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Sci-Fi Entertainment

Orson Scott Card's Superman Story Shelved After Homophobia Controversy 1174

Posted by Soulskill
from the hits-you-in-the-childhood dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A controversy has been brewing in the comic community for the past month. Orson Scott Card, author of Ender's Game and its many sequels, was tapped to write a story for the new Adventures of Superman comic. The controversy arose because Card has become an outspoken opponent of gay marriage, going so far as to say giving it legal recognition could mark 'the end of democracy in America,' and suggesting 'traditional' married people will eventually have to overthrow the government. Many fans of the series objected, and some retailers decided they wouldn't stock the issue Card's story appears in. Now, the illustrator for Card's story, Chris Sprouse, has walked away from the project, saying he wasn't comfortable with the media surrounding the story. Because of that, Card's story is being replaced in the Adventures of Superman anthology. 'The news has inspired speculation about whether or not this could mean that DC will quietly kill off the controversial Card story entirely, with some suggesting that the story remaining un-illustrated gives the publisher an "out" to avoid any potential breach-of-contract legal response.' Personally, I'm not sure what to think about this. I enjoyed Ender's Game as a kid, and it tarnishes the experience a little to know that its authors can say such hateful things. On the other hand, Card seems to have kept his personal views out of his fiction, and it's unlikely DC would let him put those views into a Superman comic even if he wanted to. It's a free country; people are free to believe stupid things. On the third hand, he is actively advocating his views outside his fiction, and what better way is there for readers to fight back than organizing a boycott and voting with their wallets? What do you think, Slashdot?"
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Orson Scott Card's Superman Story Shelved After Homophobia Controversy

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:29PM (#43085625)

    Always thought he was overrated, but nonetheless I still think this is BS. I've always believed in separating the artist from the art. And I honestly don't give a rat's ass about the politics or social views of any given writer. Applying litmus tests like this is just the kind of thing that can come back and bite you in the ass if you're not careful. After all, you never know when YOUR views may become the unpopular ones.

    • by subanark (937286) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:34PM (#43085691)

      I'm for gay rights. I like Card's stories. I would be fine if he wrote a story that pushed an anti-gay moral... as long as the story is good. It's always good to look at a story from the other end of the spectrum.

      • by icebike (68054) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:47PM (#43085879)

        The interesting thing here is that the story Didn't push his agenda yet his story was still rejected. Does that not simply lend credence to his claim of "the end of democracy in America"? Have his opponents not heard of Barbra Streisand?

        • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:49PM (#43085933)

          Does that not simply lend credence to his claim of "the end of democracy in America"?

          No, what would lend credence to his claim would be a US state enacting a same-sex marriage law without the necessary majority support from elected representatives.

          • by magarity (164372) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:57PM (#43086057)

            Does that not simply lend credence to his claim of "the end of democracy in America"?

            No, what would lend credence to his claim would be a US state enacting a same-sex marriage law without the necessary majority support from elected representatives.

            What about when the opposite happens; when the majority of state voters decide to not allow same sex marriage but the unelected judiciary orders it allowed anyway? Is that a failure of democracy?

            • by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @08:35PM (#43086567)

              What about when the opposite happens; when the majority of state voters decide to not allow same sex marriage but the unelected judiciary orders it allowed anyway? Is that a failure of democracy?

              It would be an awakening that what we have here in America is not exactly a democracy (nor in most of the civilized world, though mechanisms vary). If the judiciary system determines that banning gay marriage is somehow unconstitutional (at the state or federal level, and i have little hope or respect for most state "constitutions"), then you may seek to get the constitution changed. At the federal level that requires an amendment to the constitution, which means getting 2/3's of both houses to agree, then passing the vote to the voting public and getting 3/4ths of the states to pass it. Before it is democratic, it is first representative, and even when it is democratic, it is quantized by state.

              All of this is what we idol worship in civics classes in school. At no point has the US been a direct democracy, and in almost no cases does "democracy" mean sampling the public and passing laws based on simple majority of opinion at random times.

              Changing ANYTHING is very hard to do if people don't agree or adopt polemic positions (and honestly that is very descriptive of many pro and anti-gay marriage supporters). This should be obvious to those bitching about how their "government has failed" when we hit fiscal cliffs or sequestrations or whatever the media wants us worked up over. The judiciary system is no different, in highly contentious debates they can act arbitrarily or by reading of law, it hardly matters as a large portion of us will hate them anyway. If the majority of us do agree on something, we can get it fixed. But since we cannot agree on this issue, it really doesn't matter what they do, lots of people will be unhappy either way.

              None of this makes me look for the four horsemen, this is the system created for us, and that has served us well.

               

              • by happy_place (632005) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @09:39AM (#43091709) Homepage

                There was a time when the creative minds of this country were discredited, blacklisted and even arrested because they were accused of being Communists, Radicals, Social Deviants and Homosexuals. Now the Homosexuals have their turn, and have proven they never really objected to McCarthyism, their righteous self-will knows no bounds, and they will oppress as they were oppressed.

                Where is the tolerance that they strove for when they were not a mainstream religion of thought? Is this the price of tolerance: More Oppression?!

                Ridiculous. This whole scandal, its hypocrisy is galling. Judge the art, not the artist. Some of our very best classics in science fiction are from people who were nonconformists in their day. In fact that goes for most authors... perhaps it is their outspoken natures that drives them to do things the rest of us can do little more than wish we did.

