Broadway Sacramento's downtown theatre won't be named for Dignity Health after theatregoers threatened to boycott over the company's treatment of a transgender patient.
The production company announced a new partnership with the health system last month, and planned to turn the current Wells Fargo Pavilion — home of the annual summer Music Circus series — into the Dignity Health Theatre. But some patrons criticized Broadway Sacramento on social media for not looking out for LGBT rights.
Dignity is currently in a lawsuit with Evan Minton, a Sacramento-area transgender man who was denied a hysterectomy at a Dignity hospital in 2016. The health system operates several Catholic hospitals and said in a statement that those facilities, “do not perform sterilizing procedures such as hysterectomies for any patient regardless of their gender identity, unless there is a serious threat to the life or health of the patient.”
Some theatregoers said on social media that they were disappointed in the partnership, and that Broadway Sacramento wasn’t providing a welcoming space for its LGBT audience members and artists.
Broadway Sacramento and Dignity Health issued a joint statement Friday announcing that they would part ways.
“We are surprised and disappointed by some of the concerns that were raised,”said Laurie Harting, the health system’s greater Sacramento region president. “Dignity Health has a legacy of providing care to people of all backgrounds, sexual orientations, and gender identities.”
“Our goal has always been to elevate the work of the arts,” said Broadway Sacramento president Richard Lewis. “However, it has become clear that there are some concerns about our partnership. Unfortunately these concerns have begun to distract from this important work. Broadway Sacramento and Dignity Health have agreed that the best approach is to find a new sponsor for our theater.”
The company did not specify any potential sources of new funding.