"Gay rights are human rights, as Milk said, and Penn discredits both when he rationalizes illiberal ideologies as 'anti-imperialist' and rushes to the defence of thugs who posture as victims of the West," the New York Post quoted him as saying.
Penn earned himself the ire of the writer after he lavishly praised both Ch?vez and Castro in this month's issue of The Nation. "It's true, Ch'vez may not be a good man. But he may well be a great one," Penn had said. Kirchick's story also included a quote from Human Rights Foundation President Thor Halvorssen.
"That Sean Penn would be honoured by anyone, let alone the gay community, for having stood by a dictator who put gays into concentration camps is mind-boggling," he wrote. Penn's publicist, Mara Buxbaum, came to the actor's aid and stated that the actor had also addressed the issue about gays.
"Kirchick's commentary about Sean Penn's cover story neglects to include that Penn in fact addressed the issue of oppression toward homosexuals in Cuba in his full essay which was printed on the Huffington Post site on December 1," she said. "The Nation printed an adapted excerpt only, but made it clear that the full article was on Huffington. James Kirchick didn't do his homework," she added.