                OSC's comments seem almost prophetic in the face of what's occurred.

                 

                • by ultranova (717540) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @10:48AM (#43092353)

                  There was a time when the creative minds of this country were discredited, blacklisted and even arrested because they were accused of being Communists, Radicals, Social Deviants and Homosexuals. Now the Homosexuals have their turn, and have proven they never really objected to McCarthyism, their righteous self-will knows no bounds, and they will oppress as they were oppressed.

                  Oh my, that is serious! They even got to the summary, which only talks about comic book fans considering not buying a comic book written by a crazy douchebag and entirely omitted the part about said douchebag being called before the Senate. Oh the humanity!

            • by Greyfox (87712) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @09:34PM (#43087261) Homepage Journal
              No, that's just a failure of the tyranny of the majority.

              In about half the states, the marriage between Obama's parents would have been illegal back when he was born. Such bigotry now seems quaint, although I assure you that in some of those states there are still people for whom the sentiment is still very much alive. In a few decades, our current bigotry will also seem quaint, I'm sure. I'm also sure that when that day comes, even though we're no longer oppressing homosexuals and Latinos, we'll still be oppressing someone.

              • by Doctor_Jest (688315) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @11:17PM (#43088247)

                Which is why our system has built-in checks and balances to protect us from the "tyranny of the mob" (I forget which Federalist mentioned that)....

                But by the same token, why are the people who are against what Card says so willing to censor his work? Isn't that a bit of irony? Why would someone who thinks that everyone deserves the right to get married also think it's perfectly okay to suppress someone else's opinion that doesn't jive with theirs?

                I find it mind-boggling that his story was not put into print based on other things he said. Even if the story was rampantly anti-gay, it wouldn't matter (just don't buy the issue, or as the progressives say... "turn the channel"). What matters is if it's any good. We have some of the most vile works about the basest of human evil in both print and other media, but that doesn't mean it's an endorsement of those things.

                Publishing Card's story is not an admission that he's right on Gay Marriage. (I for one think the government needs to be OUT of the marriage racket.)

                • by siride (974284) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @11:43PM (#43088467)

                  It's not censorship. They are exercising their right to express their own views by not supporting a bigot. Why is it okay for Card to spout this crap but it's not okay for people saying they don't want to be associated with it?

                  • by Doctor_Jest (688315) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @12:38AM (#43088935)

                    They can... but they can't tell ME I can't read or watch it. They can do like we always say on ./ ("turn the channel")... if they want to voice their opinion on the matter by complaining, fine. If they want to boycott it themselves, fine. But pressuring the company to avoid running it (or showing it on TV...) gets into MY rights to decide for myself.

                    Censorship does exist outside of the government's will... when someone tells ME I can't watch or read something.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              Does that not simply lend credence to his claim of "the end of democracy in America"?

              No, what would lend credence to his claim would be a US state enacting a same-sex marriage law without the necessary majority support from elected representatives.

              What about when the opposite happens; when the majority of state voters decide to not allow same sex marriage but the unelected judiciary orders it allowed anyway? Is that a failure of democracy?

              lol. it's called checks and balances and it works, dude. Or did you sleep through your American Government classes in high school? America has a democratic form of government, but it is by no means a democracy. Judicial nullification of stupid laws is a good thing. I don't care what the majority thinks is right -- if it is stupid, it is still stupid, and needs to be corrected. Fortunately our system of government, via the checks and balances that the framers of the US Constitution had the foresight to

            • by Black Parrot (19622) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @10:06PM (#43087585)

              Does that not simply lend credence to his claim of "the end of democracy in America"?

              No, what would lend credence to his claim would be a US state enacting a same-sex marriage law without the necessary majority support from elected representatives.

              What about when the opposite happens; when the majority of state voters decide to not allow same sex marriage but the unelected judiciary orders it allowed anyway? Is that a failure of democracy?

              Yes, it's a failure of pure democracy. However, it may not be a failure of constitutional democracy, depending on what the constitution says.

              Ancient Athens was a pure democracy. Also an evil empire. They voted genocide for the whole population of some island on account of some action they didn't like, and of course voted a choice between exile or death on Socrates for "corrupting the youth" with his crazy gadfly questions.

              I wouldn't want to live in a pure democracy. Thank all the gods the USA is a constitutional republic, with a mild seasoning of direct democracy (at the state level and lower) via the proposition mechanism.

            • It's a failure to recognize that the constitution should not be abused for the purpose of restricting individual freedom when it is only supposed to restrict government powers.

              We did it once when the temperance movement had enough populist support to ban alcohol. Now we have conservative leaning people riled up by the fundies with the notion that gay marriage is going to precipitate the same sort of doom and gloom as mass drunkness.

            • When the majority of state voters decide to not allow same sex marriage but the unelected judiciary orders it allowed anyway? Is that a failure of democracy?

              Those who champion equality definitely have an unfair advantage. The constitution is designed such that minority rights can be protected. Populism can result in mob rule. If something is detrimental to society then the standard is low "Murderers shouldn't walk free and we should infringe their rights!" If however your argument is just "Gay people are icky we should discriminate against them!" judges tend to toss your law out as unconstitutional.

              Slavery wasn't overturned by a vote. Segregation and mi

        • by LurkerXXX (667952) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:54PM (#43086007)

          Does that not simply lend credence to his claim of "the end of democracy in America"

          No, because the government didn't stop him from publishing anything. He's still got his right to vote for whatever/whoever he wants to in elections. He's free to say whatever idiotic things he wants. He's free to submit his work to whatever publisher he wants. No part of democracy is harmed.

