Anti-Gay Westboro Baptist Church Protests the Oscars, Sean Penn Reacts
"For those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight, I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren's eyes if they continue that way of support," Sean Penn said in his acceptance speech for actor in a leading role last night at the Oscars. "We've got to have equal rights for everyone."
Those protesters he's referring to were seen by thousands as they passed by Sunset and Highland. It was a small group from the infamous Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, who own hateful web domains like www.godhatesfags.com. "We're here to warn you," a young woman told an LAist Featured Photos contributor on video. "I'm picketing the Oscars because the entertainment industry in this country is just one of the pieces, one of the institutions, that you're using to promote sin and filth and rebellion against the commendants and standards of God."
Meanwhile, backstage in a room full of reporters, Penn was asked what he would say if had a chance to talk to those protesters. "I'd tell them to turn in their hate card and find their better self, you know. I think that these are largely taught limitations and ignorances," he explained. "It's very sad in a way, because it's a demonstration of such emotional cowardice to be so afraid to be extending the same rights to a fellow man as you would want for yourself."
Penn's also talked about President Obama on gay rights, Harvey Milk and Mickey Rourke. Below is the full transcript...