TV comedy legend Bob Newhart his plans to perform next year for a conservative Catholic organization which maintains that homosexuality is a disorder.
The news was announced on 84-year-old comedian’s Twitter account: ‘Upcoming Bob Newhart Tour Date Change — Bob will not be performing at the Legatus Summit in Orlando FL on February 6th, 2014.’
No further explanation was given.
Newhart was scheduled to appear at a summit for Legatus along with noted anti-LGBT figures Rick Santorum and Bill Donohue.
The star of the classic TV sitcoms The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart was under pressure from media watchdog and LGBTI advocacy group GLAAD to reconsider and there were also two online petitions doing the same.
‘Newhart is merely siding with the majority of fair-minded Americans who do not support the anti-LGBT agenda of organizations like Legatus,’ Rich Ferraro, vice president of communications at GLAAD said in a statement.
Legatus, in its magazine, instructs readers to vote against political candidates supportive of marriage equality and the organization pushes the idea that homosexuality itself is a ‘disorder’ from which one must be ‘cured.’
‘These groups constantly struggle to find high-profile people of faith to speak at their events,’ Ferraro also stated. ‘But at a time when more and more people of faith are accepting of LGBT people, they will continue to be left to choose between increasingly fringe figures.’
Legatus was started in 1987 by Domino’s pizza founder Tom Monaghan as a place for ‘top-ranking Catholic business leaders and their spouses.’
Newhart recently won the first Emmy Award of his long career for his guest role on the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory which stars openly gay actor Jim Parsons.