          The market has spoken and individuals have spoken that they don't want to deal with a bigoted ass.

        • by zieroh (307208) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @08:29PM (#43086481)

          The interesting thing here is that the story Didn't push his agenda yet his story was still rejected. Does that not simply lend credence to his claim of "the end of democracy in America"?

          You're conflating democracy with capitalism.

        • by djlowe (41723) *

          Does that not simply lend credence to his claim of "the end of democracy in America"?

          No, it does not, because at the Federal level, the government is not, nor ever has been, a pure democracy. It's a democratic republic.

          Well, it was *supposed* to be that. Now it's more akin to a fascist state, where corporations pay federal politicians via campaign donations, lobbyists, etc., to enact laws to their benefit.

          And, in that light, he, you, I and pretty much everyone else are in the same boat: We're all being sl

        • by Velex (120469) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @11:05PM (#43088145) Journal

          Yes, it's quite interesting.

          What's even more interesting, though, is that the same rebuttal we get to see here on /. every time there's a story about $big_company yanking an article or refusing to sell things about $controversial_topic still applies. Free speech only applies to the government etc.

          Now please help me to understand why Card's opponents, which apparently make up a good amount of the demographic of people who purchase Superman comics, would need to worry about Barbra Streisand?

          It seems that what happened here is that what happened to me when I started reading Ender's Game a few years ago is now happening to many, many more people the more vocal Card gets with his bigotry. I found out he was a Mormon, and knowing what Mormons do to transgendered individuals who have the rotten luck to be born into such of a vile, regressive, and sometimes just bizarre "faith," I was unable to read any more of it.

          Card has his free speech to say whatever he wants. However, if he can't tell the difference between a transgendered person (me), a homosexual man or woman, and a farm animal, I see no reason to give him any of my money, especially these days now that money is speech.

          I mean, what the hell could I possibly be thinking giving money to an individual who fosters an agenda that wants to make the country I own property in a very not-so-nice place for me? I don't care if he's written the next Les Mis FFS! He ISN'T getting my money, because I know that he has an agenda and folks like me are the target.

          Let's face it. If folks who were opposed to gay marriage really were about preserving the sanctity of marriage, I've got bad news for them. They're going to need to refocus quite a lot of their efforts on some very basic things such as the divorce rate. Marriage is no longer important, the idea that all the protection you need is a ring is becoming old-fashioned, and gays have nothing to do with it. In fact, these people have nothing to lose! Nobody wants to dissolve their marriages!

          All it seems is that the publisher has noticed that I'm not alone and decided that they'd rather not send bad money after good and go through with publishing something that will flop for no other reason than the person who wrote the story is a complete bigot.

          All that seems to have happened here is that against all odds the invisible hand of the free market seems to have done something useful for a change. Fortunately, Card lives in a democracy, and as much as I wish he would shut up, I'm not sure I'd like to live in a country where he could be shut up. All he doesn't have is the right to be heard. Rather perhaps, the trouble is that he has been heard, and now enough people have a bad taste in their mouths that they'd rather he just take his ball and go home.

          In fact, it's rather refreshing to know that there are enough people who are disgusted enough with Card that it would cause something he worked on to flop. Maybe the blurb I read on Advocate.com the other day that homosexuals are no longer an effective political bogeyman was true. Maybe things really might change. Not that I'm holding my breath.

      • by elfprince13 (1521333) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @08:19PM (#43086329) Homepage
        He also writes strong/heroic gay characters (have you read Songmaster, or the Homecoming series). He's not opposed to gay people/gay rights in general, but he STRONGLY believes that the traditional family unit is the foundation of civilization. I recommend you watch this video to get a better idea of where he's coming from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnhsDuj285c [youtube.com]
    • by bigjarom (950328) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:35PM (#43085715) Journal
      Agreed that he's overrated in general, but the original Ender novel is excellent. That being said, I have read about 20 of his books, and a funny thing is that Card's personal view are not at all evident in most of his books. I know he's a Mormon and everything, but the characters and situations in his stories often convey a very progressive and rational outlook on the universe.
      • by AK Marc (707885)
        Are you sure you read 20? I was introduced to them by a friend, and I read the first when the others had long since been out. On reading one of the sequels, I asked my friend if Card was a religious nut. He didn't know. I found it obvious from Speaker for the Dead (or one of the other sequels) that he had serious religious issues. It took me all of 2 of his books to come to that conclusion, and reading about him in more detail confirmed it. I thought it obvious, and detracted from his stories.
      • Agreed that he's overrated in general, but the original Ender novel is excellent. That being said, I have read about 20 of his books, and a funny thing is that Card's personal view are not at all evident in most of his books. I know he's a Mormon and everything, but the characters and situations in his stories often convey a very progressive and rational outlook on the universe.

        Cord writes very well about one thing -- pain. It suffuses his novels in a way that is interesting at first, but gets decidedly old pretty quickly. I loved Ender's Game, tolerated Speaker For the Dead, and could barely finish Xenocide. Pain is fun to explore sometimes, but Card can't seem to write about anything else. I don't know where you get the rational and progressive outlook from, though -- his homosexual characters seem to magically get out of their pain by finding a member of the opposite gender

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:37PM (#43085731)

      Card's view is not an "unpopular" one; it is discriminatory. Unfortunately, it is much TOO popular.

