by Zoe Pollock
The attempt by any individual or group to restrict the content-not only artistic, but cultural, historical, and scientific-that may be shown in an institution that serves the public as a whole is counter not only to the founding American principle of freedom of thought and expression, but also to the spirit of inquiry at the core of the Smithsonian’s mission. Hence we are deeply troubled by the precedent the Institution’s leadership has set with its decision.
But, Green adds:
There’s one passage in the statement that bothers me: “This decision raises crucial questions-for us, for our visitors, artists, museum supporters, and colleagues-about the role and responsibility of publicly supported museums to engage with complex and sometimes sensitive topics.“ Gays and lesbians are not a ’sensitive topic.’ They are humans and Americans. That there have been gays and lesbians who have contributed to our nation’s history and to the history of art is simply part of our story.
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