will not take power away from men, gays will not abolish heterosexual rights, blacks will not abolish whites. It is an economic fear. "These people will take my work away from me!" "The women shouldn't go to work!" "Throw out the immigrants!" It is the fear of diversity, of the unknown, mixed with the economic climate. If everyone in the United States had a job, I don't think we would have such problems. We have a lot of poverty in the States.
C. MS.: Light at the end of the tunnel?
H. McD.: Many of my friends are more optimistic about the future than I am, but I see ourselves with an even more conservative government and that we are facing an even bigger fight. I think there is not enough connection between the different movements. If the movements of the US Mexicans, blacks, women and those for gay and lesbian human rights would join forces in a human rights movement instead of fighting individually, it would be a powerful coalition and it could stop the wheels of fascism.
But I think; people realize that very slowly.
© 2001 Colin de la Motte-Sherman
RegieHeather Lyn MacDonald
ProduktionsfirmaToots Crackin Productions
Teddy Award GewinnerTEDDY Readers Award
Bilder aus dem Film
1992 Kiev Blue | 2006 Been Rich All My Life