Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's Curtains for You

In "Theater Director Resigns Amid Gay-Rights Ire," the New York Times reports that the director of the California Musical Theater resigned after it was revealed that he had donated $1000 to donate to the state proposition to repeal gay marriage in California. The donation of Scott Eckern, a devout Mormon, came to light when his name appeared on Anti Gay Blacklist, a list of all the businesspeople who supported the ban. The website notes that its data comes from, which can also allow you to search its database of political contributors by name. As a "sunshine" site like those described in the chapter on whistle-blowers in the forthcoming Virtualpolitik book, the anti-gay blacklist is relatively low tech and crude in its design elements, but its request that others refuse to "patronize" those listed is clearly having an effect on at least the personal economies of some, since at least one high-profile composer has denied rights to perform his works on Eckert's stage because he was "uncomfortable with money made off my work being used to put discrimination in the Constitution." Others argue that the site, as even its name acknowledges by choosing the word "blacklist" rather than "boycott," could be used to stifle free speech or facilitate political litmus tests.

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