    • Exactly so. Many singers I like were/are gay, and many singers I like were/are anti-gay. I don't care about their views as long as I appreciate their art, or even if I dislike their art, I still don't care :)

    • by sehlat (180760) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @08:03PM (#43086129)

      "... separating the artist from the art" is excellent in theory, but a collapsium-plated bitch in practice.

      I once had an email exchange with S. M. Stirling about piracy wherein the sequence went:

      He: "The police should have the right to search everyone's hard drive over the net without a warrant and erase anything they deem suspicious. Anybody who objects to this is a thief or thief wannabe."

      Me: "I object to that, and aren't you being rather harsh toward someone who has bought copies of everything you've ever written?"

      He: "Big deal. All the royalties I've gotten from you wouldn't even take me out to dinner at my favorite restaurant."

      I haven't been able to bring myself to read his stuff since, and the formerly-complete collection became pulp fiction.

      As I said, separating the artist from the art sounds simple but isn't.

      • "I once had an email exchange with S. M. Stirling about piracy..."

        Thank you for sharing that with us. I shall henceforth make it a point to not read Stirling.

        All political and other views aside, any "artist" who displays that much disdain for his / her audience does not deserve to have one.

    • I've always believed in separating the artist from the art.

      Have you taken a long hard look at this stance? It's easy to "always" do something because you've always done it, but I've found that when I really look at the past me, it turns out that he's been wrong a lot. I used to believe this as well, but on further examination, I've come to realize that I only held that belief because it was convenient. It allowed me to listen to a band I liked, even though they'd made some statements that were ignorant at best. Pretty similar to this situation, really.

      I'm not sayin

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Vreejack (68778)

      On the other hand I am "shocked" to discover his position, given the homoerotic undertones in some of his works. Can we have more naked adolescent boys fighting in the shower? Preparing to fight the "buggers," no less. The man has unresolved issues.

  • An Old Discussion (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nhojovadle]> on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:33PM (#43085669) Journal

    On the other hand, Card seems to have kept his personal views out of his fiction,

    Well, I can think of four or five times this has come up on Slashdot. Here's one [slashdot.org] and another [slashdot.org]. And from that comment by MozeeToby:

    It isn't so much about 'preachy-ness' as it is about 'propaganda-ness'. In the Shadow series, for instance, we have the homosexual character of Anton. He is not in any way evil, Card doesn't ask us to fear or hate him as you might expect from a right wing writer.

    Instead (and arguably worse), when we are first introduced to Anton we are asked to pity him. He is given a ludicrously strong cognitive dissonance to ham handedly symbolize the dissonance that Card assumes the man must have because of his lifestyle. He is utterly lonely and unhappy, and it is heavily implied that he has considered suicide as the only option to end his suffering.

    Later in the story, Anton has *gasp* married. No, not to a man, but to a woman. In fact he is going to be a father. He is happy, talkative, and engaging. He mentions in passing that his homosexual tendancies have made his marriage harder but that with work they are able to get through it and live a full and happy life.

    In my opinion, this is a more disgusting attack on gay rights than any violent diatrabe could ever be.

    That probably bears repeating to address your "keeps it out of his fiction" comment.

    Frankly, I've given up on Card. I've been chided about this very issue before on Slashdot [slashdot.org] (several times actually) but I stand by my opinion: You're free to say or believe in anything you want. But if you're an actor, author, musician, developer, athlete or any profession that tries to use their own popularity to further a belief or statement that I find reprehensible, I will actively and vocally make it known that I will no longer patronize you with funds or admiration.

    I wish him the best of luck as one human being to another but I will not spend one more cent to him if he's going to use his position as an author to vocally oppose two people of the same sex who are in love with each other. If you think I'm wrong in doing this, then ask yourself this simple question: Would he have such a large podium if he wasn't a renowned author? The answer is: No, he would just be another raving lunatic. So I'm no longer giving him the reverence or publicity that a world renowned author should have.

    Boggles my goddamned mind that he could write wonderful novels decrying xenocide and turn around and say such crap. Once again the power of religion blasts the doors right off of any sensible logic.

    • Re:An Old Discussion (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:44PM (#43085851)

      Meh, the woman was a lesbian and they have an "understanding" about "business trips", "poker nights with the guys", "lacrosse trips", and "separate bedrooms".

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:46PM (#43085871)

      A question, then: is it possible for a famous person to openly state a viewpoint without "using their own popularity" to further said viewpoint? How might someone in such a position go about doing that? Or should they simply be silenced, for fear of their fame leading people to agree with them?

    • by stanlyb (1839382)
      Good for you. But, i wonder, if you are somehow trying to deny the same right to the ones that agree with Scott's believe? Yes? Why? What the frack man, why the hate!!!!
    • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:52PM (#43085979)

      Later in the story, Anton has *gasp* married. No, not to a man, but to a woman. In fact he is going to be a father. He is happy, talkative, and engaging. He mentions in passing that his homosexual tendancies have made his marriage harder but that with work they are able to get through it and live a full and happy life.

      That is actually mainstream thought within religion-based anti-gay groups. It is their implementation of "hate the sin, love the sinner" - it is OK to be gay as long as you never act on it. Kind of like staying celibate until marriage except you never get married.

