Orson Scott Card Hub

Maggie Gallagher: World is More Concerned with Waffle Fries Than Gay Rights

GallagherMaggie Gallagher disagrees that people should have the right to boycott Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game:

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.

(via joe.my.god)

LGBT Advocates Respond To Orson Scott Card's 'Plea For Tolerance'

Ender's Game:Card

Previously, Towleroad has reported on the controversy surrounding the upcoming big-budget film adaptation of Ender's Game, and the subsequent plea for tolerance by the original novel's homophobic author. Now, the LGBT, Geek, and Queer Geek communities are issuing their responses, and none seem very receptive to Orson Scott Card's arguments. 

In his exclusive with Entertainment Weekly, Card (who also happens to be the the great-great grandson of Mormon icon Brigham Young), made several key declarations that many chose to focus on in their responses. First, he claimed that the novel's dystopian future setting exempted it from the "political issues that did not exist when the book was written in 1984." Second, he declared that the recent Supreme Court rulings render "the gay marriage issue" a moot point. Third, he attempted to turn the tides of "bigotry" upon the very people who were criticizing him:

"Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute."

Our own Christian Walters had a few things to say in response, as did GeeksOUT, the group behind the "Skip Ender's Game" boycott. As the group was kind enough to point out, "the Bill of Rights protects your freedom of speech but it does not protect your right to a blockbuster opening weekend." They went on to explain...

"This is not and has never been about a much beloved sci-fi novel. Leaving aside the fact that Card thinks gay civil rights didn’t exist in the mid-80s, which is pretty insulting to the post-Stonewall generation frontline against a little something called AIDS—this is about us, here and now. This is about our community refusing to financially support an extreme anti-gay activist. We didn’t read his diary, and we’re not taking dinner table conversation out of context—Orson Scott Card has a very public record of far-right comments against marriage equality as a concept and LGBT folk as human beings." 

Ender's Game PosterThe response then goes on to lift excerpts from Card's decades of anti-gay activism, as well as discredit his argument that LGBT rights are currently a moot point. Meanwhile, Joe My God turned his attention to NOM, the anti-gay hate organization for which Card currently serves as board member. The group released a tweet decrying the fact that, since Card has publicly supported "traditional marriage", he has been added to what is being called the "New Hollywood Blacklist". As Joe was kind enough to point out, the group made no mention of Card's apparent surrender to marriage equality advocates and LGBT rights activists. After all, declaring "the gay marriage issue" moot would apply to both sides of the debate in question. 

Salon chose a slightly different approach, choosing to sift through Card's life and work to analyze precisely why he has become "one of the powerful and influential authors in the industry" as well as "one of the most openly bigoted". The result is an exposé of "he paradoxical mishmash of Cardian beliefs that might provoke some brain-scouring and heated debate among sci-fi fans near you as the buzz for Ender’s Game starts to grow." The piece's writer, Aja Romano, not only pulls highlights from Card's activism, but also sifts for anti-gay subtext in Card's fictional writing, referencing works such as Hamlet's Father, The Homecoming Saga, and Ender in Exile. Romano was also kind enough to delve into Card's hypocritical background in fan fiction, a practice he publicly ridiculed before choosing to engage in it himself. There's also some gay adult Ender's Game fan fiction thrown in for good measure. 

As of now, no comments have been released from Lionsgate, the studio that financed and will be releasing the film, nor have any been released by any member of the cast or crew of the film. As GeeksOUT pointed out in their response "now would be an ideal time". They also summarized their response with a declaration:

"No matter what happens with Skip Ender’s Game, American voters have already rejected Orson Scott Card's and NOM’s extreme anti-gay agenda. Whether they’ll continue to fund it at the box office remains to be seen."

Do you plan on boycotting the film? Is a boycott even necessary or appropriate? Sound off in the comments below...

Orson Scott Card Pleads For Tolerance In Response To Planned Boycott Of Ender's Game


In an exclusive with Entertainment Weekly, sci-fi author and NOM board member Orson Scott Card had this to say in response to the planned boycott of Ender's Game, due out this fall:

Ender’s Game is set more than a century in the future and has nothing to do with political issues that did not exist when the book was written in 1984.

With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot.  The Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution will, sooner or later, give legal force in every state to any marriage contract recognized by any other state.

Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute.

He didn't make nearly as loud of a fuss about the panning of Hamlet's Father. A few notes about his statement:

  1. Issues regarding gay rights did exist in 1984. During the devastation of AIDS, loving men were denied the right to visit and comfort their dying partners because to the law they were not husbands but strangers. Media outlets not covering the issues doesn't mean they did not exist, and to claim otherwise is to whitewash history and justify the cruelty of one's own prejudices. His line is a misdirect in any case; people are protesting Card for his views, not the movie for its content.

  2. Yes, the Full Faith and Credit clause will likely render state bans on gay marriage moot, eventually. It will not invalidate Card's decades of hateful statements: that homosexuals are the products of abuse and rape and suffer from "tragic genetic mixups"; that homosexual acts should have remained criminal actions; that any government that would change the definition of marriage is his "mortal enemy" that he would act to destroy.

  3. The implication that boycotting is an act of intolerance and thus infers that to be tolerant one would have to see his movie. In other words, you have to pay Orson Scott Card in order to prove that you're tolerant of him. 

  4. Oppressed people are under no obligation to be tolerant of the bigoted views of their oppressors. Likewise, the intolerant have no grounds to demand that they be tolerated.

