There's been a lot of blog chatter about California's odious Proposition 8, which rescinded the right for gays and lesbians to marry in that state. I haven't really posted anything about it, although I was greatly saddened by what transpired. But now the kerfuffle has entered the realm of musical theater, and I feel it would be perfectly appropriate for my blog to address this travesty.
Playbill.com reports that the artistic director of the California Music Theatre, one Scott Eckern, a Mormon, and graduate of Brigham Young University, contributed $1,000 in support of amending the California state constitution to specifically ban gays and lesbians from marrying. Such Broadway luminaries as composer Marc Shaiman, librettist Jeff Whitty, and actress Susan Egan have publicly denounced Eckern's move.
In response, Eckern issued the following apology:
"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," Eckern said in a statement.
He continued, "I definitely do not support any message or treatment of others that is hateful or instills fear…I am deeply sorry for any harm or injury I have caused."
In other words, he's only sorry that he got caught. Based on the portions that I've underlined above, it seems that he still supports the ban, and still believes that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. He says that he supports domestic partnerships, but that's just "Separate But Equal" speak. To Eckern's credit, he has made a $1,000 donation to the Human Rights Campaign, but it's really seeming as thought he only did this to help quell the PR nightmare.
Sorry, Scott. Apology not accepted.
UPDATE: According to The Sacramento Bee, Scott Eckern has resigned from his position as head of the California Music Theater, after 25 years with the organization. While it saddens me that the CMT would lose someone who's been part of its inner workings for so long, it also puzzles me how someone who has worked for so long in a industry that has SOOOOOOO many gay people would say that he "honestly had no idea" that his contribution would create such a furor. Really, Scott? No idea? None whatsoever? That's either completely disingenuous or pretty frickin' clueless.