Why You Shouldn’t Let Orson Scott Card’s Homophobia Affect Your Enjoyment Of Ender’s Game

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Orson Scott Card wrote Ender’s Game in 1985. It is, almost without question, one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written. And he’s been doing everything he can to undermine it ever since.

He’s not doing it on purpose, mind you. But the endless cash-ins on the story in the form of mostly inferior and unnecessary sequels (Ender’s Shadow excepted) haven’t exactly helped cement its legacy. Perhaps even worse than those are the man himself. Card is, to put it bluntly, kind of an asshole.

Even his assholery isn’t, in and of itself, exactly news. A lot of authors are grade-A jerks. Harlan Ellison for instance is one of the all time biggest assholes, but people are still able to acknowledge his genius. What’s really making it tough for people to keep enjoying Card’s brilliant writing is the specific focus for some of his assholery. In short, he’s a homophobe.

Card has written a variety of screeds on the subject and because this specific expression of his assholerly happens to come at a time when gay people are out there struggling for civil rights it’s caused a few people to start boycotting his work. It’s not that his actual work is homophobic, it’s not in the least, but the perception among the more extremist of political activists is that it’s not right to put money in the coffers of a guy who’s out there working actively against the civil rights of gay people.

That’s a noble idea in practice but let’s consider for a minute just why Orson Scott Card is such a homophobe. Actually, scratch that. It’ll take less than a minute. I can sum it up in one word: Mormonism.

Orson Scott Card speaks out against gay people because he’s a Latter Day Saint. He’s one of 6.3 million Latter Day Saints in the United States, worldwide more than 12 million people profess to believe that after Jesus was done with the Jews he came to hang out in the United States. The next president of the United States may even end up being a Mormon. Mitt Romney is the 2012 Republican candidate for president and yep, he too is a Latter Day Saint. Orson Scott Card isn’t even a rarity among successful authors. Stephanie Meyer, the mind behind the successful Twilight series is also a Mormon, and unlike Card her religious views are plainly evident in the subtext of her work.

Orson Scott Card is a Latter Day Saint and as an organization the Latter Day Saints have a real problem with homosexuality. The Mormon church was deeply involved in getting gay marriage banned in California, using the 10% tithe it gets from each of its members to fund an anti-gay agenda. According to the site What Mormons Believe, “The Mormon Church is firm on its position condemning homosexuality as sinful behavior.”

What I’m getting at here is that while Card states his views on homosexuality a little more vehemently and openly than the average Mormon, he’s pretty much in line with the beliefs of the other 12.3 million Latter Day Saints in the world. If you’re going to take a stance against Orson Scott Card then to be fair, you’ll have to start boycotting pretty much every other Mormon in the world too. Here’s a list of just some of the things you’ll no longer be able to enjoy if you’re intent on starting a Mormon boycott…

  • The Twilight series | Written by a Mormon author. No more sparkly vampires for you.
  • An American Tale | Director Don Bluth is a Latter Day Saint. Stop singing “Somewhere Out There” immediately.
  • Marriot Hotels | You can’t stay at them. Owned by a Mormon. There’s always Motel 6…
  • The Osmonds | Mormon. But let’s be honest you probably weren’t enjoying them anyway.
  • Dell Computer | Employs several Mormon CEOs. Every time you buy a Dell you give money to a Mormon. Smash your PC and buy a Mac, right now.
  • Napoleon Dynamite | Jon Heder is a serious Latter Day Saint. If you buy the DVD you’re voting for Joseph Smith, not Pedro.
  • JetBlue | One of the best airlines in the world and they employ Mormon CEO’s. Every ticket you buy helps pay their salary. Sorry, you’ll have to fly Air Mexico from now on.
  • Knocked Up & Grey’s Anatomy | Katherine Heigl was raised as a Latter Day Saint.
  • The Republican Party | Their 2012 candidate for president is not just a Latter Day Saint but a former Church leader and the great great grandson of a polygamist Mormon apostle.
  • Jeopardy | Ken Jennings dominated on Jeopardy and won tons of money. He’s a Mormon. By watching the show you helped pay him his winnings.