      There are a lot of religious people trying to live that way - it comes down to a choice for them, they can repress their sexuality and live in a supportive community or they can accept their sexuality and be cast out all alone. For them they do not perceive it as a bunch of sanctimonious jerks repressing them, instead it is a choice between keeping the life they've spent decades building or giving that up for what may or may not turn out to be a life with more inner peace. It is not an easy choice - both options have major pros and cons.

      I haven't read much, if any, of Card's books in the last two decades, so I don't really know any of the context of this Anton character. But I have to wonder if he is at least a little bit autobiographical - expressing an ideal that Card is trying to live up to himself.

    • But if you're an actor, author, musician, developer, athlete or any profession that tries to use their own popularity to further a belief or statement that I find reprehensible, I will actively and vocally make it known that I will no longer patronize you with funds or admiration.

      What about the opposite? If a person was using their popularity to further a point you found agreeable, would you make it known that you will patronize them? What if the person quietly held the belief you found reprehensible? What would be your response then?

    • Frankly, I've given up on Card.

      So have I, and until this posting, I was completely unaware of his views on gay marriage. (Yes I live under a rock.) I gave up on him long ago for a good reason: his fiction has gone to crap.

      Card suffers the malaise of the exceedingly popular author. Because he's practically a household name across much of the planet, his publishers are utterly spineless. When he pulls down his pants and squeezes out a load of crap and calls it a novel (I'm looking at you, Ender's Shadow), they fight to publish it. The

  • This is just stupid. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:35PM (#43085703) Homepage Journal

    I'm a Christian, but the US is in no way a Christain nation. For what it;s worth, I have no trouble with gays except for the "ick" factor; what you do is none of my business. Hell, I'm a fan of Queen. I'm friends with gays, atheists, hell, at least one murderer.

    I wouldn't be aghast if Richard Dawkins penned it, why is someone so up in arms about an openly anti-gay guy? He's entitled to his opinion. This looks like a McCarthy-style witch hunt, back in the day that gays had to hide. If I were gay, I'd be as outraged that this guy would be treated like gays used to be.

    • by tylikcat (1578365) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:40PM (#43085783)

      Do you understand what an anti-gay witch hunt looks like?

      A bunch of people saying, in effect, "We are so deeply uncomfortable with the loudly expressed policial views of this author that we won't buy work written by him," is not it. Not even if they do so in an organized fashion.

      • Do YOU understand? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SuperKendall (25149)

        A bunch of people saying, in effect, "We are so deeply uncomfortable with the loudly expressed policial views of this author that we won't buy work written by him," is not it.

        And if the same people follow whatever potential work he might have and try to kill off his ability to do any writing at all over time?

        Looks like an irrational with-hunt to me (the irrationality of it is that his actual story had nothing to do with gay marriage).

        I have a number of gay/lesbian friends, have even been part of some ceremo

    • by Guspaz (556486)

      There is a big difference between somebody advocating against believing in something like Richard Dawkins does, and somebody advocating active persecution of people because they're different like Card does.

    • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:57PM (#43086055)

      why is someone so up in arms about an openly anti-gay guy?

      Why is someone so up in arms about a guy who openly doesn't want black people to be free?
      Why is someone so up in arms about a guy who openly doesn't want women to be able to vote?
      Why is someone so up in arms about a guy who openly advocates against interracial marriage?

      The times, my friend, they are a-changing. Gay rights is a civil rights issue, plain and simple. The question is whether or not it is acceptable for society to discriminate against gay people. A quick glance back at history will tell you which side is going to be the winning side, in case you want to ignore the obvious trend in public polling. Card is actively advocating in favor of discrimination, and that's what people have a problem with. I don't need to claim to be a fan of Queen or have a black friend to be in favor of civil rights, regardless of which group we're talking about. I'm in favor of civil rights because it is objectively the morally right thing to do. So, naturally, I have a problem with people who openly advocate against the right thing to do.

    • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @08:02PM (#43086117)

      Hell, I'm a fan of Queen. I'm friends with gays, atheists, hell, at least one murderer.

      One of these is not like the others.

    • by quantaman (517394)

      This isn't about Card being openly anti-gay or having an opinion, he's a political advocate on the board of the National Organization for Marriage. The only reason anyone gives a damn what Card thinks is because he's a famous author, if he's willing to spend the voice he's earned as an author to brand himself with a particular brand of political advocacy I have no problem with people rejecting his art because of that political advocacy. You can't put a hyperbaric chamber around the story and separate it fro

    • by nitehawk214 (222219) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @11:15PM (#43088223)

      I'm friends with gays, atheists, hell, at least one murderer.

      And the fact that you lump these all together makes you a terrible person.

  • by neminem (561346) <neminem@gmai l . c om> on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:35PM (#43085705) Homepage

    I always applauded him for being able to keep his personal brand of crazy out of it novels - it surprised me to learn how batshit insane he was, his novels always struck me as supremely rational. I did feel conflicted - on one hand, I didn't want to give monetary support to someone with such disgusting ideas, but on the other hand, I *did* want to support someone who wrote such beautiful stories.

    Then I read his Empire - guess he was just saving up all his crazy for that book. I haven't read its sequel; I hear it's even worse. I haven't bought anything from him since then. I don't feel conflicted anymore.

