Richard Raddon, the director of the Los Angeles Film Fest has resigned the position over his $1,500 donation to Yes on 8, prompted by his Mormon Church. Last week Raddon had tendered his resignation, but the board of Film Independent, which oversees both the festival and the Independent Spirit Awards, in a hastily arranged conference call, declined to accept it.
However today, according to the Advocate, Raddon has officially stepped down and issued this statement:
I feel honored to have worked with such a wonderful group of people at the Los Angeles Film Festival over the last nine years. I am proud of our accomplishments. And I am proud to have worked at Film Independent, an organization whose principles and values of diversity and artistic integrity I cherish. I have always held the belief that all people, no matter race, religion, or sexual orientation, are entitled to equal rights. As many know, I consider myself a devout and faithful Mormon. I prefer to keep the details around my contribution through my church a private matter. But I am profoundly sorry for the negative attention that my actions have drawn to Film Independent and for the hurt and pain that is being experienced in the GLBT community.
Film Independent responded thusly:
With great reluctance, Film Independent has accepted Richard Raddon’s resignation as Director of the Los Angeles Film Festival. Rich’s service to the independent film community and to Film Independent has been nothing less than extraordinary. He has always shown complete commitment to our core principles of equality and diversity during his long tenure. It was through his leadership that the Los Angeles Film Festival has grown into a formidable and exciting showcase for talented artists and diverse voices. We are sorry to see him go.
It still baffles me, and many how one can be a devout Mormon and support the LGBT community artistically. Like, isn’t that furthering the "homosexual agenda," a "lifestyle choice" that the Church of Latter Day Saints isn’t too thrilled about?
And even more upsetting and hurtful is how one can work with, be friends with, and know people and then just deny them a civil right.