Let’s stop there. A complete list would, basically, be endless.

By the way, Mormons aren’t even the only religious group that takes a strong stance against homosexuality. So do Muslims and a lot of Christian groups too. What I’m getting at here is that Card doesn’t have the market cornered on assholery or homophobia. Boycotting him for basically regurgitating the stance of the organization he belongs to, only makes sense if you’re also going to boycott not only that organization as a whole but every single person who is a member of it. If you’re not going to do that, and doing so is basically almost impossible, then boycotting Card isn’t just a waste of time it’s hypocritical.

Instead of focusing on his crazy personal views, focus on his brilliant work. It’s possible to hate his beliefs but love his talent. And like a lot of wackos, Orson Scott Card is crazy talented. When Ender’s Game shows up in theaters, feel free to buy a ticket and enjoy without feeling guilty. There are other, better ways to support the civil rights of homosexuals. If you want to take a stance, take it against the organization behind Card’s anti-gay views and not just the old man mouthing its tenets.


  1. DonkeyMagnet says:

    This was a very well thought out article. People are too quick to jump on the hate train (on both sides) and in the end are really just missing out on alot of awesome stuff.

  2. Evan says:

    Good article!  Thanks for your views on this.  I don’t agree with his stance, but he is a very talented write.  Oh, and the last word in the article should be “tenets”, not “tenants”.  Sorry for the grammar nazi-ing!

  3. Gospyro says:

    Well said.  Now we just have to hope they don’t screw the pooch with the movie!  But I’m actually letting my hopes get up a little.

  4. Evan says:

    Oops-I meant “writer”.

  5. UnRiel says:

    If I boycotted all the idiot actors and singers that offended me with their inane and uninformed political and socio-economic views, I’d be really limited in what I could watch or listen too.

    By the way, Ender’s Game by Card’s explanation was written or at least conceived as a story after the idea/story for Speaker of the Dead. The Ender as an Adult trilogy is excellent and has some very cool sci-fi elements that do not deserve this author’s derision.

    • JT says:

      That’s actually not true about Speaker. Speaker was originally thought up separately and then after Ender was successful Card modified it to make it an Ender story. At least that’s what I’ve always heard. I’m not sure you can trust Card on it now, it wouldn’t be in his best interests to admit that now.

      But really I was talking more about the endless string of more recent, direct sequels to the Ender story. The books that came after Ender’s Shadow. Some of those are ok, but none really live up to Ender’s Game outside of Shadow.

      • hm0tion says:

        Would you recommend any of the other books in the series? I read Ender’s Game recently and I’m not sure where to start.

        • JT says:

          Ender’s Shadow, for sure.

        • Mukavich says:

           Ender’s Shadow or Speaker for the Dead.  Pick one.  Really, it depends on how much you enjoyed the philosophical elements over the battle school ones.  Want more battle school?  Shadow.  Want more philosophy?  Speaker.

        • Stygianscribe says:

          “Ender’s Game” is actually a starting point for at least two series, and a possibility of maybe two more.  “Speaker for the Dead” picks up with Ender as an adult and begins a trilogy of its own.  “Ender’s Shadow” tells much of the same story as “Ender’s Game,” but covers the events from the point of view of the character Bean.  That begins a series of its own following Bean and the other Battle School kids.  Recently, Card published “Ender in Exile” that serves as a connective piece between the original and “Speaker,” though it seems like a set up for more adventures as Ender grows up and really doesn’t do much as a story on its own.  This year saw “Shadows in Flight,” that sets up a possible series with Bean’s children.  All of these books serve as pieces of a larger story.

      • Brian says:

        I bought Ender’s Game for my son on a long car trip and he loved it. So having nothing to read one day I read it too. I proceeded to read the books about his adult space travels and enjoyed them, but as an adult I can only read so much about warrior children. No offense to those that enjoy it.

