The artistic director, Scott Eckern, came under fire recently after it became known that he contributed $1,000 to support Proposition 8, which amended the state Constitution to recognize only male-female marriages. The measure was approved by 52 percent of California voters on Election Day. (Same-sex marriages had been performed in California since June.)
In a statement issued on Wednesday morning, Mr. Eckern said that his donation stemmed from his religious beliefs — he is a Mormon — and that he was “deeply saddened that my personal beliefs and convictions have offended others.”
No matter how you look at this one, dude made a terrible choice.
(EDIT/ADD: in reference to bayloader’s comment below: I don’t necessarily disagree. You can say/support what you want in this country, regardless of where you work. I’m not a huge fan of folks losing their jobs because they supported unpopular legislation, even if I’m part of the group that thinks the legislation was unconscionable. Mr. Eckern put himself in an untenable position though: gay artists were absolutely destined (and within their rights) to protest him and the organization he represented when they found out about his donation.
If you work in an industry dominated by Latino workers, and news comes to light that you support harsh anti-immigration law, you’ve got a problem. If you’re an atheist, but your business puts in trust with churches, and you donate cash to a group that works towards the abolition of organized religion, you can bet you’re going to feel a backlash. Mr. Eckern must have known that he was supporting a cause that would be beyond unpopular with a great many of the artists who created the work he developed.