Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mormon Artistic Director Resigns Over Prop 8

Excerpts of

Gay, Lesbian Artists Sought Boycott Against Venue

The artistic director of the California Musical Theatre resigned Wednesday, after gay and lesbian artists threatened a boycott for his support of a ban on same-sex marriage.

"I am leaving California Musical Theatre after prayerful consideration to protect the organization and to help the healing in the local theatre-going and creative community," Scott Eckern said in a statement.

Campaign records show Eckern contributed $1,000 to a campaign supporting Proposition 8, which wrote a ban on same-sex marriages into the California state Constitution.

In a statement, Eckern said one of his family members is in a same-sex relationship and that he is sad that his personal beliefs were taken with offense:

"I understand that my choice of supporting Proposition 8 has been the cause of many hurt feelings, maybe even betrayal. It was not my intent. I honestly had no idea that this would be the reaction. I chose to act upon my belief that the traditional definition of marriage should be preserved. I support each individual to have rights and access and I understood that in California domestic partnerships come with the same rights that come with marriage. My sister is a lesbian and in a committed domestic partnership relationship. I am loving and supportive of her and her family, and she is loving and supportive of me and my family. 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 have now had many conversations with friends and colleagues, and I am deeply saddened that my personal beliefs and convictions have offended others. My choice to support the Proposition was personal, and does not represent the views and opinions of California Musical Theatre or the many people associated with the organization. I was required by law to identify my employer and occupation at the time of my donation."

Lisa West, regional spokeswoman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said Eckern is a member "in very good standing" and the Mormon church supports his decision to resign.

Eckern said he will be making a $1,000 comparable donation to the Human Rights Campaign.
Read the entire article here.

No comments: