Scott Eckern–Martyr for Prop 8

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Gay Activists Use Donor List for Targeted Persecution in Sacramento

Scott Eckern, 25 year veteran of the Music Circus performing arts theatre in Sacramento has been forced to resign after being targeted by gay activists who used public records to “out” proposition 8 supporters.  Eckern donated of his time and means to the tune of 1000.00 of his personal savings to the cause.  Though his personal beliefs and efforts on behalf of proposition 8 did not cross into his professional life, he is now being forced to resign his position as his company bows to pressure from the gay community who are looking for revenge in the wake of California’s passage of the gay marriage ban.

Scott Eckern of the Music Circus lost his job today for his beliefs on family.

Scott Eckern of the Music Circus lost his job today for his beliefs on family.

This kind of political bullying is unconscionable.  Pleas from the community on behalf of the longtime director fell on deaf ears as the news spread of the pressure for his resignation.  A letter campaign in support of Eckern was heart felt, but came too late.

Who is next?  Where is the image of love and tolerance now?

California Musical Theatre director steps down

Sacramento Business Journal – November 12, 2008

Scott Eckern, artistic director of the California Musical Theatre, is resigning his post and leaving the organization.

A boycott of the theater was called Tuesday by some in the national arts community when news broke that Eckern contributed $1,000 to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign, which supported the ban on gay marriage.

The measure passed last week.

Scott Eckern said in a prepared release that he chose to express his view through the democratic process, and he was deeply sorry for any harm or injury he cause by doing so.

“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,” he said. “I am disappointed that my personal convictions have cost me the opportunity to do what I love the most.”

The board of directors of the California Musical Theatre on Tuesday morning set an emergency meeting for Tuesday afternoon and then later canceled it. The theater company and its board of directors were trying to find a way to react to a boycott called against its theater operations by gay and lesbian artists.

Eckern, a 25-year veteran of the theater company, took over as artistic director in 2002 following the retirement of Leland Ball. Eckern was also the company’s chief operating officer.

Any political contribution of $1,000 or more requires the donor declare home city and occupation.

The Web site antigayblacklist.com published a list based on data by electiontrack.com of anyone who contributed more than $1,000 to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign. That disclosure led to a surge of calls for a boycott on the theater company, which puts on Music Circus shows, presents the Broadway Series at the Community Center Theatre and is just launching the musical show “Forever Plaid” at the new K Street performing arts venue Cosmopolitan Cabaret.

“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,” he said in his statement. “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.”

He goes on to say 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.”

The theater company’s board of directors released a statement about Eckern’s resignation: “California Musical Theatre is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated only to the mission of providing quality theatrical productions. At no time does it involve itself in political issues or ever impinge on the rights of its employees to engage in political activities of their choice. The views and opinions of its employees do not necessarily represent those of California Musical Theatre.”

The board said it appreciated Eckern’s years of service.

See the story from bizjournal here: http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/mobile/stories/2008/11/10/daily40.html

See the story from KCRA here: http://www.kcra.com/news/17964159/detail.html#

Scott Eckern Supporters came out in support of his right to private opinion yesterday evening:

Follow up story here:  http://www.sacbee.com/102/story/1392388.html

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49 Comments

  1. beetlebabee said,

    November 12, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    rlewis@calmt.com
    Dear Mr. Lewis,

    I am shocked and outraged at the Music Circus for bowing to pressure from the gay community. A man’s life is being ruined for his personal political beliefs. Donor lists are being used to bully and intimidate. That is wrong. I’m surprised that a company like yours would bow to these unconscionable efforts. You have replaced one alienated group with another and have made yourselves a bigger target. It would have been better to take your own moral stand than to twist and blow in the wind.

    http://www.beetlebabee.wordpress.com

  2. beetlebabee said,

    November 12, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Dear Friends,
    I can’t begin to tell you how upset I feel about Scott Eckern. Here’s a copy of the e-mail I sent.
    Marcie

    I cannot begin to express my shock and outrage over the forced resignation of Scott Eckern. I am just so sad. The California Musical Theatre has brought my family great joy over the past twenty-three years. The late Bob Smart who served so faithfully as treasurer of this company was one of our family’s dearest friends. I keep thinking of Bob and and his wife, Karen, realizing that they would be in the same situaltion if they still lived–torn between thier deepest religious beliefs and those they admire and respect within thier professional community. Such cruelty to Scott Eckern by those who supposedly champion civil rights is unthinkable. In the past, I have had great respect for the theatrical gifts of those in the gay community. I cannot understand why those whom I respected so much would target an individual like this. I am certain that Scott Eckern would never have treated another individual in this manner. Perhaps this too is a result of the depth of his personal religious beliefs. There is a higher way of thinking, of being. Scott Eckern and the late Bob Smart are examples of this. They served and loved people regardless of their sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs. They brought joy to others through the amazing medium of theatre. Should they have to sacrifice thier personal belief in the definition of marriage, the belief at the core of their deepest religious sentiments? For me, this is the saddest imaginable day for California Musical Theatre.

  3. Scott M. said,

    November 12, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Notice the blatant lie, after forcing the resignation:
    At no time does it involve itself in political issues or ever impinge on the rights of its employees to engage in political activities of their choice.

  4. mommyspy said,

    November 12, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Mr. Lewis, I heard on the news that Mr. Eckhern of your organization is being harrassed because of his support of proposition 8. Please do not give in to the pressure to punish a person for exercising his right as a Californian to have political thought and vote as he pleases. Let it be known that there are MANY in northern California that would support the Music Circus should you decide to stand up to the bully tactics of the NO on 8 crowd.

    Wilton, California

  5. James R. said,

    November 12, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    The gay community simply stated, en masse, that they chose not support a business with an executive, Mr. Eckern, who chose not support them. This is America and history has shown this is one of the only way to be heard, especially as we now disregard individual rights and let the majority decide THE RIGHTS of a group in the minority, and legislate how people can choose to live their own lives. For a change, the gay community and their supporters WERE heard and Mr. Eckern has now chosen to resign due to the pressures. He was not fired. Would YOU want to work for or with a man who felt that you could not be married and worked to strip you of that right but indicates he would “tolerate” you? Tolerate is an awfully condescending word that people throw at the gay community as though it is a gift.

  6. Connor said,

    November 12, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    And so it begins.

    The company is well within its rights to hire and fire whom it pleases, but what kind of statement are they making when they expressly and solely choose to affiliate with people of the same political agenda? Those who compare this issue to the civil rights campaign of black individuals are in effect supporting modern segregation by only supporting businesses that publicly and exclusively support their exact world view. How ludicrous!

    I guess this is the price of doing business with Babylon…

  7. Becky said,

    November 12, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Though I was horrified by the passage of Prop 8, and though I donated my time and energy to the No on 8 campaign, I am deeply disturbed that a private citizen is being punished for his beliefs. I disagree with him, but I certainly respect his right to his own personal convictions.
    I do believe, however, that any business that donated to the Yes on 8 campaign deserves to be boycotted by its gay customers, as well as those customers who, like me, are straight but believe in equal rights for all our citizens.

  8. Sacramento said,

    November 12, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Mr. Lewis,

    My family has enjoyed the Music Circus over the years. After reading the resignation of Scott Eckhern, we will reconsider supporting Music Circus. These are not the words of a hateful man, but a man who is persecuted for exercising his constitutional rights. No one should be targeted for their beliefs. The hate from the “No on 8″ campaign is outrageous. Churches are being defiled, good people are being attacked verbally and physically and now an innocent man loses his job!? Why are you letting this happen to this good man? Sometimes it’s hard to stand up for what’s right. Please make this right!

    Sincerely,

    Devon

  9. beetlebabee said,

    November 12, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    James R. —Would you feel the same if the man had been fired for being gay?

  10. Eric said,

    November 12, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    In freedom of speech, much like racism, there exists a double standard.- at least from the majority of liberals. They will defend freedom of speech so long as they agree, but if they do not agree or like in this case if they lose then they take it to the courts( Prop 187 in CA 1994, 2000 and 2004 presidential election, now prop 8) In this case 52% of the voters said that they felt that marriage needed to be defined as b/t a man and a woman but apparently democracy only works when they agree with the majority decision. If they disagree then it must be unconstitutional.

  11. beetlebabee said,

    November 12, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    “To try and counter the negative publicity, Eckern has given an equal donation to the radical homosexual group Human Rights Campaign. “

    This poor guy! Have you seen him out on TV trying to appease the Gay Rights Activists who are taking his job away? He even donated the same amount to their extremists. It’s just shocking. I feel for him and his family. It could be any of us. This is truly wrong.

  12. jenmarie said,

    November 12, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Thanks beetlebabee for this much needed post! It is extremely wrong that he would be persecuted in this way. If it was the other way around nothing would have been said/done against him! He should be allowed to donate his time and money wherever he wishes! It’s a free country. Well, it used to be anyways.

  13. B-Media said,

    November 12, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    I know this man personally. This has upset my whole family. It is ridiculous that he has to apologize for his personal views. He was forced to list his employer, and he had the decency to help his employer’s reputation by sacrificing his own.

    He’s a great man and I want to see all free-speech loving Americans to rally to his cause. It’s already evident that the liberal media is complicit in this witch hunt.

    B-Media

  14. ivoteyesonprop8 said,

    November 12, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    This is so sad. I don’t know the legalities of the donor list, but I really wish that they could have just kept it all private somehow. I’m proud of him for not backing down and for standing up for his beliefs, even if it costs him his job. I wonder if there will be any workplace harassment suits filed? This man probably isn’t the only one suffering because of his contribution to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign. Thanks for posting on my blog!!!!

  15. Carlotta said,

    November 12, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    It’s a crying shame for the persecution, intolerance and plain hypocrisy of gays. But the gay movement is truly showing their very ugly side in targeting donors of Prop 8, churches, and now reading how gay groups are acting up during church services.

    Sadly, the ugliness and persecution is just beginning.

  16. cooku said,

    November 12, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    um . . . people . . . he is NOT the one being persecuted. he donated money to a proposition that aimed to (and succeeded at) persecuting the LGBT community. did you expect them to take this hatred without reaction? color it any way you want, but prop 8 was nothing but anti-gay. period. his actions persecuted an entire minority community . . . and you all are crying because he think he is being persecuted? hypocrisy.

  17. beetlebabee said,

    November 12, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Cooku, would you feel the same if he lost his job for any other personal belief? Turn the tables around. Would you be so eager to condemn if he lost his job because he was gay?

  18. beetlebabee said,

    November 12, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    You might enjoy this article by John Schroeder who is a well known Evangelical writer and blogger. He writes his feelings in this article (from his Article 6 Blog) on the Mormons, Prop 8.

    What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been

    Posted by: John Schroeder at 07:09 am, November 6th 2008

    Proposition 8 is now a part of the California constitution!

    That is probably the best news from an otherwise difficult election for conservatives and Republicans. In very large part, we Evangelicals must thank our Mormon cousins for that fact. They, along with our Catholic brethren, were better organized than us and that provided a base from which we could ALL work together to get this job done. What more, as we have chronicled here, Mormons took the brunt of the abuse, derision, and even threats of physical harm that came with this effort.

    And like us, they have given thanks to the Almighty that is ultimately in control, even if their understanding of that Almighty is a bit different than ours. I cannot help but wonder how much more thankful we ALL might be today if we had been more willing to embrace these religious cousins a few months ago – but alas, politics is always about governing today and looking forward to the next election.

    Said John Mark Reynolds:

    In the battle for the family, however, traditional Christians have no better friends than the Mormon faithful. It would be wrong if that support were taken for granted. We are intolerant of the false attacks on Mormon faith and family. We stand with our Mormon friends in their right to express their views on the public square. We celebrate the areas, such as family values, where we agree. A heart felt thank you may not win points from other friends who demand one hundred percent agreement from their allies, but it is the decent and proper thing to do.

