Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Queer Quote: Homophobic Author Surrenders To Marriage Equality Reality

The reverberations from Gaytterdämmerung continue! Orson Scott Card, is a virulently homophobic board member of the National Organization for Marriage, but more well-known as a best-selling science fiction author, especially the classic series that includes Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead.  Card issued a statement to Entertainment Weekly that marriage equality is no longer "in dispute" thanks to the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down DOMA in the Windsor case.

Card's statement is today's Queer Quote:
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.
The reason why Card is talking to EW now is that a big-budget film adaptation of Ender's Game is being released worldwide on November 1. Many people, including yours truly, have been looking forward to seeing the movie Ender's Game but are horrified at the thought that any of our money would go to a raving homophobe. Some gay comic books fans organized as Geeks Out have called for a boycott of Ender's Game (the movie) and it is believed that this potential boycott may have spurred Card to make the statement that is today's Queer Quote. It should be noted that it is far from clear that attendance or non-attendance of Ender's Game when it comes out will have any dramatic financial impact on Card. Most authors make their money when they sell the adaptation rights and have no financial participation in the film version of their books, but they can reap benefits if the book spurs more sales. Ender's Game has already sold millions of copies, so it is doubtful that the success or failure of the movie will have a significant impact on future sales of Card's books.

The first interesting aspect of Card's statement I notice is that he is basically agreeing with LGBT activists that the fight over marriage equality is over and the supporters of equality have won. As a virulently homophobic person and board member of the lead organization in the country fighting marriage equality this is a key surrender and a huge blow to the bad guys. We should acknowledge that fact and savor the victory.

The second point to note is that Card is calling for tolerance from people that he had previously declared his "mortal enemy" and that the organization whose board he serves on has fought vigorously to defame, discourage and discriminate against. This raises other issues.

Prominent LGBT blogger Joe.My.God rejects Card's call for tolerance but I disagree. I think there's no reason for the good guys fighting for marriage equality to be "sore winners." However, let me be very clear that I am not lettig Cardoff the hook. Just because Card now realizes that the fight over marriage equality is "moot" does not absolve him of responsibility for his previous statements calling for the overthrow of the U.S. government if marriage equality is legalized and his bitter denunciations of homosexuality. It will be interesting to see how Card's fellow luminaries at NOM respond to their colleague's capitulation in the marriage equality front of the Kulturkampf

In order to give fair-minded people a reason to not think twice when considering buying his books and/or going to see a movie based on his books, Card will need to make clear that he believes LGBT people deserve full civil rights and rebuke his previous discriminatory statements. I do not care if Card thinks homosexuals are going to hell or can never go to heaven, I just care about what he thinks public policy towards LGBT people should be. (As far as I am concerned heaven and hell are just as fictional as the aliens Card writes so eloquently about in Speaker for the Dead.) Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and to express it publicly. But if you reveal that you do not believe in the full humanity of your fellow citizens, you should not be surprised that people will want to express their displeasure by withholding their pocketbooks, and possibly expressing their opposition to your beliefs in other more vocal ways.

Hat/tip to Joe.My.God

1 comment:

Keithdude said...

Well said. I find his comments about how he wants to be treated in the post-DOMA environment to be odd, given his denunciations.


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