LGBTQ community pushes back against controversial Broadway Sacramento sponsor

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- The Wells Fargo Pavilion at Broadway Sacramento’s complex of theaters will soon become the Dignity Health Theatre after the bank decided to end its sponsorship.

In announcing the change, the theater company welcomed a new sponsor that is eager to promote the performing arts in the city.

“I was shocked,” said Ally Heatherly, an LGBTQ community supporter.

Heatherly echoed the dozens of social media comments by people who were astounded at the Dignity Health sponsorship of Broadway Sacramento, citing the case of a transgender patient, Evan Minton, who was denied a hysterectomy. A court ruled it blatantly discriminatory.

It drew attention to Dignity's religious stand against abortions, birth control and surgical treatment of transgender patients.

Heatherly used to work with the California theater company and said there are many people in theater arts who are part of the LGBTQ community.

She believes Broadway Sacramento jumped the gun in search of a new sponsor.

“Money is great. Arts funding is tight but we absolutely need to have responsibility to our community first and foremost,” she told FOX40.

Broadway Sacramento did not respond to FOX40’s request for comment. But in a post responding to dozens of complaints it said it has always been inclusive:

Broadway Sacramento’s acceptance of that support is not to be viewed as an endorsement of our supporters’ beliefs beyond one mutually shared idea: The performing arts are vital to the health and vibrancy of our society.

"It was, 'Thanks but no thanks,'" Heatherly said. "‘We’re sorry we have to do this. If we’re going to survive, we have to take this money.’ And if the money, ultimately, hurts people what good are you doing for your community?”

There are plans to change all the signs at the theater complex at the beginning of the year.

Meanwhile, the protests are currently at a grassroots level but some people have contacted Mayor Darrell Steinberg and City Councilman Steve Hansen, who is openly gay, to try to get a reversal of the decision.

 

Correction: Ally Heatherly's name was incorrectly spelled in a previous version of this story. It has since been corrected.

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