    Thank you to our Mormon friends and allies!

  19. FedUpinTurlock said,

    November 13, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Can someone please point out the wording in the US Constitution that states anything about Marriage being a Constitutional Right? How amazing is it that Gays & Lesbians have the nerve to compare their efforts, their plight with that of slavery? They have repeatedly tried to change the definition of words of the English language to suit themselves, take the word GAY which should mean–> “happily excited : merry b: keenly alive and exuberant : having or inducing high spirits ” or–> “bright , lively b: brilliant in color or finally–> “given to social pleasures”. Now they would like to change the meaning & definition of MARRIAGE which has been around for thousands of years, it actually originates before the 14th Century and the original definition is–>the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law. NOBODY has a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to change the definition of a word to suit their own personal wants & desires. GET A CLUE! The PEOPLE OF CALIFORNIA VOTED 2X TO KEEP MARRIAGE BETWEEN A MAN & A WOMAN! QUIT THREATENING PEOPLE, BUSINESSES AND CHURCHES FOR STANDING UP FOR THEIR RIGHTS! NO ON 8 SUPPORTERS ARE COMPLETE HYPOCRITES!

  20. Woman on the Street said,

    November 13, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Music Circus is going to feel a big hit as many season ticket holders are not renewing or cancelling pre-ordered tickets as well as non-season ticket holders. I personally know several people that have already cancelled. Music Circus should have taken the high ground in the first place and kept political discrimination out of their forum. A boycott from a small group of angry people is less harming than the alienation of their audience. This is really such a sad situation. I hope that Music Circus changes it’s hypocritical tune.

  21. Woman on the Street said,

    November 13, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Cooku — you are reacting in a totally emotional way…. check your facts and you will see that prop 8 isn’t about gay hate. I voted yes and I have a brother in law that is gay. That doesn’t mean because I voted yes that I hate him… that’s absurd to think that. I love my family members each the same, prop 8 is a vote for traditional marriage, between a man and a woman. Just because I believe in traditional marriage doesn’t make me a gay hater. Unchecked emotional reactions from no on 8 supporters are what’s driving all the hate and the vandalism going on now. It’s totally hypocritical for the LBGT community to use these boycott tactics and demand tolerance in return. The LBGT community should not discriminate against others, respect others and be respected.

  22. beetlebabee said,

    November 13, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Supporters rally behind departed theater director
    By Jennifer Garza
    Published: Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008

    More than 100 people gathered outside the Music Circus today to support Scott Eckern, the theater director who resigned amid controversy over his donation to support the ban on same-sex marriage.

    Carrying signs that read “You Made a Circus Out of Freedom” and “A Sad Day for Sacramento Theater,” supporters from throughout the region showed up for the hastily arranged rally.

    Many of those gathered say Eckern was treated unfairly.

    “This is a witch-hunt,” said Lance Christensen, who says he’s a regular patron of the theater and took off work to show his support for Eckern. “This man has devoted 25 years of his life to theater in Sacramento.”

    Eckern resigned from his post as artistic director of the California Musical Theater this morning after harsh reaction to news he donated $1,000 to the campaign to support Proposition 8.

    http://www.sacbee.com/102/story/1392388.html

  23. beetlebabee said,

    November 13, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Woman on the street–

    I also have information that the Music Circus’ largest supporters are re-thinking their support of Music Circus. Their business buys thousands of tickets for Music Circus every year, and has rescinded the orders they had previously arranged for in protest of this man losing his job and being blacklisted by the gay community for his private opinion.

  24. debbie said,

    November 13, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    In all the reading I have done since the passage of prop 8, it sure seems like the “hate” really is one-sided. It is near impossible to have any kind of civil dialougewith the gay community.
    I conitnue to be surprised by the antics of of the NO group. Things said and done that if the Yes group were party to, would be all over the place. Is there negative that the Yes group is doing and I don’t know about? Did I do anything, besides voting, to incur the wrath of the gay population?

    I also feel like I’m in the Dr Suess book with the stars and no stars.
    Thanks for providing a sane place.

