Wednesday, November 12, 2008

California Musical Theater Director Resigns, Sparking Controversy

Following up on the post about the gay blacklist, looks like Scott Eckern, artist director of California Musical Theater , has resigned. Many were calling for a boycott of the theater due to Eckern's donation in support of Proposition 8. The inevitable consequence of that is that he had to leave.

You know, I kind of have mixed feelings about this.

For one, I think we've actually passed a brink with Proposition 8. A lot of people are finally pissed off, and rightly so. This is, perhaps, Stonewall 2.0: we're in the midst of the next moment of the civil rights revolution right now, and protests, boycotts, and extreme discomforting of the enemy is called for. I think the magnitude of the reaction is going to surprise many people, and won't be easily quelled. And all this is good. People need to see that supporting these measures IS discrimination, not some kind of "compromise," and they need to be shamed.

I still don't think people quite grasp how big a deal this Proposition 8 business is. It's a little like if, after a New York ruling that schools and public facilities had to be racially integrated, voters in New York had amended their constitution to enforce segregation again. Other states may still be segregated, but you can bet that blacks would be pissed off at the people giving money to take away their rights in one of the few states where blacks had achieved equality.

It's also a little hard to feel sorry for Eckern. So, the guy lost his job. To me, that's nothing compared to what Prop 8 did to the 18,000 MARRIED couples in California that this measure was intended to divorce. People concerned about Eckern's rights should show a little concern for the rights of the 18,000 married couples in California, and the millions of gays around the country (and their children) who's rights are being taken away by a similar kind of mob mentality. I kind of think Eckern has it easy, compared with them.

I also understand if gay artists and writers wouldn't want to work with Eckern after finding out his position. That's their right, and I can't say that I'd be comfortable working with him knowing that he contributed money to Prop 8 either. It'd be a little like, as a Jew, working with someone who was donating money to Hammas. Yeah, you can argue that everyone should be entitled to their opinion. But being open minded doesn't mean you have to be a sap. So, if individual writers or artists quietly decided not to work with Eckern, I wouldn't have a problem with that; however, if all of them publicly threaten to boycott the theater, well, this is in effect the creation of a blacklist.

And so...and yet...I still stand by my feeling that individual careers shouldn't be destroyed over this issue. Even if losing his job kind of seems like only the smallest amount of justice, and hardly even that, compared to the heartache Prop 8 supporters are causing.

It's a fine line, I know, between personal dignity and activism, and allowing for dissenting voices to be heard. In my view, though, it's an important line to remember. Crossing it ultimately does more harm than good.


Kat said...

I read an article yesterday that the Church Of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints' board members are talking with gay/ activists in coming up with alternatives to the term "Marriage". And rightly so. This isn't an issue of discrimination, it's about the fact that "Marriage" is a biblical ideal written in Scripture as being between a man and a woman.

The pro 8 supporters really don't have a problem with the homosexuals rights to be united. That IS their personal choice. If they can come up with an alternative term for their commitment towards one another, other than that which was bound and instituted in the Bible, than by all means, let them be united or joined or stated as domestic partners, even write it into the laws that they as domestic partners have benefits and rights in case of death, health issues and so on.

But don't take a Holy and Biblical term as "What God has joined together" in Holy Matrimony, that being Marriage... again instituted by God.. and make it blasphemous.

I wouldn't go and commit adultery and then expect the biblical laws to be rewritten to suit my lustful act. The same goes with murder or robbery. These are all written in the bible as SINS. Homosexuality is a sin. It's the choice of the homosexual to live that life.. so they shouldn't expect certain of Gods blessings or entitlements be given to them. As in declaring a "Marital" status.

BUT.. governmentally, it can and should be declared something else.. with entitlements.

And it is not the same as discrimination against blacks, hispanics, or other diversities. Being of color is not a sin!

This isn't a discrimination issue!

Anonymous said...

"Being of color is not a sin!"

Ah, but it once was enough to allow our government to discriminate. This is all about our government discriminating and not about some biblical words that are sacred or not. Churches can keep the word marriage, but all references to marriage in all government documents would then have to be changed so that GLBT people will not be singled out and discriminated against by the goverment. Separate but equal hasn't worked for decades.

Besides, what are you afraid of?