  • by MadMike32 (1361741) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:36PM (#43085729)
    But every artist's marketability is, to a greater or lesser degree, dependent upon his or her popularity. The consumers of his product have every right to express their displeasure by boycotting his work or any collective work to which he contributes.
  • by ADRA (37398) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:39PM (#43085773)

    A little off topic, but in the vein of card's character, I really enjoyed ender's game and speaker for the dead, but I was absolutely sucker punched at how fast you can fuck over your audience after reading Xenocide and Ender's Children.. The very outspoken religious dogma in Xenocide made me loose all faith in Card's cred for interesting and objective sci-fi writing... which was a shame, because I actually considered Speaker to be one of the better approaches to religion as a facet of the story without being preachy... oh well.

  • by couchslug (175151) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:39PM (#43085775)

    If I knew a person was my enemy I would not enrich them by buying their works.

    That would be stupid, particularly for trifles such as comics.

    • by stanlyb (1839382)
      What is wrong with one man having many women? Or one woman having many man? Illegal you say? You discriminating pig, how dare you!!!
      • by Stormthirst (66538) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:55PM (#43086027)

        What *is* wrong with polygamy. Provided everyone is in agreement/consenting, and no one is cheating on anyone else?

        • by ADRA (37398) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @11:30PM (#43088355)

          Within the confines of a single family unit, there is absoltely nothing wrong with poligomy as long as all are fully willing participants for each major adjustment in their 'family contract' so to speak.

          The problems poligomoy:
                1. They only ever exist in deeply patriarical societies where women are generally repressed or at least marginalized
                2. Its almost always forbiudden for Women to take multiple male partners, which would at least allow for some aspect of equality in the mix
                3. The practice is also quite commonly associated with with child brides (where much older men marry children/teens) which has its own set of moral and ethical problems to deal with
                4. The scarcity of partners in one sex or the other causes deep social issues where the uncoupled are deprived of a 'fair' chance to procreate, which is one reason why on a genetic level, poligomy is a problem (another is less diversity in the gene pool with a single dominant sex coupling many)

          The only notable areas of poligomy I know of are in Muslim nations and in small pockets of the US/Canada where they barely escape the laws that firmly define their rights within those nations (often skirting or breaking society's laws). If someone could point out a stable large scale poligomist culture, I'd be interested in it as a purely academic perspective, because it doesn't seem to be a good poster child for a poligomist tolerant society to model itself off in terms of its legal bound regulations.

  • by ravenscar (1662985) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:48PM (#43085913)

    He's free to say what he wants. I'm free to choose to boycott his work. His publisher is free to choose not to publish his work. His illustrator is free not to work with him. I'm sick and tired of people acting like free speech means speech without consequences. It doesn't. The government can't throw you in jail or treat you differently because of what you say (some exceptions to that rule of course), but everyone else is free to react as they see fit (within standard legal boundaries).

    Now, one could argue that publishers have some sort of moral obligation to publish things regardless of controversy, but that's a different argument entirely.

    • by rkhalloran (136467) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @08:20PM (#43086341) Homepage
      This line of reasoning is why the last thing I've seen involving John Travolta or Tom Cruise was sitting through a TV rerun of "Grease" with my teen daughters about 15 years back. The Scientologists use celebrities to push their "religion", I vote with my wallet to not support it or them. Were they not such vocal advocates of their personal beliefs I might be tempted to see their work.
  • by Theaetetus (590071) <theaetetus,slashdot&gmail,com> on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:49PM (#43085917) Homepage Journal
    And Card is allowed to believe and say what he wants.

    Similarly, Sprouse is allowed to refuse to work with Card. Retailers are allowed to refuse to stock Card's work. DC is allowed to refuse Card's story. And comic book buyers are allowed to refuse to buy stuff by him.
    Boycotts are not an attack on your freedom - they're someone else getting to also exercise their freedom.
  • by TsuruchiBrian (2731979) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:50PM (#43085939)

    We simply need to acknowledge that it is indeed possible for unlikable people to make likeable art. I never read Ender's Game, but I've heard it's good. Every person is free to decide for themselves if they are comfortable with consuming art, food, inventions, etc from people who's views you oppose. As long as there is no coercion, I don't see a problem, with Card expressing anti-gay views in a comic book (not that he is currently doing that). I don't see a problem with consumers boycotting his art. I don't see a problem with pro gay rights consumers buying his art. The only thing I have a problem with is anything that actually limits the rights of any people unjustly (straight or gay). Freedom to express arguments against gay rights is protected under free speech, and in my view actually helps society move forward through public discourse. If there is ever a compelling reason to oppose gay rights, I might even be convinced to oppose them, but the fact that no good reason has been presented in the free market of ideas says something about the possibility that a good actually argument exists.

    Also, Card is right about gay rights being in opposition to democracy, but this is a good thing. The USA is not *just* a democracy. The democracy of Americans is limited by the constitution. We are not able to vote to re-establish slavery if 51% of the population supports it. The constitution is a check on democracy. Democracy is only one of the ingredients of a free society. And an excess of democracy can be a bad thing. Democracy alone is just mob rule.

  • by mentil (1748130) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:59PM (#43086095)

    Boycotting the Superman issue (which supposedly doesn't contain any author tract on gay marriage) wouldn't change Card's mind, but only tell him that people strongly disagree with him (which I'm sure he's already aware of). His claims need to be directly debunked; it sounds like he has some convoluted speculative-fiction logic that leads him to believe that legalization of gay marriage would lead to a dystopic government. I've heard parallel arguments about chaos being caused by traditional institutions being threatened, but I have a hard time not seeing it as a moral panic. Maybe people will start using critical thinking to challenge traditions based on archaic, often dubious, assumptions. If that's a good or bad thing depends on your point of view.

