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California Musical Theatre Director Scott Eckern Steps Down

Following revelations of artistic director Scott Eckern's contribution to the campaign to pass Proposition 8 in California and the subsequent announcement from Hairspray composer Marc Shaiman that he would be boycotting any future productions at Sacramento's California Musical Theatre, Eckern has announced he is stepping down. If you work in musical theater, it's not good business to piss off your base.

EckernSaid Eckern: “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. I am disappointed that my personal convictions have cost me the opportunity to do what I love the most.”

Continued Eckern: "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."

Eckern had been with the company for 25 years.

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  1. Buh-Bye Phobe! Don't let the door slam on your worthless ass on the way out!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Nov 12, 2008 3:55:56 PM

  2. My heart bleeds purple kool-aid...

    I love how all the Mormons being caught being "discriminatory" are back pedaling on how they are for equal rights..

    Uhmm, words versus deeds.. I can't recall the last time I was at a rally for Gay Rights that the Church of Latter Day Saints (sic) attended with as much fervor and ca$h as has been piled on the Yes on 8 campaign.

    Oh wait.. yes I can remember it..

    It was.. oh, half past NEVER.

    Posted by: Darren | Nov 12, 2008 3:57:35 PM

  3. Ha! What's funny is he uses the word "family " in his statement—doesn't that ALSO have a "traditional definition" that wingnuts like him often fight to protect? He can go to hell.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Nov 12, 2008 4:03:41 PM

  4. What sort of reaction are The Gays supposed to have? Are we supposed to be fucking awesomely happy that he gave $1000 to the Yes campaign. What a fricking idiot.

    Posted by: homer | Nov 12, 2008 4:05:06 PM

  5. This doesn't make me happy... but I'm not crying, either.

    Posted by: kansastock | Nov 12, 2008 4:05:35 PM

  6. It is unfortunate this has cost him his job. I don't see any other possible outcome from this, however.

    I really don't think those in opposition to gay marriage quite get how over it we, as a community, are. After Stonewall there was still a pervasive culture of the closet. It's taken 40 years, but finally we see a world where the shame of homosexuality simply will not cause members of the gay community to cower in fear.

    And that means when the others say we're not entitled to what we want, we have a voice with which to reply.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Nov 12, 2008 4:05:36 PM

  7. The only person stupider than this idiot is his piece-of-shit sister who didn't disabuse him of the notion that if you vote against our rights, you're a bigot. What dumb box of hair she is!

    I hope you never find work again, douchenozzle!

    Posted by: Sami | Nov 12, 2008 4:07:25 PM

  8. Folks, THIS is the problem: "...I understood that in California domestic partnerships come with the same rights that come with marriage."

    There are many, many, many people who believe that through domestic partnerships/civil unions GLBT people can secure all the rights that heterosexual couples secure through marriage. We have to get the message out that this is not about wanting to walk down the aisle in a church, nor is it about some sort of 'acceptance' of our relationships from the community at large. This is about being protected under the same laws that protect heterosexuals.

    Posted by: peterparker | Nov 12, 2008 4:08:08 PM

  9. I meant disabuse him of the notion that voting against our rights is *not* bigotry. Next time I'll take a deep breath before I post.

    Posted by: Sami | Nov 12, 2008 4:12:03 PM

  10. "I honestly had no idea that this would be the reaction."

    What a dolt.

    Posted by: JohnInManhattan | Nov 12, 2008 4:12:20 PM

  11. That is going to be one awkward Thanksgiving dinner, I think his sister is going to have a very different opinion on what being supportive of her family is.

    Posted by: John M | Nov 12, 2008 4:13:01 PM

  12. What a pussy. Couldn't even stand up for what he believes in, for those oh-so-important family values. Even Larry Craig's got more of a spine than this cretin. Good riddance to bigoted rubbish.

    Posted by: Roscoe | Nov 12, 2008 4:14:07 PM

  13. In a nutshell:

    I took your rights away, democratically (which is alway right)'re upset? Oh, I'm so surprised you've had a human reaction...

    Posted by: protogenes | Nov 12, 2008 4:17:01 PM

  14. Hate is hate. You still don't understand it Mr. Eckern, your religious belief is not and must not be the governing factor in this country. I am so happy that you are reaping the fruit of your misdeeds. you are no hero you are a very hateful person and you cause us so much pain. i wish your family can experience what we are experiencing right now.

    Posted by: roy1983 | Nov 12, 2008 4:19:59 PM

  15. A right-wing Christian running a musical theater? Huh? Hold on there... something is just not adding up. Was he at the Ted Haggard retreat?