  6. John Henschen says:

    Sorry, but that’s not a reason to be okay with seeing Ender’s Game. That’s a list of reasons to ban a lot of other things as well. I saw that you were hiring for a new blogger. I’m qualified for that position and hell… maybe I’ll just send in my resume. But for the time being, unless something… miraculous happens, I won’t be seeing the movie even though it was a great novel that changed the way I viewed the world. Chik-fil-a’s sammiches *also* changed my world and I can’t bring myself to eat those either.  *sigh* My world would be so much happier with both of those things. Damn my hippie wife and her hippie parents for warping my perfectly pleasant and ignorant world view.

    • JT says:

      Then to be consistent, if Mitt Romney is elected president you have to stop paying taxes. To me it seems far more practical and EFFECTIVE to speak out against the organizations behind these people, rather than the individual members. It’s just not possible to boycott 12 million individual Mormons. No matter what you do, you’re still giving money to some Mormon, somewhere. And by the way, are you also boycotting Muslims? And fundamentalist Christians? If you need a taxi do you wait until you find one driven by an Atheist? It just doesn’t make sense to me.

      • John Henschen says:

        Your argument obviously makes sense, however, when I know that one specific person or organization openly defies what I see as logic, I will ban it when I can and when it makes sense. And I do speak out against those people/organizations and don’t patronize them, again, when it makes sense. In our current society, it’s much easier to be less ignorant about these things and therefore more difficult to avoid them. Sometimes ignorance is bliss in this arena. But when I can… hey… it can’t make perfect sense, but I try to make it make as much sense as possible.

      • Chris Paris says:

        Sometimes the action (such as boycotting) is important to the individual conducting it, regardless of the known outcome. Protest in the United States has a long history of failure, especially in the recent decades, but people continue to do it. And, occasionally, it works. 
        But only occasionally. It is part of the human condition to want to DO SOMETHING when we see things are wrong.

        Applying pressure to Card in the form of a rejection of his material could result in him changing his opinion. Unlikely, but some people hold out hope on that front. And that’s their right.

        • JT says:

          Everyone has the right to do something hypocritical and useless if they want to. Never said otherwise. And the need to do SOMETHING I completely understand. But if people really want to have an effect, there are far better things they could be doing. It’s just a little harder to actually stand up to the Mormon Church as a whole than it is to talk smack about one of its individual members.

  7. That Guy. says:

    I agree that people are entitled to their personal beliefs and opinions.  However we all choose to keep our opinions to ourselves so as not to infringe upon the rights of others – it’s a fundamental of society.  Incitement to hatred is a crime, and rightly so.  I can easily see how the views expressed by Card could be seen to denounce an entire group as ‘wrong’ for failing to adhere to his personal beliefs.  Now why boycott someone like Card over a CEO of DELL?  Well, when you enter the public sphere, and gain publicity you also acquire the responsibility not use that as a platform for spreading your ‘assholery’ and incite more assholery, everyone is entitled to their opinions, but when you’re a celebrity you have to learn certain opinions should be kept private.  A boycott is dumb, but I do believe that it is important fans show to Card that it’s not cool for him to be a public ass.

    • JT says:

      For me personally, I don’t like the idea that it’s ok to hate gay people as long as you don’t say anything about it. I’d rather have the guy be open and honest about his feelings than to keep his mouth shut so he can sell more books. Stephanie Meyer almost certainly feels the same way Orson Scott Card does, but she keeps quiet about it, so that’s ok? To me that’s not any better. I’d rather have this out in the open. If we go with what you’re saying, then what we’re really boycotting people for is expressing themselves, not for being homophobic.

      Great comment though dude, it’s worth discussing.

      • Chris Paris says:

        I’m not following.

        You say:

        “Stephanie Meyer is also a Mormon, and unlike Card her religious views are plainly evident in the subtext of her work.”