  25. Marylyn Murray said,

    November 13, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    I cannot believe that Scott Eckern has been forced to resign from his job at the Music Circus Theatre in Sacramento because he expressed his personal views with his “yes” vote on Prop 8. People will be afraid to express their opinions with their votes for fear of uprisings and loss of jobs. Isn’t voting one of our Democratic privileges? The votes were counted in favor of the passage of prop 8, but now we have to suffer the consequences of our vote. Shame on those people who can’t accept the results and shame, shame on the Music Circus. They won’t ever get any of my business!

  26. beetlebabee said,

    November 13, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Margorie Christoffersen is the next P8 Martyr….this time for only a hundred dollar donation.

    http://beetlebabee.wordpress.com/2008/11/13/gay-rights-vigilantes/

  27. FunMe said,

    November 13, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    What if I voted NO to a marriage between a man and a woman?

    Would you be happy?
    I doubt it.

    Those who say they know someone gay yet they treat them to UNEQUAL treatment by TAKING AWAY marriage equality should be ashamed of themselves.

  28. Eutychus said,

    November 13, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    Those who would make this an equality issue fundamentally misunderstand the issue. This is not about unequal treatment. No one is denying a right of marriage to anyone. What is being denied are the attempts to REDEFINE marriage. When marriage is redefined, there are many negative ramifications to society even aside from any religious questions (as important as those are). Though worth noting that every major religion (Jewish, Christian and Muslim) condemns the practice, there are economic considerations as well as societal impacts to family and communities that stretch far beyond a nearsighted approach to the matter

  29. J W said,

    November 13, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    If all freedom loving people ban together to fight the terrorism of the homosexual community and those who support them in their quest to destroy the our democratic form of government and redefine the Constitution, businesses would see the light.

    I think we should black list all businesses that promote homosexual messages in advertising, movies, the arts, and in their human resource departments.

    Homosexuals may be very loud, but they are a small minority of voters and buyers.

  30. James R. said,

    November 14, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    Beetlebabee:
    I’d feel horrible if someone was fired for being gay, even though in many states that is still legal. But that is beside the point.

    Eckern wasn’t fired, but his political donation did cause many in the LGBT community and their supporters to react indicating they would not work for or patronize CMT under his leadership. According to Eckern’s own statement he resigned. CMT didn’t fire him, as is frequently misstated here and elsewhere, but he resigned. CMT could have continued to perform their productions with him as their Artistic Director, just not with the full participation of this segment of their employees and audience. Eckern seemed to indicate in his statement a desire for the theatre to continue to flourish and retain this segment of its audience and staff and seemed to feel that he had damaged a relationship with that community that would not allow this. I would wager many people commenting on this issue are not a part of the professional theatre community and do not understand the level of acceptance and trust inherent in this community. This matter is felt very deeply and personally and this trust and respect was felt to be violated by Eckern. I myself indicated to CMT that I would not work again at the theatre or patronize it while Eckern was at the helm, as is my choice. I did not demand or request that he be fired, simply indicated my free choice not to work there. Choice.

    Yes, I am angry at the outcome of this whole Prop 8 issue, and wager that you would be angry, too, if you had just had one of your civil rights eliminated. The fact that someone I know and who had by his past behavior indicated we were all equal had now actively supported elimination of my rights resulted in the creation of an environment where I would not work. Doing so would make me a hypocrite. And yes, this was a civil right, granted in the California constitution by the courts in June, whether you want to accept that or not. If it was not already a right in California, why was the bill titled “the elimination of same sex marriage RIGHTS” act.

    Worth noting, by the way, I am not a mob, I did not threaten anyone and I did not get violent. I simply chose not to pursue work or to patronize CMT while Eckern was working their. I have had a professional relationship with him and that is my right. Again, just my choice.

    People choose not to work for or spend their money at companies on both sides of this issue and many other issues in America, most famously on the other side were the organized boycotts of Disney for supporting gay rights. On whichever side these boycotts occur, you mischaracterize the participants by calling them a lynch mob unless it somehow turns violent. All this represents is Americans expressing their freedom to spend or not spend their money where they choose. I see lots of people here indicating a similar response now that Eckern has resigned, and that is their choice. I support their right to make that choice. See how that works?

