Theater director quits over gay marriage

Nov. 12, 2008 at 1:58 PM

SACRAMENTO, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- The California Musical Theatre says its artistic director resigned over his donation to a state ballot measure banning same-sex marriage.

Scott Eckern stepped down after 25 years with the theater, saying he had no idea that contributing to the campaign to pass the controversial Proposition 8 would stir up such a storm of criticism.

Prop 8, which was approved by California voters last week, restricts marriage to heterosexual couples. The gay community vigorously opposed the measure and chided Eckern for allegedly insulting homosexuals who support and work in the arts.

The Sacramento Bee said the non-profit theater said in a written statement it did not force Eckern out and does not "impinge on the rights of its employees to engage in political activities."

"I am disappointed that my personal convictions have cost me the opportunity to do what I love the most which is to continue enriching the Sacramento arts and theater community," Eckern said in his own written statement.

Eckern said he decided to resign "after prayerful consideration to protect the organization" and denied any ill feeling toward homosexuals.

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