        But then:

        “Stephanie Meyer almost certainly feels the same way Orson Scott Card does, but she keeps quiet about it.”


        • JT says:

          She puts many of her Mormon views in the Twilight books, but does not address homosexuality specifically. I said her religious views are in there, I didn’t say her views on gay people.

    • Rich White says:

      I don’t think people are entitled to have personal beliefs if they are moronic. They should be ridiculed until they learn to keep their mouths shut. Shaming and un-acceptance are the only way to keep this crap from making it to the next generation.

  8. Libertyfan says:

    I agree.  Card is one of my favorite authors, and his books are full of compassion.  I’m strongly for gay rights, but I’m not going to deprive myself of his fiction.

  9. Judimehren7 says:

    I so disagree with your assessment. I won’t boycot all Mormons, only the ones who so blindly and vociferously defend the anti-gay stance that I believe to be bigoted and wrong-headed. I cannot financially support someone who is so completely prejudiced against a group of people, people made by God, by the way. I don’t shop where I know the proceeds go to causes in which I do not believe.

  10. Dan Mac says:

    It’s not his Mormon faith that I have issue with. It’s his membership on the Board of Director’s of NOM (National Organization for Marriage). I certainly wouldn’t patronize Maggie Gallagher’s business either. He goes well above and beyond the normal Mormon homophobia, into a George Rekers/Pete Labarbera level.

    And I think you’re wrong that only “extremist” political activists vote with their pocket books. Money is the only thing corporations listen to, and corporations run this world, not governments. The only voting that matters is the voting you do when you spend your hard earned cash.

    So, no, I will not be going to see Ender’s Game. Your article misses the boat, probably because you didn’t talk to any gay rights activists about why they would boycott Card. It has nothing to do with his religion, Mormonism is a red herring.

    • JT says:

      The Mormon Church basically funds NOM, and even if they didn’t, they pursue pretty much the same agenda. So I don’t see a big difference.

  11. don’t know if links are allowed here, but I found this interesting.
    http://www.nauvoo.com/library/card-hypocrites.html I for one agree that homosexuality is a sin. That being said, it is just like any other sin. I can’t do anything about it other than tell them my beliefs. So in the end, I can only treat them kindly like anyone else, and that is the end of it. Nothing wrong with having beliefs. It is when you go out of your way to harm people because of these beliefs that it is wrong (aka, islam). Nothing about these beliefs make me a homophobe, but sadly most people will think this.

    • Dan Mac says:

      Eating shrimp or getting a tattoo are also sins. The bible also condones owning slaves. If you’re going to pick and choose what you view as “sin”…. try not to be a dick about it.

      • Chris Paris says:

        I am sure Mr. Cross would willingly give himself up to slavery is asked. I was thinking of buying him myself, as I need some yard work done, but I prefer my slaves to be a little less opinionated.

    • Chris Paris says:

      Telling people they are “sinners” is one way of harming them.

  12. Stacey Smith says:

    I’m Mormon myself but I’m not a “homophobe.” You have to remember that people are still people and no matter how much a church will try to change someone, they’ll still do what they want to do; please don’t generalize all of us. Don’t dislike Card or Romney just because they’re affiliated with the Mormon church, dislike them for the individual choices they make. I don’t agree with all Card has said and done but I thoroughly enjoyed Ender’s Game and the Shadow series so I’m going to keep enjoying them.

    • Chris Paris says:

      Isn’t joining a homophobic church, and allowing it to maintain a discriminatory position, an “individual choice?”

      As a Mormon, what have you done to change the church?

      This just smacks of the “I was only following orders” dodge.

      • Rich White says:

        Just more example of the “privileges” churches enjoy. Any other organization that openly worked to discriminate would end up with a black-eye. The “it’s my belief” card is getting old folks. Sadly in this country religious moderates are the protection for religious extremists. Irrational beliefs lead to irrational behaviors.