  31. beetlebabee said,

    November 14, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    James, there are many things that we tolerate about others. No one is the same in every way. By implying that he had to agree with you in order to be tolerant, you cross the line from tolerance to intolerance.

    You are free to exercise your free choice in choosing not to work there, but rest assured, the nation is watching and seeing the face of this community’s brand of tolerance. Watching a 25 year veteran lose his job over a personal opinion and contribution is not high on the list of popular moves.

    The gay community has lost in one week what it took years to build….confidence and good will from their neighbors.

  32. james said,

    November 14, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    He should have been fired for being mentally handicapped. Come on, “I honestly had no idea that this would be the reaction.” If people voted to invalidate his marriage how would he have responded. Get a grip Scott, actions have consequences. Man up and face them or don’t do it in the first place.

  33. beetlebabee said,

    November 14, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    He should have been fired for being mentally handicapped.

    Ouch. Did you really say that?

  34. James R. said,

    November 14, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    First of all, Beetlebabee, I’m not looking to be “tolerated” that is one of the most condescending phrases used in the whole gay/straight dialogue.

    We don’t need to be “tolerating” others, but “accepting” that, as you say, no one is the same in every way, and “accepting” that people have rights even if we don’t believe what they believe. I am NOT saying you have to agree with me, but accept my right to exist and accept that as humans and Americans, I am entitled to the same rights as you. No single group’s religious beliefs should be forced to set the rules for people who do not share those same religious beliefs. Even if they are greater in numbers and can overwhelm the other group in a popular vote. That is WHY these things have been decided in courts. I also remind you that the majority opinion in that court ruling were conservative judges, interpreting the law even though it might not reflect their personal ideology

    And your statement about the gay community having lost in one week “confidence and good will from their neighbors” that it took “years to build” is kind of ironic. In what world is “good will” reflected by stripping away rights from people? And in what world can you only maintain confidence and good will if you keep quiet and don’t stand up for what you believe in?

  35. beetlebabee said,

    November 14, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    How does what Scott Eckern did apply to your sense of wronged-ness?

    Did his monetary contribution tell you you don’t have a right to exist?
    Did his monetary contribution tell you that you weren’t human?
    ….that you weren’t American?

    This election was not a referendum on you, your lifestyle or the companions you choose to keep. It was to decide the definition of a word. One word. Civil unions were not made any less by this election, or by this man’s contribution.

    However, your personal acts and those of others in the gay community have damaged relationships. The associated temper tantrums Californians are now experiencing are not because of the word, but because of what they wanted it to symbolize. It didn’t symbolize rights, it symbolized moral acceptance, which is a far cry from tolerance.

    Tolerance is two different ideas living side by side. Scott Eckern worked side by side with you. He was living tolerance. He probably knew the personal beliefs of those he worked with and he was willing to work with you anyway, but as soon as you knew HIS personal beliefs, you walked away.

    That shows plenty.

  36. James R. said,

    November 14, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    My last response was a reply to your statements, and my feelings about the whole issue. My comments specific to Eckern were elaborated previously and are based on personal and professional relationship, but I will restate that I did not ask or demand his resignation, I made a choice not to work with him again. That is my right. I do understand that he can’t be fired for how he feels and votes. Really I do. But I can act on my convictions. It’s all I have left in this fight right now.

    And if you couldn’t understand my meaning (re: existing, human, and American) I will spell it out: My RIGHT TO EXIST AS A GAY MARRIED MALE AMERICAN was just stripped away in California. And this proposition was a referendum on my life (not life”style”) I had something, a right, and it was ELIMINATED. ELIMINATED!

    Would you choose to work with someone who acted like your friend, and then actively campaigned for and voted to ELIMINATE your marriage????? Just void it! I mean, seriously, think about it. If I somehow could say you and your spouse should no longer married, and I could really campaign and vote to make it happen, would you work with me and be my friend? Pretty please?

