Earlier this week, the LGBT group Geeks OUT launched an online protest of the Lionsgate film Ender's Game, based on the 1985 sci-fi novel by NOM ally and outspoken homophobe Orson Scott Card, urging all members and allies of the LGBT community to boycott the film:
"Do NOT see this movie! Do not buy a ticket at the theater, do not purchase the DVD, do not watch it on-demand. Ignore all merchandise and toys. However much you may have admired his books, keep your money out of Orson Scott Card’s pockets."
The planned boycott made national headlines, and elicited a plea for "tolerance" from Card shortly thereafter. LGBT advocates didn't buy it, or Card's claim that the same-sex marriage battle was over, thus rendering his prior homophobic remarks "moot".
Lionsgate Entertainment has now issued a statement to the NYT, defending Ender's Game and distancing itself from Card:
As proud longtime supporters of the LGBT community, champions of films ranging from “Gods and Monsters” to “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and a company that is proud to have recognized same-sex unions and domestic partnerships within its employee benefits policies for many years, we obviously do not agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card and those of the National Organization for Marriage. However, they are completely irrelevant to a discussion of “Ender’s Game.” The simple fact is that neither the underlying book nor the film itself reflect these views in any way, shape or form. On the contrary, the film not only transports viewers to an entertaining and action-filled world, but it does so with positive and inspiring characters who ultimately deliver an ennobling and life-affirming message. Lionsgate will continue its longstanding commitment to the LGBT community by exploring new ways we can support LGBT causes and, as part of this ongoing process, will host a benefit premiere for “Ender’s Game.”
Will you be boycotting Ender's Game?
Proposition 8 has been dead for less than a month, and already, its advocates are trying to honor its memory by asking the California Supreme Court to order county clerks to stop issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. They contend that governor Jerry Brown lacked the authority to put an end to the enforcement of Prop 8, since a provision in the California constitution prohibits officials from refusing to enforce a law unless an appellate court has first determined that said law is unconstitutional. According to the LA Times, "there is no binding appellate ruling that says Proposition 8 is unconstitutional."
The 50-page challenge is being filed by Protect Marriage, the same group that sponsored Prop 8, and is stated as “concerning the rule of law and limitations on public officials’ authority.” They claim that the California court has a duty to intervene. If not...
“the end result will be to allow one federal district judge — empowered by state officials who openly advocated for and ceded to Proposition 8’s demise — to nullify a constitutional initiative approved by more than seven million voters.”
This new challenge is a continuation of the controversy surrounding the injunction filed by now-retired Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker. Since the U.S. Supreme Court did not directly issue a ruling on the case, Walker's injunction was left in place. Thus, this new challenge would expect to put a new spin on the earlier decision, especially when it was the subject of such controversy at the time.
The LA Times remarked that legal experts consider this move to be "an extreme long shot". UC Davis Law Professor Vikram Amar said to them that the California Supreme Court will likely see this challenge "as an invitation to intervene in a federal matter." Amar went on to explain.
“The California Supreme Court will likely stay out of this and say the scope of Judge Walker’s order is a matter for the federal courts to determine...State courts generally won’t get into the business of construing federal court orders. They leave that to the federal courts.”
The court normally meets on Wednesdays to decide on such challenges. However, they can theoretically issue a decision at any time. They could also simply refuse to intervene, or ask for additional written arguments before issuing a decision.
Superman's Henry Cavill is a single man.
Rand Paul says he has "a zero tolerance policy for anybody who displays discriminatory behavior or belief in discriminating against people" on the same day he opposed ENDA on a Senate panel.
The Awl performs a thorough analysis of the term twink: "Like hipster before it, twink has become a non-specific word that serves to define something distasteful but whose meaning changes depending on who says it and to whom. A lot of the time, a twink seems to be anybody—no matter their body type or their age—who is girly or makes poor consumer choices and/or seems to be in a state of perpetual disrepair. And while nobody will admit to being a twink, everybody is happy to flag one for everybody else to ridicule."
Actress Leah Remini runs from Scientology.
Justin Bieber's mom addresses his bad behavior: “I mean, people don’t talk about all the great things he does every day..."
Outserve-SLDN bankrupt, will close offices: "The news comes after two weeks of confusion following the allegedly accidental leak of an email by then- board member Sue Fulton, proposing that the board meet to seek Executive Director Allyson Robinson’s resignation."
'Lesbian baby' billboards cleared by Australian watchdog. "The ads have been the subject of two complaints to the Advertising Standards Bureau as well as hate mail directed to billboard company GOA, News Limited reports."
Republicans use farm bill to attack food stamp program.