        • JT says:

          That’s kind of my point Rich. People get caught up in attacking the individual and the organization sort of gets a pass… maybe because it’s easier to attack one person than an entire system, I don’t know. To me the focus should really be here, on what this organization is doing, not on one individual.

  13. This was the same thing that happened when he worked with Chair entertainment to write the plot of Shadow Complex. I really struggled with the idea of buying that game, even though it looked great because of his very aggressive stance on homosexuality.

    The thing that finally got me to get the game was reading an article, much like yours, that talked about all of the people that had labored to build the game and how he essentially played a small role in the overall making of the game and the general idea itself. I agreed that it would be stupid to boycott the hard and really good work of a whole development team based solely on my reaction to one asshole whose influence was limited. So I bought it, and enjoyed the hell out of it. 

    (Now the funny thing is, I went to a used bookstore and bought the book he wrote that was a prequel of the game and low and behold it was about an evil conspiracy of liberals to destroy the United States from the inside out, using their dirty SCIENCE, needless to say, I didn’t finish the book)

    That being said, Ender’s Game is a completely different matter. Yes, the book was published with the help of an entire company, and the movie made by an entirely different set of people unconnected with Card, but the story itself is solely his work and creation. He is the one ultimately responsible for it and it has made him a shitload of money. Card wasn’t the CEO of a company that made the idea employing lots of people, he wasn’t an actor on a tv show, or a game show contestant, he is this property’s creator he did all of the heavy lifting and will get a ton of money off of it.

    I don’t think this is as clear cut as you’re making it. I love sci-fi and I’m really interested in seeing this story that I’ve heard praise for for years and years, but I don’t know if I will. If this were a tv show that he was one of the writers on or even a movie trilogy that he wrote the middle episode of this would be different, but Ender’s Game is his completely. He doesn’t play a small role in anything that comes from it, he plays the central role.

    Out of everything he’s been associated with, I think if anyone chooses to boycott this movie, they will have every right too and it will not be hypocritical or extreme at all.

    • JT says:

      My point is that it doesn’t really matter what Card thinks, as long as it isn’t reflected in the work, which it isn’t. He’s one man among millions who think exactly the same.

      It just doesn’t make sense to single out this one guy, when he’s really just part of one big organization. Focus on the organization, not its members. Boycotting Ender’s Game is just boycotting great art, it’s not really doing anything to effect the anti-gay movement. It does hurt great art though.

      • In South Carolina, where I grew up, there is a BBQ joint called Maurice’s. The thing that makes Maurice’s special is that his restaurant is the originator of mustard-based BBQ sauce. His BBQ is excellent, and his sauce is so well received that in other parts of the country BBQ restaurants have taken to calling the mustard based sauce “Carolina BBQ” (which pisses me off for numerous reasons). Now no one can deny that he makes great BBQ, and he has a restaurant in the state capitol which has been around for years, but there is something that has made his restaurant a topic of  controversy, Maurice is a hardcore white supremacist. Maurice doesn’t just think white people are better, he believes slavery is biblical and sees no problem with it.

        Near the front window Maurice had on display and sells white supremacist literature and even at one point Klu Klux Klan robes. Maurice makes fantastic BBQ, he’ll sell it to anyone, and the BBQ will not turn you into a racist either, but it is made by one. I don’t go to Maurice’s restaurant or buy his sauce in the store, because that is putting money into the pocket of someone I think has vile views. Just because Maurice makes awesome BBQ, doesn’t negate the fact that he is an awful person that I would never want to be associated with.
        Now by your argument, I shouldn’t blame Maurice for his views, I should blame the half a dozen organizations he has belonged to over the years, his church and his upbringing because blaming him would be unfair. I’m sorry but that just doesn’t make sense. Every single person is responsible for their viewpoint, ESPECIALLY when they are extremely vocal about it and put it out there constantly. If Card and Maurice just believed these things it wouldn’t be an issue, everybody believes in at least one thing that other people would think is awful, what makes them bad is that they prosthelytize their views every chance they get. 

