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Mormon Students Can Still Sing 'No One Mourns the Wicked'

On Friday I posted about ex-Mormon Jon Powell's call for artists and musicians to stop licensing their work to groups associated with the Mormon church because of its involvement in the passage of Proposition 8. Powell specifically called on Stephen Schwartz, composer of such musicals as Wicked, Pocahontas, and Godspell, as a singing group at BYU had wanted to license songs from Wicked for use in a show.

SchwartzSchwartz said he would review the group's background and if it was a Mormon 'promotional' group he might comply.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

"'I have not withdrawn the use of my songs by the BYU Young Ambassadors and do not intend to do so,' Schwartz said Monday in an e-mail. 'They are a student singing group.' Nonetheless, he urged all 'fair-minded Mormons to reconsider their position and come to support the right of homosexuals to marry the person they love … I continue to believe that the most important tenet of any religion is 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'' Still, Mormons in New York City continue to feel the heat from friends and colleagues. Some LDS actors and producers have considered removing BYU or the University of Utah from their resumes, rather than face questions about their faith. Others simply keep quiet about their church affiliation in an ironic 'don't ask-don't tell' strategy."

Previously
'Wicked' Protest: Musician Calls on Others to Stop Mormon Licensing [tr]

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Comments

  1. Will someone explain to me why he allowed them to use his
    music? I don't understand. It seems pretty clear he would deny them given how supportive the gay community has been to Broadway.

    Posted by: willy | Dec 16, 2008 2:15:14 PM


  2. BOYCOTT WICKED!

    Posted by: cowen | Dec 16, 2008 2:16:43 PM


  3. don't forget.........Pocahontas, and Godspell!

    Posted by: pete | Dec 16, 2008 2:21:12 PM


  4. For the record, the University of Utah is about as liberal an education as one can get in Utah or anywhere for that matter. It is a state school that prides itself on being the rival of BYU in more than just sports. A person making an assumption about one's faith based on attending that school is an idiot.

    Posted by: BREE | Dec 16, 2008 2:32:43 PM


  5. As I've said before, this is why we can't have change... it's all about the green backs. Money matters and, so far, we've been unable to affect that.

    Posted by: Wayne | Dec 16, 2008 2:45:29 PM


  6. Everything mormons do is about promoting their religion. One of their favorite mantras is: "Every member a missionary." Even things that seem innocuous on the surface, such as the Tabernacle Choir and the Young Ambassadors, is still about promoting mormonism to the world. There is nothing mormon without the word promotion inextricably embedded.

    I was in Young Ambassadors for a year and it was most definitely all about promoting mormonism. Too bad Schwartz can't see that.

    Posted by: Tom Clark | Dec 16, 2008 2:54:56 PM


  7. Everything mormons do is about promoting their religion. One of their favorite mantras is: "Every member a missionary." Even things that seem innocuous on the surface, such as the Tabernacle Choir and the Young Ambassadors, is still about promoting mormonism to the world. There is nothing mormon without the word promotion inextricably embedded.

    I was in Young Ambassadors for a year and it was most definitely all about promoting mormonism. Too bad Schwartz can't see that.

    Posted by: Tom Clark | Dec 16, 2008 2:56:15 PM


  8. I guess Royalty money is more important than discrimation from the LDS. It's his music and he can do whatever he wants with it. It's just a shame he will allow the LDS to perform his stuff.

    Posted by: DairyQueen | Dec 16, 2008 3:10:07 PM


  9. Schwartz = KAPO

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Dec 16, 2008 3:22:49 PM


  10. I love it how the Mormons now have to stay in the closet. Give them a taste of the "homosexual lifestyle" that we chose just for the fun of it.

    At least most of us have never done anything wrong. They, as a group, promoted hated and funneled millions into rescinding rights.

    Posted by: Philip Wester | Dec 16, 2008 3:26:56 PM


  11. I used to date a Young Ambassador from BYU. He was a total bottom.

    Posted by: db | Dec 16, 2008 3:51:17 PM


  12. BYU = Brigham Young University. NOT The University of Utah

    BYU is a privately owned University run by the Mormons.

    I emailed Schwartz this morning with my displeasure over this.

