PARK CITY, Utah – Star Trek star and gay activist George Takei attacked Utah Governor Gary Herbert at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday, comparing the Utah politician to segregation-era governor George Wallace for standing in the way of a federal ruling to legalize gay marriage.
In an interview with TheWrap on Saturday for a new documentary about his life Takei said: “On Star Trek we have a motto, ‘Resistance is futile,'” referring to the inevitability of the legality of gay marriage.
Herbert, a Republican, pledged to defend Utah’s same-sex marriage ban even after a federal judge overturned it on December 20. And he further inflamed gay activists when he announced that the state would not recognize the 1,000 or so marriages between same sex couples that had taken place before the Supreme Court halted them in early January pending a final ruling.
Takei said: “He reminds me of Governor George Wallace about 50 years who stood in the schoolhouse doorway trying to deny little black girls and little black boys equality in education. That’s what Governor Herbert is trying to do, deny justice. These are people that legally, lawfully got married, and he’s saying No, no, no.”
Takei, 76, is married and came to Sundance with his husband Brad Takei for the opening of “To Be Takei,” a documentary about his life by director Jennifer Kroot, which is screening in the documentary premieres section.
Utah’s position on gay marriage issue is particularly notable given that several movies at the Utah independent film festival are treating the issue of marriage equality this year, including “Love is Strange,” about a longtime gay couple, played by John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, the Takei documentary and “The Case Against 8,” a documentary about the California anti-gay marriage initiative.
The issue is continually in the Utah news, with the latest confusing twist coming on Saturday as the state tax commission said same sex couples could file joint tax returns.
Said Takei: “His own agency the Utah tax commission is going against him, saying they’re going to be behind the federal ruling, so there’s chaos in his own administration.”
“To Be Takei” chronicles the Trekkie star’s unusual life. As a child he was interned in the Japanese-American internment camps of World War Two, but went on to become an integral part of the Star Trek cast as the iconic Hikaru Sulu. Takei turns out to have a sharp wit and keen sense of humor, and adopted social media as his platform in recent years, using it to militate for equal rights for the LGBT community.