        Not every Mormon does that, not even every racist does that. That’s a special kind of hate and that makes both of them stand out among others who share their beliefs. The whole of the Mormon church hasn’t written about their homophobia and broadcast it every time they could broach the subject, but Card sure has.

        • JT says:

          You’re wrong about the Mormon church. They actively pursue an anti-gay agenda. They were largely responsible for the banning of gay marriage in California, contributing millions to an advertising campaign against gay marriage. And since they get the money to do that from their members, basically every member of the Church contributes to their actions.

          • I never said the Mormon religion wasn’t anti-gay. It may be hypocritical, but every person on the planet who follows any religion cherry picks their beliefs from the doctrine. Just because people are members of the church doesn’t mean they support that view. Tithes go to pay for a lot of things in a church, not just whatever agenda they try to pass in government. They pay for childcare, food, community service projects and tons of other stuff that has nothing to do with active political agendas.

            Using your own analogy, if you pay taxes, does that mean you agree with every single thing our government does?

            You’re painting every Mormon on the planet with an extremely broad brush. Instead of calling every Mormon a hate-filled homophobe, why don’t save that description for the ones that have proven time and time again that they are by their own words and actions.

          • JT says:

            “If you pay taxes, does that mean you agree with every single thing our government does?”

            The difference there is that I have no CHOICE about paying taxes. Members of the Mormon Church have a choice.

            It’s the choice which makes the difference.

            Side note… I never called anyone a “hate-filled homophobe”

          • I’m right there with you, I hate hypocrisy more than anything. That’s why I would boycott something, not out of some naive perception that I would punish the person I disagree with, but because I would feel like a huge hypocrite. 

            I still don’t know whether or not I’ll go see the movie I’m definitely going to have to think about it some more, but in my experience if you have to do too much mental gymnastics to justify something then it’s probably the wrong thing to do.

    • Albert Mata says:

       This is Just silly , i dont care anything about them or who they stand for , Im going to see all the movies

  14. Natasha says:

    Your money is your vote. Instead of putting money in Card’s pocket, purchase the books from your local used book store and support your local economy instead.  The longer a movie has been in theaters, the greater percentage of ticket sales the theater itself keeps – so I’ll wait until it’s been out awhile and hit the local discount theater. 

    • JT says:

      Orson Scott Card is one man. Thousands of people who had nothing to do with him are involved in making the movie.

      If you really want to do something find a way to speak out against the organization which promoted and taught him these views. At least that’s my feeling. To me it doesn’t make sense to just single out one person and attack them, and in the process to collateral damage to thousands of people who had nothing to do with it anyway, while letting millions of others with the same view go unscathed.

      I’m not sure what you’re really accomplishing by doing that. Nothing that I can see.

  15. Guest says:

    This is some seriously flimsy logic.

    • Guest says:

      Very flimsy logic. It’s on the same lines of logic that the hate for homosexuality originates with, blanket assumptions. Mormons and Muslims don’t agree with homosexuality, but they don’t hate them, even on the organizational level, and most certainly not every individual. As always, the wrong actions among any group speak loudest. 

  16. Chris Paris says:

    I am not fully buying the stated point of this article. Being largely oblivious to Ender’s Game and Card entirely (sue me), all this article did was put a controversy into the spotlight that I — and I bet a few others — didn’t even know about.

    It also seems shoehorned into the site, as if the sci-fi aspect of the story was just a ruse to get a political piece written. I’m okay with that, but to me it all just looks a little forced. It wasn’t like there was a huge debate going on at the site about Ender’s Game and its homophobic author that needed to be addressed.

    I only mention it because between the almost-off-topic subject matter, and “The Boycott List” included in it, I am thinking that the REAL intent was the opposite of the thesis. This smacks of passive aggression.

    If I’m right, it worked, because now I have no intention of seeing the movie. 