    Some media may be convinced to stay away from homophobic authors/content, but that won't stop homophobia because prejudice is easily spread by word of mouth. Self-censorship won't change anyone's minds, the marketplace of ideas needs to do its thing.
    Think of it this way, which is better?:
    a) someone never hearing homophobic ideas before, then being deluged by the flawed logic of a true-believer, which they are unlikely to be able to completely debunk on the spot
    or b) someone hearing point/counterpoint on every issue as they come up

  • by _0x783czar (2516522) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @08:08PM (#43086169) Homepage Journal
    Some of my favorite books are written by people who I disagree with. Just because someone hold a different opinion is no reason to prevent them from expressing art. Acceptance goes both ways.
  • A stupid issue (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RazorSharp (1418697) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @08:11PM (#43086215)

    People always get all offended when I say I'm against gay marriage. Before they even inquire as to why I feel this way, they start asking me irrelevant questions such as, "Would you deny gay people the right to love one another?" or "Would you deny them the right to visit each other in the hospital?"

    Then I explain that I think those questions are irrelevant, and that I'm not just against gay marriage, I'm against marriage. Why would I support expanding marriage when I'm against marriage in the first place? This is when they roll their eyes, they laugh. It's funny to hear the hopeless womanizing bachelor be ridiculous. Kind of like how they like to listen to my sex stories. Married people get a real kick out of living vicariously through their single friends. I have to repeat myself and clarify for them to realize that I'm being serious. Yes, I'm opposed to legal marriage.

    What does that mean? It means the state has no business in the affairs of marriage. Marriage is a ceremony where two people make an oath to be true to one another for the rest of their lives, and then they usually break that oath at some point. Then they take the oath with another person, and then they usually break it off, too. Third time seems to be the charm.

    Married people pay less taxes than I do, although their combined incomes allow them to live better. If they have kids they pay even less. How's that make sense? I pay taxes so their little snot-nosed kids can go to school, and they get a tax break? Why isn't there a kid tax?

    But I digress. Marriage should be whatever people make of it. If you can get a priest, rabbi, shaman, or witch doctor to marry you and your significant other -- of whatever sex they may be -- go for it. If you want to share your finances with your loved one then go to a lawyer and draw up a contract. If you want to legally change your name to your spouse's name, then go to court and have it changed. If Mormons want to have ten wives, let 'em. There's no law against having ten girlfriends, why should there be a law against having ten wives?

    Basically, a monogamous relationship is a monogamous relationship. I consider the couple who has been together for ten years, had a child together, and share everything except the title of 'husband and wife' to be more married than the couple who have known each other a couple hours in Vegas and drunkenly got married. The only thing legal marriage does is make breaking up a pain in the ass. The only people legal marriage provides any benefit to are divorce lawyers and gold diggers.

  • by conspirator23 (207097) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @08:19PM (#43086333)

    Officially, Card has expressed himself. DC's customers have expressed themselves. The illustrator expressed himself as well as making a personal business decision. DC is now faced with a business decision, but their specific choice will almost guaranteeably be a safe and legal one. This is how free speech and free enterprise work.

    Personally, Card is just the one name in a long string of SF authors whose political and philosophical views generate interest above and beyond their novels. Larry Niven thinks the notion of privacy is obsolete. Issac Asimov was a proudly outspoken secular humanist. Heinlein got seriously pervy as he aged. I find it fascinating to see how these authors personal views bled (or didn't bleed) into their work at different phases of their career. It does seem like Card is going the Heinlein route in that his personal views are becoming more strident and more visible in his fiction as he ages. (I read Empire... it was fun even though I did feel like there was some Fox News inspired, masturbatory logic in it). Bottom line though, this whole thing is a tempest in a teapot.

  • by epine (68316) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @08:52PM (#43086741)

    There is a simple separation between art and the artist.

    If I were reviewing one of his novels, I wouldn't pay the least attention to his toxic views on homosexual marriage, unless it's there in the book. I would be happy to write: This is a fabulous book written by a mid-grade asshole. Your call. I'm not advocating that anyone else boycott his lame ass on my behalf. I have myself borrowed two of Card's books from the library because I respect his contributions to the genre.

    On my own account, I'm sure as hell not forking over so much as loose change from under the sofa cushion to purchase anything the man has written. His views on gay marriage are toxic squared. Now if I were the artist (and this is a prospect I'm seriously considering in a mid-life fit of career suicide) I have no problem with gay marriage bigots boycotting financial support of my endeavors. (I'm generally opposed to winner-take-all market dynamics in the first place. If some moral market Balkanization would slow the Amazon borgship down, I'm all for it.)

    Seriously, what's toxic about Card is failing to distinguish marriage as a social institution from marriage as a deeply personal institution: a commitment by two people to stand by each other. I don't give a damn if the later is redefined as civil union, so long as it entitles those who enter into it to all the traditional secular spousal benefits: insurance, primary beneficiary, power of attorney, etc.

    If Card had an honest bone in his body, he'd document his views on the entitlements of civil union. Tell us, do we still need a revolution if the government endorses civil union as the secular equivalent of metaphysically sanctioned procreative marriage?

    No, he just grabs onto marriage in its guise as a social institution as if there's no other reasonable claim.

