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VIDEO: Former Army Officer Dan Choi and Others Rally at Smithsonian Over Censorship

A group of civil liberties advocates, including former Army officer Dan Choi, gathered outside a Smithsonian Board of Regents meeting yesterday to demand the resignation or removal of the museum’s top official over his role in a censorship scandal.

The group, known as ART+ or ArtPositive, is calling for the ousting of G. Wayne Clough, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, after his December decision to remove a controversial film from the National Portrait Gallery that depicted male nudity and a crucifix with ants crawling on it.

After the film aroused ire from conservatives, including the Catholic League and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Clough immediately removed it from display. The New York Times called that decision “an appalling act of political cowardice.”

“Clough continues to defend these actions and even set the stage for future censorship,” said Bill Dobbs, one of the leaders of ART+. “He has done real damage to the Smithsonian, and the art world has lost confidence in him.”

Campus Progress attended the rally and caught up with Dan Choi to ask why this issue is so important to him:

SOURCE: David Spett

Former Army officer Dan Choi explains why he's protesting the removal of controversial artwork from the museum.

Demonstrators from the People for the American Way protest outside the Smithsonian Institution on Monday, January 31, 2011, in Washington, D.C.:

People for the American Way demonstrators outside Smithsonian

Former Army officer Dan Choi marches outside the Smithsonian with a sign reading, "Clough, Get Off." G. Wayne Clough is the current Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution:

Dan Choic with a Clough sign

“He has done real damage to the Smithsonian, and the art world has lost confidence in him," said Bill Dobbs, one of the lead organizers of ArtPositive:

Bill Dobbs, co-founder of Art Positive

David Spett is the Journalism Network Associate at Campus Progress.

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