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Unformatted text preview: Harris 1 On November 27, 1978 Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to ever be elected into California office, and George Moscone, the serving mayor of San Francisco, were murdered in City Hall by Dan White, a city supervisor who had recently lost his job. Following the murders, White was convicted of simple manslaughter for his actions. Now Harvey Milk is noted as one of the most famous homosexuals of all time, prompting numerous dramatizations about him and the events that took place in 1978. Arguably, these dramatizations have had a profound effect on the way same-sex relations are tolerated within politics. I will be using three of these dramatizations; Emily Manns The Execution of Justice, Dustin Lance Blacks Milk, and Patricia Lougherys Dear Harvey to examine the ways in which the dramatizations of Harvey Milks life have implicitly and explicitly impacted peoples views on same-sex tolerance in politics over time. I will begin with a brief description of The Execution of Justice by Emily Mann, which was written in 1984, during a time where not much was understood about homosexuality, particularly in the world of politics. Manns play is a docudrama that through interviews and real-life court proceedings, chronicles the trial of Dan White, the man who murdered Harvey Milk and Dan Moscone. The Execution of Justice explores the unjust context of the trial, including the erroneous Twinkie effect used by the defense, as well as calls upon a chorus of uncalled witnesses which includes people who were close to Harvey and were not allowed to speak during the trial. The anthology entitled Political Stages; Plays That Shaped a Century explains the process that Mann took when writing the piece. She chose not to focus on Milk, Moscone, or even White, and instead focused on the huge amounts of evidence that were not presented in the case, which included those people who were gag-ordered during the trial. Political Stages described these people as voices that had been silenced at the trial but Harris 2 demanded to speak in the theater (Mann, 259). Undoubtedly, their voices were heard through The Execution of Justice , and to audiences that, if it were not for the production of the play, would not have been made aware that there were other aspects of the trial to be told. Moreover, Emily Manns play opened up a line of communication between homosexuals and other groups. Evan Wolfsons article "Winning the Freedom to Marry: Helping Others Understand How Ending Exclusion from Marriage Helps Families and Hurts No One." explains why it is important to communicate with heterosexual communities about the life of homosexuals. He argues that change is occurring regarding same-sex tolerance, because more information is being given to heterosexuals to allow them to open up their minds and consider...
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This note was uploaded on 02/26/2012 for the course THEA 1342 taught by Professor Lisajackson-schebetta during the Fall '10 term at Pittsburgh.
- Fall '10