Ricky Martin relaxes in Puerto Rico, flies a kite.
Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent show off their fancy Hollywood home.
A newly-discovered blue planet has glass rain and 4,500 mph winds. "NASA discovered the planet, dubbed HD 189733b, in 2005, but recently discovered new facts about its atmosphere with the Hubble telescope. The thing is only 2.9 million miles from its sun, which sounds far, but consider that Earth is 92.9 million miles away from ours. To make matters even more insane, the night temperature can be as much as 500 degrees lower than the day temperature."
Brigitte Bardot saves two elephants from execution.
Embracing life beyond 50: Begin with Yes. "I felt like we need positive images in general, and specifically need more positive messaging about gay men aging happily. People do form opinions and beliefs based on things they see in the media, and we need to expand the vision and the reality of what being an older gay man actually means. I feel like right now is the perfect time to do it!"
Jesse Metcalfe plays tennis, shirtless.
Honey Boo Boo goes to Washington.
Richmond airport settles with Fourth Amendment flasher.
Boeing 787 catches fire at Heathrow Airport. "A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by Ethiopian Airlines caught fire at Britain's Heathrow airport on Friday, forcing the closure of both runways, in a blow for the U.S. planemaker that sent its New York shares down over 6 percent."
What the ENDA Senate panel vote says about the state of gay rights.
Conservatives pushing a new smear campaign: gay parenting is child abuse. "Conservatives have championed the writing of activist Robert Oscar Lopez, who is essentially an “ex-gay” bisexual who blames his adult social dysfunction on having been raised by a lesbian mom. This week, he wrote that same-sex parenting inherently constitutes “child abuse,” as do single-parent adoption and divorce. These attacks were endorsed by the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer and NOM, which proceeded to feature Lopez’s ex-gay-sounding biography in its weekly email on Friday."
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is already in a difficult situation politically. He's a Republican governor of a state that voted for Obama in the 2012 election, and has very low approval ratings as he draws near to his potential reelection battle next year. He's also named in the suit Whitewood v. Corbett, which challenges the state's same-sex marriage ban. Since Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat, has already declined to defend the lawsuit, it's up to Corbett to decide what to do next.
Corbett has already expressed disapproval over Kane's actions in a statement released from his office by Pennsylvania General Counsel James D. Schultz:
“We are surprised that the Attorney General, contrary to her constitutional duty under the Commonwealth Attorneys Act, has decided not to defend a Pennsylvania statute lawfully enacted by the General Assembly, merely because of her personal beliefs."
Nevertheless, Corbett is now faced with a difficult choice, alienate the conservative base that elected him in 2010, or risk running contrary to the popular opinion in his state. Poll data from earlier this year indicated that 52% of voters in the state supported marriage equality, as opposed to 41% who opposed it. According to Politico, he has expressed support for the law in the past. Unfortunately, his approval rating has also not climbed above 35% since his election, and there is already a crowded field of Democrats vying to take his place. Quinnipac Poll data has already declared Corbett to be the U.S.'s least popular sitting governor, and 53% of voters have already declared that he does not deserve re-election. According to Muhlenberg College pollster Chris Borick, Conservative support for Corbett is already "lukewarm." Thus, it might not be wise for him to stick to his guns on this issue.
Franklin & Marshall pollster Terry Madonna is confident that the governor will defend the law, stating that, “He opposes gay marriage and his conservative base would be furious with him if he does not.” Borick also did note that midterm elections do tend to have lower turnouts, and tend to skew towards older and more conservative voters. That said, Corbett has also yet to announce that he's running for reelection. Thus, poll data may not play into the equation at all, for Corbett, if his plans do not include running a reelection campaign.
Regardless of how the governor will eventually decide, his time is starting to run out. Judge John E. Jones, III, has already been assigned to oversee the case, and with Prop. 8 officially dead, the ACLU is anxious to knock over the next marriage equality domino. Of the three states with pending ACLU lawsuits, Pennsylvania is definitely the bluest.
Thus far, Corbett's office has only had one thing to say to the press regarding his decision...that they “will continue to review the lawsuit.”
It seems very strange to me that so many artists and people on the left are supporting the idea that to make art in the mainstream you have to have the right political opinions. This used to be considered the heart of McCarthyism: loyalty oaths for filmmakers as the condition forworking in the film industry. (These were imposed by the industry, not the government, remember, in response to public pressure).
I suspect this boycott will be a failure, like the boycott of Card’s video game and like the Chick-fil-A boycott, because most of the public is more concerned with questions such as whether those waffle fries are banging or not.
Tips for surviving a bear attack from the informative folks at WJAR in Providence, RI.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...