Work in Theater? Hate Gays? Lose Your Job
California Musical Theatre’s artistic director, Scott Eckern, resigned from his post today amid controversy over a $1000 donation he made to the Proposition 8 campaign to ban gay marriage. Actress Susan Egan and writer Marc Shaiman called for a boycott of CMT which responded with this statement, posted on Blog Stage:
Any political action or opinion of Scott Eckern does not represent the views or opinions of California Musical Theatre. We have a long history of appreciation for the LGBT community and are truly grateful for their long-standing support. We acknowledge the dedication, patronage and hard work of the many members of the LGBT community who have played a crucial role in our success. Our only mission is to present quality theatrical productions to enrich the cultural life of the community. We acknowledge the dedication, patronage and hard work of the many members of the LGBT community who have played a crucial role in our success. Our only mission is to present quality theatrical productions to enrich the cultural life of the community.
Eckern, a Mormon, said that he "honestly had no idea" that the contribution would spark such outrage and made the donation to act on his belief as the traditional definition of marriage be preserved. Mormons must tithe 10% of their income to the church. The donations to Yes on 8 were additional donations to the church for their campaign against equal rights.
A 1997 memo from Mormon president Mormon president Gordon Hinckley, suggests joining with the Catholic Church to strike down gay marriage. Says Hinkley:
…the public image of the Catholic Church is higher than our Church. In other words, if we get into this, they are the ones with which to join
I support each individual to have rights and access, and I understand that in California domestic partnerships come with the same rights that come with marriage…I definitely do not support any message or treatment of others that is hateful or instills fear. This is a highly emotional issue and the accusations that have been made against me are simply not true. I am disappointed that my personal convictions have cost me the opportunity to do what I love the most which is to continue enriching the Sacramento arts and theatre community.
He forgot to add "at the expense of the civil rights of others," people he works with on a daily basis and feels don’t deserve equal rights, people who now must fel really creeped out at knowing that beneath the everyday exchanges was this beleif that they are second class citizens.
Oh, and Eckern said his sister is a lesbian in a committed relationship and he loves her and is supportive of her and her family, just as she is of him and his family.
Wow, Thanksgiving is gonna be a really fun event at his house….