    This was the reply I recieved.

    QUOTE:
    I understand your anger, and believe me, I share it. No one is angrier than I about the passage of Proposition 8 and other anti-gay discriminatory ballot measures.


    But I don't think answering unfairness with unfairness is the solution. Again, after investigation, I determined that the BYU Young Ambassadors are a student singing group. It is not fair, in my opinion, to penalize them for the actions of the leaders of the Mormon church. This decision has nothing to do with money (I don't get paid for their use of the songs) nor fear of offending anyone. It seems to me just as wrong to characterize ALL Mormons as one way as to characterize all gay people, or blacks, or Jews, etc. And it is not as if Mormons were the only people voting for Prop 8, by the way. What about the preponderance of black support, for instance? Should we now withdraw rights from all black singing groups? And so on.


    On the other hand, I agree with you that we mustn't just shrug and turn a blind eye to this discrimination. Without being able to go into detail quite yet, I and others involved with WICKED are launching a major fund-raising effort, to which we are contributing financially as well, to create a fund to help overturn Prop 8, as well as to fight efforts to overturn the right of gay people to marry in Mass. and Connecticut and the executive order of NY's governor Paterson to honor gay marriages from other states. There will be announcements about this, so I ask you to keep this information to yourself for now. But I am, in fact, putting both my money and my time where my mouth is. And I am trying to do it fairly, rationally, and I hope effectively.


    Sincerely, Stephen Schwartz

    I replied.....

    Money is nice isn't it? But ACTIONS speak LOUDER than WORDS

    Schwartz's DIRECT EMAIL ADDY IS:

    schwartz@stephenschwartz.com


    Posted by: Wolf | Dec 16, 2008 4:04:53 PM


  13. Good for you, Wolf. I agree. Schwartz' reply that answering unfairness with unfairness isn't the answer is bullshit. I say that's the only fucking thing they will understand. The time for pacifism is over. If down right rudeness is the only thing these people will understand, I say it's time to start being fucking rude!

    Posted by: Michael W. | Dec 16, 2008 4:10:44 PM


  14. He insists no one's angrier than he is? Fuck you, Pollyanna! I'll show you anger! Haven't you heard about the "No more Mr. Nice Gay" signs? Are we going to have to make one that reads, "No more Mr. Nice Closet Queen"?

    Boycotts, by their nature, hurt some innocents, but when done right can ultimately do good FOR THEM, too. E.g., the boycott of South Africa over apartheid that hurt its people of color, too, yet ultimately helped set them free.

    And the boycott of buses in Montgomery, Alabama, by blacks after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white person hurt most of its black residents, too, as many were dependent upon public transportation to get to work, etc. But they "got it," endured the hardship, the threats, the violence, and white Montgomery changed its ways for its own survival—NOT because anyone was "nice" or "outreaching" to them!

    The same is true here. Boycotting anything BYU and Utah itself will ultimately help gay BYU students and those gays living there.

    It's not been that long ago that BYU forced its gay students to undergo electroshock/anti emetic "therapy" to try to make them straight. It's verboten on campus now but they STILL refuse to demand that all Mormon shrinks, et al., stop it, and devout Mormons are EXPECTED to ONLY see Mormon practitioners.

    BRAVO WOLF!

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Dec 16, 2008 4:45:26 PM


  15. I have to give him some kudos for standing up for academics though. When you start affecting a childrens (no matter the age) education I say that the line needs to be looked at and reviewed at a minimum, which he did. Did he make the right choice? That may take a little bit to discern and be fair at the same time. But you have to give him some credit for being willing to take a hard look and not just cow tow to a whim, or the party line.

    If a boycott is with to much malleability it will die but with to little it will succeed in the wrong ways. Next thing you know we would find Ford and McDonalds blaming the Christian Right for their nationwide boycott against the companies support of Our Community as what is responsible for sending the companies down the drain and looking for a bailout. We still get screwed up the chute in the end.

    Posted by: MRev. Kenneth White, Jnr. | Dec 17, 2008 1:53:00 PM


  16. No he didn't try to do a cockblock by throwing Blacks into the issue!

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Dec 17, 2008 11:36:16 PM


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