  17. No to all stereotypes says:

    I don’t think that you should be so quick to paint all Mormons with that stereotype. It’s as bad as the rampant homophobia. I agree that his work is amazing. And that his homophobia is no reason to discredit the book. But if your going to tote acceptance of people and the disregard of stereotype you should t in the same sentence be promoting another hateful stereotype. Not all Mormons are homophobic, And indeed it’s not even taught among the doctern to hate gays. Don’t judge an entire people on the choices and digressions of a few. Teaching people to hate and blame a religion is as misguided as people being taught to hate gays. Orson Scott Card is a dick, because he chooses to be. No one is whispering in his ear telling him to hate. That is a choice he makes and he is responsible for. He makes his own choices, and responsibility for those lie on his shoulders and his alone.

    • JT says:

      I’m not judging anyone. I’m simply stating the facts of the situation, which are that the Mormon church is against gay civil rights. They’ve stated as much and have put their money where their mouth is. Whether that’s right or wrong is up to you to decide I suppose, but if you’re a member of the Mormon church and thus contributing money to them which they then use against gay civil rights you’re making a clear statement that you agree with them, otherwise you wouldn’t be a member.

      • Ruth R. Davidson says:

        Tithing does not go toward political issues. Ever. If it did we’d lose our tax exemption status.

  18. Fearbeer says:

    lol i am sorry but i dont know a single person that is suffering from homophobia.  There is nothing scary about one man sticking his thing in another man butthole.  It is just sick and gross.  Right up there with animal lovers. 

    • JT says:

      Obviously homophobia means something beyond just a “fear” of gay people. I do agree that it’s not always the most accurate term, however. But for the moment it’s the one we have. Let’s not waste time mincing words.

      • Fearbeer says:

        lol u just made my point.  Phobia means fear Period.  So it is not accurate.  I am sick and tired of people saying that if you dont think fag’s are just the greatest thing since slice bread u are some how a bad person.  I dont go telling people about my sex life.  They should keep it to themself but no they want to push their life-style like it is normal. 

        • JT says:

          Words are defined by the way they’re used in popular culture. The origin of the word may indeed be very narrow, but it is no longer used just in that narrow way. Like it or not, homophobia does not just mean that you’re “afraid” of gay people.

          And that’s not really relevant to the article anyway.

          By the way, the argument you’re making against gay rights is the same one people are making to justify boycotting Orson Scott Card, while not boycotting other Mormons. They say that he should just keep his issues with gay people to himself.

          Ironic isn’t it?

  19. Misterjerj says:

    There are plenty of Mormons (myself included) who are firm advocates for gay rights and gay marriage, and many of us have actively spoken out against the church’s efforts in CA and its overall bigoted stance.

    While many LDS folk firmly embrace conservatism, the church’s roots were firmly planted in democratic soil. Unfortunately, the wealth and prosperity of many church members, coupled with social issues of the 60s and 70s, initiated a swing to the right.

    I, personally, would vote for a dead cat before I’d vote for Romney, and I won’t support any politician, artist, or public figure who condemns the sexual behavior of others, straight or gay.

    • JT says:

      It’s fantastic to hear that you feel that way and I know you’re not alone among the LDS. Seriously, good for you. I know how hard it must be to speak out like that in an organization so bent on intolerance.

      Yet you remain a member of the Church and keep giving the Church your 10% tithe. I’m not here to judge you, do whatever you want, but in your place I could not do that. You’re choosing to support their anti-gay agenda. That makes you a part of what they’re doing, by choice.

      • Misterjerj says:

        I struggle with that every day. Thank you for your kind comments.

        • Ruth R. Davidson says:

          Yo, another liberal Mormon here. ^_^

        • Ruth R. Davidson says:

          It’s important to remember that tithing does not go toward political issues, otherwise the Church would lose its tax exemption status. Individual members can do whatever the hell they want with their money politically but the Church cannot.

        • Doug says:

          How patronizing.

      • Ruth R. Davidson says:

        It does not make the basic tenants of the Gospel not true. It means that Mormons are comprised of imperfect people. I believe it was Joseph F Smith who said, “God is more liberal thank you think.”

