Westenhoefer says her sexual orientation prompted cancellation of booking
BY Advocate.com Editors
March 10 2001 1:00 AM ET
Carlow College in Pittsburgh terminated a contract with lesbian comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer days before she was about to appear on campus, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Representatives of Westenhoefer accuse Carlow of censorship, and both they and Westenhoefer say they think the college revoked the contract because of her sexual orientation. The March 18 show has been moved to a smaller auditorium in the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill, Pa. Carlow president Sister Grace Ann Geibel was out of town and unavailable for comment. The only thing I can tell you is we have canceled the contract. Outside of that, really, I cant tell you anything, and that is on advice of our counsel, said Jan Gray, a Carlow spokeswoman. Cindy Klink, a producer of gay and lesbian entertainment, said that in November Carlow gave her permission to use the colleges 915-seat auditorium for the performance. But on February 22 she received a phone message from Steve Fatla, a Carlow employee in charge of auditorium use, saying the contract was terminated and that it was out of his hands. The appearance was not sponsored by any campus group or by the school itself. The schools lawyer told Greg Klink, a lawyer and Cindys brother, that Geibel had deemed a CD recorded by Westenhoefer years ago inappropriate. The CD is titled Nothing in My Closet but My Clothes. Im not Chris Rock, Westenhoefer said. I do know that I say four-letter words on occasion, [but] Im actually not that edgy. The edgy thing about me is Im gay. But Westenhoefers appearance wouldnt have been the first by an openly gay comic at Carlowin 1992 lesbian comedian Kate Clinton performed at the college.