  37. beetlebabee said,

    November 14, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    I understand that there is angst there. I just find it interesting that he could work next to you just fine, but you couldn’t work next to him.

  38. November 14, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    [...] First we heard about Scott Eckern….gave $1000 to proposition 8….was boycotted, lost his … [...]

  39. James R. said,

    November 15, 2008 at 1:32 am

    I wasn’t actively campaigning to remove his rights. He was actively campaigning to remove mine. You don’t get that. I understand. It’s about feelings. Feelings that you don’t understand. I get that we aren’t in the same place….

  40. beetlebabee said,

    November 15, 2008 at 1:46 am

    He was actively working to remove your rights…….that’s pretty heavy language. But what rights were removed really? You said he worked to take away your right to exist as a gay married male American. Now you exist as a gay civil unioned male American. What changed besides the name? The gay part is the same, the male part, the American part, even the union part….you’re still with the one you love, it’s just the name that’s different. Why is the name such a big deal to you? I know why it’s a big deal to me, Marriage has always been the name for heterosexual unions….but what is it to you? I’m trying to understand this rights thing.

  41. lahona said,

    November 16, 2008 at 3:00 am

    Marriage is a civil right, and marriage is defined as a between man and woman. What is under debate at this time is not wether marriage is a civil right, it is on the definition of marriage. At this time, as of Nov. 4th, A man or woman marrying someone of the same sex does not fit the definition of marriage and therefore is not a civil right. Homosexuals have another institution that has been given to them that gives them every right granted to married status holders in california its called civil unions. In california equality exists at this time under the law for those who are married and those who are in civil unions. When it comes to rights, there is no difference between the two.

  42. James R. said,

    November 17, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    Lahona, that is WHY people are upset. Because they had that civil right, from June until November 4th, and then it became a lost Civil Right that was stripped away by a majority vote. Civil Rights for a smaller group are not supposed to be eliminated by popular vote. The smaller group can never win a popular vote which is why we have the courts.

    and Beetle and L…the other reason the gay community is upset is because Civil Unions DO NOT offer ALL of the same protections as marriage. I hear that SO much, but you need to read before you say that. it simply isn’t true.

    I know lots of people are hung up on the “word”, and the “definition” of marriage. I personally am not, but I get that there are those on both sides who are. However, you don’t fully understand the issue if you continue to insist that all of the rights are equal. There are more than 1000 rights afforded married couples that gay couples do not have under civil unions. Included in these are inheritance issues, social security survivor benefits, insurance, tax filing statuses, property transferance and a host of others. Also, Civil Unions don’t automatically transfer to other states. A marriage is more likely too. How would you like to have to get married again if you moved to another state?

    Civil Unions provide some of these protections, but not close to all. I know that some of these are federal rights, but many are state rights. And it often feels like it’s all about the money, and some religious groups inflicting a faith based opinion upon people who do not share their faith. Since when does one’s religion get to dictate law to people who do not share whichever particular faith….and get away with it?

    By the way, you say it’s just a word, just a name. If it is just a word or a name, why on earth are Pro 8 folks and in particular the Mormon church fighting so hard over a word, if as you say it’s just the definition that bothers them, but that they don’t mind and even support gays having Equality in all the other ways. Language is a constantly evolving thing. The “definition” of a word should hardly be a threat to anyone’s marriage or family. What is it that causes the fear?

  43. Speak Up said,

    November 18, 2008 at 12:25 am

    The ironic thing about this NO on Prop. 8 argument is that they claim that the opposing side is “hateful” and is unwilling to allow them “equality”. Why then, are the supporters of Prop. 8 being persecuted for what is their opinion? We have not started boycotting the supporters of NO on Prop. 8 nor have we tried to take away jobs or show hateful behavior towards our fellow Americans. Why then, is it right for you to show hateful behavior towards those who differ in opinion? Is not what you ask for is to be accepted? Why then do you hurt the people that you hope will eventually vote for your so- called “rights?” You can be sure that actions such as the Scott Eckern boycott will not sway his supporters or others that have seen the behavior you put out. This is not “equality.”

