Sticking my nose in where I have little to no business sticking

Let me say first and foremost that I think that anyone who supported California's anti gay rights Prop 8 is a total, utter moron and I have little nice to say about their moronic behavior.

But a residual casualty in this Prop 8 war has caused me to ruminate over some other big tragedies involved in this whole mess. I'm talking about the story of Scott Eckern.

For those of you unfamiliar with Scott Eckern, a little background. He was the Artistic Director of California Musical Theatre until he resigned a little over a week ago after outrage over the fact that he donated $1,000 to support Prop 8. The musical theater fans of the world didn't like what Mormon Scott did, and they called for his head in oh so many ways. (Marc Shaiman, the composer of HAIRSPRAY, told California Musical Theater that they could no longer produce his work because of what Eckern did.)

For more insights you really should read Theater Director Resigns Amid Gay-Rights Ire (the NY Times piece on the whole mess) and several posts at Clyde Fitch Report starting with Scott Eckern: Enemy of Freedom, Lover of Bigotry, Death and Hatred. Leonard Jacobs, the man behind Clyde Fitch Report, is particularly full of laser hot insight on all this.

But here I sit as a hetero white man, the most blessed of the unpersecuted in America, and I just feel kind of crappy about this whole thing. Maybe it's the Catholic in me, but I kind of hate the sin in this case, and not the sinner. I cannot in good conscience defend Scott Eckern's actions, and maybe his resignation was the only way that this whole thing could ever play out, but a tragedy of a higher order is at play here.

It gives me pause to consider every donation I ever took as an arts administrator. I think of the fella who loved, loved, loved George Bush and gave oodles of cash to me for a couple of projects. I think of the guy who made me meet him in a strip club one day to talk about a major gift. I think about the countless ticket buyers who supported my work as an artistic director, who I can say with almost absolute certainty didn't share every belief and value system that I hold near and dear to my heart.

My point is that Scott Eckern took a bullet that will eventually open up a huge can of worms. In terms of cultural administration, I can't see that Scott Eckern was promoting his individual beliefs to his constituency at California Musical Theatre. He was just some righteous conservative guy who opened his check book and contributed to something that the majority of the musical theater fans in the world think is wrong. I think it's wrong, but I don't think Scott Eckern should have been forced out of his job because of it.

I do think that we liberal do-gooders in the arts should brace for the conservative forces that sometimes support us to give us a taste of our own medicine when we least expect it. I know that in this case, the people who I think are on the side of right (those being gay rights activists) did the flinging. But, and I have said this before as a cautionary tale against knee jerk activism, "If you are ready to do some flinging, you had better be ready to be flung."

I hope we're ready for the fling to come. Because it most surely will creep up and knock us on our collective ass with unyielding force.

Insert quotes here.