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41 Mormon Authors Sign Letter Defending Gay Author Over Book Cancellation

In an overwhelming show of support, Mormon authors have come out of the woodwork to indicate their respect for the craft, and for one of their own, after Cedar Fort Publishing and Media canceled a contract on 'Woven,' a young adult fantasy novel written by Michael Jensen and David Powers King. As Towleroad previously reported, the book was dropped when Jensen, a gay man, refused to let the author bios go through without the sentence, "He lives in Salt Lake City with his boyfriend and their four dogs.” Jensen was told that the book would sell better with its Latter-Day Saints-affiliated distributors with an amended biography omitting the "boyfriend" reference, but the author was not pleased. Many others feel the same way.

CedarfortThe Salt Lake Tribune reports:

As of Saturday morning, 41 Mormon authors had signed a letter asking publishers to base decisions on "content, quality, and commercial viability, not on any other factor." Meanwhile, an Arizona-based LDS author said Cedar Fort just last week published a book of his that contains a significant gay subplot.

...

The letter from a contingent of Mormon authors reads, "While publishers have the right to choose what they will and will not publish, we believe books should be accepted or rejected upon the merits of their content, quality, and commercial viability, not on any other factor."

...

Mormon author Ryan Rapier, whose brother —Plan B Theatre Company director Jerry Rapier — is openly gay, says that Cedar Fort had no problems with a gay character in his book, "The Reluctant Blogger." In it, the gay character leaves his fiancée at the altar and acknowledges he’s gay to his friend, the protagonist. The protagonist "responds badly," Rapier says, but "at the end of the day, the protagonist comes to realize that it doesn’t matter."

These authors have defied expectations many would have set for the historically anti-gay Church of Latter-Day Saints. Even more importantly, they have exposed the flip-flopping of Cedar Fort's policies and their desire to hide behind certain supposed preferences of their partner distributors, preferences which further the homophobic narrative of the Mormon church.

While Jensen and King are still searching for a means to publish their novel, it seems certain that at least some of Jensen's words with Cedar Fort owner Lyle Mortimer (exchanged via email) will come true:

"Regardless, perhaps this situation will become a win-win for us both, as the media attention generated by your refusal to publish a biographical sentence comparable to my coauthor's is sure to bring attention to our work, as well---particularly since it will be obvious that the inequality comes from Cedar Fort, and not Deseret Book and other LDS-based book stores that already carry a number of works by gay authors."

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Comments

  1. The word 'with' in the first paragraph should actually be 'without'. Either that or the sentence should end with the word 'ommitted'. It doesn't make sense otherwise.

    Posted by: Den | Aug 25, 2013 1:09:31 PM


  2. lol. I misread it as 41 million mormons.

    Posted by: AndyTowlette | Aug 25, 2013 1:13:48 PM


  3. Mormonosity is a nasty cult (as are ALL religions). It's always the 'us against them'
    mentality that's so petty and so lethal.

    Posted by: Geoff | Aug 25, 2013 1:15:07 PM


  4. Religious people have always led the way in support for us.

    If you don't know that, you don't know our own history.

    What's nasty is the arrogant and proud wallowing of the same kind of bigotry you accuse others of !

    Posted by: PookiePoo | Aug 25, 2013 1:58:23 PM


  5. "religious" people have helped lead the way in support of gays, but the support was always in direct opposition to their "church" leadership and teachings. a few enlightened souls in a crowd of hateful bigots doesn't erase the harm to gays caused by "religion".

    are there mormons who support gays? sure. does the mormon church take a stand against gays? completely. has the publisher been exposed as a hypocrite? sounds like it. next story, please.

    Posted by: northalabama | Aug 25, 2013 2:18:04 PM


  6. "Even more importantly, they have exposed the flip-flopping of Cedar Fort's policies and their desire to hide behind certain supposed preferences of their partner distributors, preferences which further the homophobic narrative of the Mormon church."


    Flip-Flopping is a Mormon Sacrament, like the Eucharist and confession for Catholics. Just Mormons being Mormons, nothing to see here.

    Posted by: Zeta | Aug 25, 2013 4:26:01 PM


  7. Good move gentlemen. Let freedom ring even in LDS country.

    Posted by: andrew | Aug 25, 2013 6:50:53 PM


  8. Those "lives with...and pets" bios are obnoxious and too much information. Write a book on your own.

    Posted by: EB | Aug 25, 2013 10:22:01 PM


  9. I compare this situation to Orson Scott Card who faced the same discrimination for his pro traditional marriage stand. Isn't it time to stop this nonsense on both sides?

    Posted by: Don Pritchard | Aug 26, 2013 7:51:05 AM


  10. Don Prictchard: Seriously? They would be the same if the author here had been actively campaigning to take away the rights of hetrosexuals or Mormons. Since all he wanted was for his life not to be sanitized and Mr Card is a rabid homophobe who actively attacks gays at every opportunity you really cant say that there is an equivalence here. What is wrong with you anyway?

    Posted by: Liam | Aug 26, 2013 10:13:06 AM


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