Gift of Brokeback Mountain DVD Offends Idaho Lawmaker

When Idaho State Senator Nicole LeFavour mailed out copies of Ang Lee’s Academy Award winning film, “Brokeback Mountain,” last December, she did so in hopes of helping to educate her fellow lawmakers about the struggles of Idaho’s gay and lesbian community.

One state lawmaker, however, says he was offended.

House Education Committee Chairman Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, who is Catholic, tells The Idaho Statesman that he and his wife had just returned from Christmas Eve Mass when they found the DVD in their mailbox.

“Just the timing of receiving it after Christmas Mass was offensive to both my wife and I. We opened it and my wife just immediately resealed it and asked me if I’d just deliver it back to Nicole,” Nanoni tells The Idaho Statesman.

Nonini, who is known for supporting anti-LGBT legislation such as a 2006 bill that would have required a parent’s signature for students to participate in school clubs and activities, rather then allow Gay-Straight Alliance clubs on campus, calls finding the gift, “bad timing.”

“It’s just our religion and our thoughts and our feelings,” he tells the Idaho Statesman.

Nonini might be using his religion as an excuse, however.

In 2006, Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco, George Niederauer called the film,”very powerful.”

Associate Editor Michael Swan of The Catholic Register, Canada’s oldest and largest national weekly Catholic newspaper, wrote: “It’s no accident that the first half of Brokeback Mountain is filled with lush Christian imagery which recalls Jesus the good shepherd.”

Swan added: “When they [the film’s main characters] come down off the mountain they return to a world capable of murder, a society that demands lies from those who are different and just about everyone else.”

In a state that continuously refuses to afford its LGBT citizens any sort of rights at all, one can’t help but wonder if Nonini realizes the comparison.

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