    He also conveniently assumes there's no such thing as a heterosexual person who wouldn't have been happier in a gay relationship except for some adverse childhood influence. No wonder all the identity regret flows in a single direction, when the countervailing direction is defined as zero by aggressive logical neglect. I have heard of people leaving straight relationships for the other side, but not yet have I heard a story where the heterosexual phase was attributed to sexual abuse (as opposed to moral abuse). With the moral abuse so pervasive, and far easier to talk about—among the people who aren't actively advocating toxic views—it's hardly surprising the "deflected into normalcy by sexual abuse" category is rarely run up the flag pole.

    Apparently he never got the memo on secular democracy. He's living in a country alongside a lot of people who actively reject metaphysical first claim, and far more who passively distance themselves from the bullshit, without bestowing upon themselves any inconvenient social labels.

    America is constitutionally a secular democracy. Religion in America is an aggressively individual freedom. A clarifying essay by Card on the errors of the founding fathers would also be welcome. Why doesn't he just admit he believes he's actively insurgent against the original framing of American democracy? That would double my respect for his views, right there.

    Really, what need did he have to take up the subject in the first place? How was it his issue? Because when you're religious, it's all your business? How sick is that?

  • Why do people care what any celebrity or artist thinks about anything in their spare time?

    You don't go down the street and ask people if they're going to vote for or against gay marriage or go to church on Sunday or if they're for abortion or not before having a block party, so why give so much attention to anyone else's beliefs when it has nothing to do with their product?

    In other words, unless the story he wrote for Superman contained homophobia, what does it matter how the author feels about the subject?

    Statistically I have to accept that almost every person I meet will disagree with me on something I have an opinion on and the only mature response is to not let it bother me. When possible, I have dialog with anyone that I disagree with (like those who want to avoid publishing something from O.S.C. for a reason other than his ability to write) but I don't avoid them or their product if its good.

    The only result from this type of response is that people who have perfectly valid opinions of their own are muzzled and censored by the court of public opinion. I know many would disagree, but I'd prefer a nation of continual discourse on hot topics than silent resentment by those whose opinions fall out of favour.

  • No "homophobia" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by markdavis (642305) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @09:08PM (#43086931)

    >"Orson Scott Card's Superman Story Shelved After Homophobia Controversy"

    Just because someone doesn't support gay marriage doesn't make that person a "homophobe". Some people against gay marriage have absolutely nothing against gay people or gay couples. And some even support legal gay coupling, with the same rights as marriage, just not called "marriage".

    Now, Orson Scott Card might well indeed be a homophobe, but I keep seeing articles that automatically equate non support of gay marriage as homophobia, which is it not.

  • by sabt-pestnu (967671) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @10:19PM (#43087749)

    ... on his blog [dreamcafe.com].

    I thought it worth bringing notice here. It's not a simple issue, as he points out:

    Do you suppress Card's speech, in contravention of the principles of free speech (but not rising to a first amendment issue - we're not the government)? Isn't that what the Hollywood blacklist [wikipedia.org] of the '40s and '50s was all about?

    Or do you let him put his agenda forth unimpeded, with all that that implies? Even if you then come after, and disclaim said agenda?

    And how much does all of this have to do with Superman, in the end?

    That last question has a lot in common with one I consider about politicians all the time: Should I vote out of office the politician that is knowledgeable, effective, and politically uncorruptible, solely because I disapprove of his not-illegal private affairs?

  • by Theovon (109752) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @10:56PM (#43088065)

    We don't have to like all the views of our favorite authors. Although I'm sure he's never acted on it, Piers Anthony has a bit of a pedo thing going on, with the worst being his book Firefly. You know what? I'm just not going to read that book. I read Xanth novels to help me go to sleep at night, and I enjoy them. (Although to be honest, if he did act on his drives and started molesting children, I don't think I could stand to read his stuff anymore.)

    So, Card is a homophobe. I can both criticize him for this and still enjoy his books.

    What is the deal with this binary reasoning people have? Why do you have to decide that a person is totally evil because they have one view you disagree with? I think it's possible to emit both praise and criticism for the same person on different topics.

  • by porges (58715) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @10:57PM (#43088071) Homepage

    Can I get anyone to take this position: OSC is within his rights to his opinion, DC is within their rights to not print his story...

    but maybe it would be a better world if DC comics didn't have the ability to prevent publication of a given story about Superman, a character created 75 years ago by a couple of guys who were paid a small flat rate for the character?

    Then Card could put out whatever story he wants and we could all avoid it by ourselves, should we so choose.

  • He never said that. (Score:4, Informative)

    by MavenW (839198) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @05:35AM (#43090439)

    Who wrote this garbage? OP should do a little bit of research before re-posting straw men.

    "The controversy arose because Card has become an outspoken opponent of gay marriage, going so far as to say giving it legal recognition could mark 'the end of democracy in America,' and suggesting 'traditional' married people will eventually have to overthrow the government."

    Card never really even came close to saying that giving gay marriage legal recognition could mark the end of democracy in America.

    That quote came from an article he wrote back in 2008, shortly after the court in California disagreed with the law that the voters in California had passed. Gay marriage was a secondary issue. It was the fact that court was making new laws. Nobody believes that giving gay marriage recognition could mark the end of democracy in America. Least of all Card. However, letting the courts make new laws when the people have voted... that might.

    Card also doesn't believe that traditional married people will eventually have to overthrow the government. Whoever wrote that press release was obviously trying to make him out as more of a nut case than he really is.

    Frankly, it's obviously working. Nobody here even checked up on it. Slashdot, I'm disappointed.

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