Gay theater ‘secedes’ from California

Theater Rhinoceros protesting Prop 8

The nation’s oldest extant gay theater has “seceded” from California. Protesting the state’s vote to ban gay marriage, Theater Rhinoceros exec director John Fisher — whose writing-directing credits include “Medea: The Musical” and other indicators of anarchic humor — has declared the theater a sanctuary from government-sanctioned prejudice.

“For 31 years, our mainstage has been a space of hallowed ground for same-sex couples,” Fisher and Rhino’s board write. “In recognition of thousands of queer lives portrayed on our stage, and the thousands upon thousands of queer people who have inspired, witnessed and been inspired by those lives, I declare our mainstage seceded ground and proclaim our theater an extraterritorial state that recognizes, encourages and condones same-sex marriage.”

A celebration of that move was set for Nov. 21 at Rhino’s Mission District home.

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