  44. Gay Mom said,

    November 25, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    White Americans had the “constitutional right” to discriminate against African Americans until the Civil Rights Act was signed into law in 1964. Sure, Scott Eckern has the “constitutional right” to give his money to the Yes on 8 campaign that stripped CA gays and lesbians of marriage equality. But just because he can do so doesn’t mean it’s right. There were white Americans who stood up for racial equality, but there were many others who used the bible to justify their discrimination. The ones who worked for equality were on the right side of history. People like Eckern are on the wrong side. It’s not just mean to deny a minority equal rights, it’s un-American. Things will eventually change, because this is America and our brilliant founders wrote equality into our Constitution. But in the meantime, people like Eckern will continue to forward the cause of oppression. Why? Because he wants to protect “traditional marriage?”

    “Traditional marriage” has traditionally encompassed 1) Polygamy (Mormon tradition), 2) Forced marriage for business (very common across the world, connects two families financially) 3) Marriages without the possibility of divorce (Catholic tradition), 4) Marriage for money (dowry, most traditions), 5) Miscegeny (no interracial marriage for most of our country’s history). Which of those “traditional marriages” was Eckert protecting? If people want a traditional marriage, by all means, go and have one. Don’t forget you shouldn’t get divorced. But stop using the bible to bash gay and lesbian Americans in the same way it was used to bash Afro Americans. You don’t have to like gays or accept gays, but you don’t have the right to discriminate against gay citizens. Not in this country.

    I want federal equal rights, plain and simple, and civil unions don’t provide that at all. I have heterosexual children (presumably) who are discriminated against because my co-parent is another women. If she adds me to the deed of our house, I have to pay taxes on her equity. Not so if we’re married; the government doesn’t penalize married citizens for sharing property. If we are in a civil union and I’m insured under her health care plan, we have to pay extra taxes on the value of that medical insurance. Married people aren’t taxed on their family’s medical insurance. If she dies, we can receive a lump sum as beneficiaries of her retirement plan, but that is only about a fifth of it’s full value, and we’re taxed on that sum by the state and federal government as well. If she were a male marital partner, not just a “civil union” partner, our family would receive her entire retirement package, which is about five times the amount we can receive as beneficiaries. That’s the law, the IRS rules, and the reason civil unions are actually “separate, but not equal.”

    Gays want equal rights, plain and simple. Like the black civil rights movement, we’ll eventually achieve equality, but it’s probably going to take federal intervention. We won’t ever win acceptance, just like racism wasn’t ended by the signing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. But the law changed the face of racial politics in our country, and the same will eventually happen for gay families. Plenty of people fought against the CRA, others fought to keep miscegeny laws in force, and to keep slavery legal. They were all wrong, too. In the end, in spite of all their hate, of all their work, of all their donations to groups that work to hurt minorities, they lost. Prop 8 will be overturned because the US Constitution days we’re all equal. You can force us to the back of the bus, but it’s only temporary. We will never stop fighting for equality.

    Those who fought against racial equality lost elections, lost public support and even lost their jobs. The same will be true when our country establishes once and for all that gay and lesbians have equal rights to heterosexual citizens. In the meantime, the Scott Eckerns of the world will do better by following the basic teachings of Christ – love thy neighbor and treat others as you would like to be treated yourself.

  45. Brian said,

    January 8, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    This may be old news for some, but as much as I used to enjoy the Music Circus, I have not attended since they accepted Mr. Eckern’s resignation instead of being a champion of his freedom of expression. I fear for my own rights being trampled, so my personal boycott of the Music Circus (and likely most musical theater due to the pressure they exerted) continues and will not end until my rights are recognized as well.

  46. January 13, 2014 at 7:43 am

    […] course we also have several cases of people losing jobs and positions due to prop 8 support.  The common response on the left is […]

  47. April 22, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    […] and all too often destroy the lives of individuals, both rich and not so rich,  powerful and not so powerful,  who hold unpopular political positions. This concern was on display last week as well, when the […]


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