By Marcus Crowder firstname.lastname@example.org
Published Nov. 11, 2008 in the Sacramento Bee.
Gay and lesbian artists called Monday for an artistic and audience boycott of California Musical Theatre after learning that its artistic director donated $1,000 to a campaign that backed banning gay marriage in California.
Scott Eckern was not available for comment Monday as the revelation has gained stunning momentum on the blogosphere. The California Musical Theatre produces the Music Circus, presents Broadway Sacramento, and recently opened "Forever Plaid" at the capital's newest performing venue, the Cosmopolitan Cabaret.
Richard Lewis, the organization's executive producer, said the board of directors will conduct an emergency meeting on the matter this afternoon. He said it was too early to tell how this would affect Eckern's 25-year employment with California Musical Theatre.
In a statement released Monday, Lewis said: "Any political action or the opinion of Scott Eckern is not shared by California Musical Theatre. We have a long history of appreciation for the LGBT community and are truly grateful for their longstanding support."
Links to Eckern's official donation information began appearing Thursday on sites such as the gay political activism site http://www.goodasyou.org/ and the more informal conversational forum www.datalounge. The measure was Proposition 8 on the Nov. 4 ballot.
Local openly gay composer Gregg Coffin, who has written nationally produced musicals "Convenience" and "Five Course Love," found it initially difficult to express his feelings about the situation. "I feel so sad that someone from within my field and someone from within my community, who actually knows me, would contribute to an initiative that reduces me to second-class citizenship," Coffin said.
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