The timing and content of his statement exposes the craven, unprincipled greed of this man. He threw NOM under the bus and offered a withered olive branch only when his side had already lost, and even then only did so when opposition to his views threatened box office revenues.

The site for Skip Ender's Game can be found here.

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Geeks OUT Calls For LGBT Rights Supporters To 'Skip Ender's Game'

Ender's Game

Author Orson Scott Card has already caused a stir earlier this year at DC Comics, thanks to his well-publicized homophobic views and his involvement with the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage. 

Card's anti-gay activism has become the center for controversy once again, months ahead of the release Ender's Game, the sci-fi film based on his 1985 bestselling book. The queer-geek group Geeks OUT has launched an online protest entitled "Skip Ender's Game", which encourages all members and allies of the LGBT community to boycott the film on all of its various platforms. 

"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 group has launched the site SkipEndersGame.com, where supporters can sign a pledge to boycott the movie, as well as keep track of relevant news updates. The Huffington Post also reports that the group is currently organizing events to coincide with the film's release in major cities such as Chicago, Dallas, New York, Orlando, Seattle, and Toronto. 

Writer Recalls Childhood Friendship with 'Bright-Eyed' Maggie Gallagher Before She Was NOM's 'Notorious Homophobe'

Maggie Gallagher wasn't always the wicked witch of NOM, according to Kevin Mims, who describes living across the street from her when she was approximately 7 years old, in a piece in Open Salon. Gallagher wasn't the only "notorious homophobe" with whom Mims had a close encounter. Sci-fi writer Orson Scott Card, in the headlines recently for the controversy over his DC Comics Superman gig, was at one time, one of Mims' writing teachers.

You'll be interested in his tales of both of them.

Maggie_gallagherMims stumbled upon Gallagher's name reading a profile on her by Mark Oppenheimer in Salon. He couldn't imagine it was the same person:

But I was wrong. The Maggie Gallagher in Oppenheimer’s article and the Maggie I grew up with turned out to be one (and) the same.

 In 1967, when I was nine, my family moved into a nice home in an upper-middle class neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. The block I lived on looked as though it might have been just around the corner from the Cleaver household on Leave It To Beaver or the Anderson household from Father Knows Best. Across the street from us, and one house to the right, lived the Gallaghers, another moderately large Catholic family like mine. Maggie’s brother Billy soon became one of my best friends. Billy was a year younger than I, so we didn’t spend much time together at school. But after school we were best pals. We were both chess fanatics. We would often play a dozen games of chess against each other in the hours between our arrival home from school and the arrival of dinner time. Billy’s little sister, Maggie, younger than me by about two years, was a beautiful, bright-eyed little girl and a jewel of the neighborhood, one of those smart, articulate children that even the most curmudgeonly of adults cannot help but like.

CardAnd Mims had NOM board member and sci-fi bigot Orson Scott Card as a writing teacher whom he describes as one of his most generous, yet, like Gallagher "deranged on the subjects of homosexuality and gay marriage":

Orson Scott Card, on the other hand, may espouse toxic opinions on gay marriage and other topics, but you would be hard-pressed to find a more caring and generous writing instructor than he is. Fred has produced a tiny handful of books, each one smaller and less substantial than the previous one. I feel fairly certain that Fred prefers literary celebrity to the actual work of writing. Not Orson Scott Card. He works like a demon at his writing. He writes novels, short stories, histories, reviews, newspaper columns, comic books, poems, and plays. In addition to the mountain of work he has published under his own name, he has also produced work under at least seven different pseudonyms, according to Wikipedia. If you are seeking a work-ethic role model for writers, Card is your man. If you are looking for a model writing instructor, Card is your man. If you are looking for tolerant and progressive views about gay marriage, look elsewhere; Card isn’t your man. Like Maggie Gallagher, he seems to be somewhat deranged on the subjects of homosexuality and gay marriage.

Adds Mims:

I believe that the homophobia of both Maggie Gallagher and Orson Scott Card is rooted in their religious beliefs, and I doubt that either of them enjoys demonizing an oppressed minority. Some rightwing commentators seem to relish sticking their fingers in the eyes of feminists, gays, eubonics supporters, welfare queens, and other standard conservative straw men. I don’t get the sense that speaking out against gay marriage is something that Card and Maggie Gallagher do for fun. Something in their religious upbringing makes them feel obligated to express an opinion that they must know is rapidly growing as out-of-fashion as 1950s style opposition to integrated schools and racial intermarriage.

Read his whole piece here. If you're like me, you'll be glued.

Breakfast Epiphanies: Encounters With Notorious Homophobes [open salon]

DC Comics Artist Refuses to Illustrate Homophobe Orson Scott Card's 'Superman' Comic, Leaves Project


Artist Chris Sprouse won't be illustrating a DC Comics story written by uber-homophobe sci-fi writer Orson Scott Card because of public outrage over Card's involvement, AND, the story has been pulled from the first issue, USA Today reports:

"It took a lot of thought to come to this conclusion, but I've decided to step back as the artist on this story," Sprouse said in a statement released Tuesday. "The media surrounding this story reached the point where it took away from the actual work, and that's something I wasn't comfortable with. My relationship with DC Comics remains as strong as ever and I look forward to my next project with them."

Due to the creative change, the Card story will not appear in the first collected issue out May 29. Instead, it will feature a story by writer Jeff Parker and artist Chris Samnee, as well as a tale by Jeff Lemire and one by writer Justin Jordan and artist Riley Rossmo.

DC is also looking for a replacement illustrator for Card's story.

DC Comics said it supported Sprouse's departure and is looking for a replacement.


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