    Posted by: Rad | Nov 12, 2008 4:24:03 PM

  16. Now, of course, he could've simply made a donation to the Mormon Church, directing his funds toward the "Yes On 8" campaign, which would have spared him being listed on the (fully legal, standard-operating-procedure) list published by the State. That way, he could have kept his hateful views toward the very people he makes a living off of to himself (and rotted in Hell or wherever Mormons go).

    Posted by: hill_w | Nov 12, 2008 4:26:04 PM

  17. It *only* cost his job? I'm sorry, but you cost me my *rights*. So yeah, we love you, too, douche hole.

    Posted by: Brendan | Nov 12, 2008 4:27:03 PM

  18. This silly old closeted back stabbing "Judas" queen got exactly what was coming to him!

    Silly fool! You can no longer use the LGBT community as your whipping-board to hide from your wife!

    Goodbye.... and may the sweet door of a good job kick you in the ass on the way out!

    Posted by: Godfrey | Nov 12, 2008 4:32:12 PM

  19. This silly old closeted back stabbing "Judas" queen got exactly what was coming to him!

    Silly fool! You can no longer use the LGBT community as your whipping-board to hide from your wife!

    Goodbye.... and may the sweet door of a good job kick you in the ass on the way out!

    Posted by: Godfrey | Nov 12, 2008 4:34:52 PM

  20. As someone said - not happy, but not sad at all either. I'm in the theatre business and I wouldn't have worked with the guy again either - so I don't know what else could be done.

    I am SO done with being patient with people about this. I've spent most of my life being sensitive to not 'pushing' things and going out of my way for the comfort of those around me (family, friends, etc) because of my and their religious background. I've never been to a protest in my life, but I'm planning on going out on the 15th. I'm done. Over it. Had it up to here. I'm glad to see that a lot of others are feeling the same way. I won't associate or do business with anyone who feels the need to express their moral opinion about who I am. At work. At school. On the street. I'm done being anything but loud about the fact that I'm just as much a citizen of this country as they are.

    Posted by: Dan | Nov 12, 2008 4:38:10 PM

  21. As a major donor to CMT and friend to several of the staff members, I applaud Eckern's decision to resign. Now this fine organization can move forward without a cloud hanging over it.

    Eckern had ample opportunity to discuss the potential ramifications of his donation with friends, colleagues and family before acting, but failed to do so.

    Meanwhile, the show goes on. Ironically, the current offering in Sacramento is the touring production of The Color Purple, which celebrates the struggle of a black lesbian in the segregated South.

    Posted by: Allan | Nov 12, 2008 4:50:56 PM

  22. Thing is, this a-hole doesn't even seem to realize that he was discriminating against the very folks who provided material for, acted in and patronized his Company. So, he is a bigot AND an idiot. "Separated but equal" was smacked down long ago. IT wasn't right then and it isn't right now. And I am tired of being patient with bigots and the uninformed. I am 47 f'ing years old and have fought, YES FOUGHT, for any sort of regular life and equal life. I fought each day coming home from school as a group of bullies beat me up (DAILY). I fought for city hood for West Hollywood. I fought for HIV medications by climbing on the NIH. I fought for my lover's treatments as he died of AIDS. I fought to help get a person's HIV status included in the ADA. I fought to provide medical care to an almost totally African American community in Washington DC when all we had to work with was donations. I have fought and fought and FOUGHT. I AM GETTING TIRED OF THIS! And I'm tired of people like this lucky-loo, live with your nose in the air and your brain on pause. Now, just go, Mr. Eckern. Maybe you and your "family" can begin your life again in Utah. Good f'ing riddance.

    And to all you youngsters who are now enjoying the benefits of all us old folks' work and sweat and tears and blood; it is YOUR TURN TO TAKE THE HELM. Read. Talk to elders. Learn about what it took to bring about this somewhat accepting time we now live in...and then demand MORE. Demand EQUALITY. That has always been the mantra and fight. Wake up, take the torch and make this happen.

    Posted by: noteasilyoffended | Nov 12, 2008 5:03:44 PM

  23. He is surprised? He obviously didn't give any thought to it. He voted to make his sister a second class citizen and took away her right to stand as his equal. Good riddance.

    Posted by: Gary | Nov 12, 2008 5:23:36 PM

  24. I wonder if Jeff Whitty would allow him to walk around singing "It sucks to be me" now?

    I like romantic things
    Like musical theater and art.
    And as you know
    I have a hateful heart
    And now I don't have
    A Job!
    It sucks to be me!

    Posted by: Dan B | Nov 12, 2008 5:35:53 PM

  25. Actions have consequences. I'm stunned at the folks that seem to think "I didn't mean it," somehow negates that.

    Posted by: Aman Chaudhary | Nov 12, 2008 5:37:56 PM

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