  20. Boxdrone says:

    Orson Scott Card ACTIVELY campaigns against gay rights. That makes him a special case. It doesn’t matter to me what other mormons personally believe. It only becomes my busisness when they get up on their soap box and start preaching it, such as Card is doing. Card donates money to “gay camps”, gives (hate) speaches on the subject, and writes essays and blog entries about it. That makes him different than the average mormon who simply believes gays will go to hell and God can sort them out.

    I’m not out to grease all the wheels in the world, just the ones that are squeaking the loudest.

    • JT says:

      The thing to keep in mind though, that with the Mormon church it’s not just something they “believe” it’s something they are actively campaigning against too. They contributed millions and millions of dollars to ban gay marriage in California. It’s not just a passive believe that homosexuality is a sin for them.

    • Ruth R. Davidson says:

      We do not believe that gays will go to hell. Very few will enter into outer darkness for eternity.

  21. Baby Fart McGeeziaks says:

    Don’t forget that Robert Heinlein was basically a fascist… doesn’t stop most people from enjoying Star Ship troopers.

    However… the rest of your list is made up of things I really don’t care about and of those that I do I don’t remember Don Bluth or Katherine Heigl ever going on an anti-gay rant…

  22. Jeff Hendrix says:

    so the guy is anti-gay so fuckin’ what he aloud to make that choice.That’s something this country allows but people who write with their heads firmly stuck up their asses don’t allow freedom of speech.get over it

  23. Ted Hong says:

    I have read a lot of OSC’s work and I have to say that I have never found his work to be homophobic.  A clear example is his book “Songmaster”.  Our hero is a boy who falls in love with his friend’s husband.  Now what his personal views are, well, those are his and none of my business.  I judge an artist by their art and and bigots by their actions.  In this case, I only care about the art.  Looking forward to the movie!

  24. Jamie Helton says:

    Orson Scott Card is one of my favorite novelists, and after reading a good portion of his work, I was surprised to find out his stance on homosexuality, as that’s a theme that occasionally shows up in his stories, and not in a negative way.  I always had the impression that he protests too much, that perhaps he must publicly spout his extremist religious views to counteract what he actually believes or is hiding from everyone, possibly including himself.  I have seen people hiding their own homosexual tendencies behind a strong commitment to religion just to show everyone that they are straight.  In fact, after reading “Ender’s Game,” “Songmaster,” and a few others, I suspect that in reality he may not only have homosexual tendencies, but something a bit deeper and less accepted by society, so he has to stand firm against all homosexuality lest someone figure this out about him.  But maybe I’m just reading too much into it.

    One other aspect of his writing that is not affected by his Mormonism (or at least not controlled by it) is that he often writes about religion and usually takes an objective viewpoint regarding various beliefs.  He doesn’t push the Mormon faith in his books, but does treat faith as something that people have in one form or another (with both positive and negative results).  It is refreshing for a science fiction author to acknowledge that in the future, the human race doesn’t turn completely atheistic (a la Gene Rodenberry’s vision).

  25. While I think your point of view is good, I can’t say I agree that the logical course of action is to boycott the organization and not the individual.  What I choose to do in support of my friends who seek equality is my choice and I won’t comment on that here.  I will say that sometimes, you do have stand up against the small minded individual and not the larger organization, for the very reasons you state, size.  Maybe using the logic that you can’t boycott 12 million individual Mormons but should take a stand against the entire church is unfair to the Mormons who may be devout but not fanatical about all things Mormon.  There are many Mormons I am sure who may be devout but silent on the issue.  They may one day change the thinking of the whole.  You can bet that the vocal members however, will keep talking and representing the whole while they have a pedestal to do so.  SO if you continue to support their pedestal by putting money in their pockets then you are in effect STILL supporting their ideals, because they will take their 10% drop it in the offering plate which funds more myopic world views.  Look at it like this, if you are not willing to stand for something, you will fall for anything.  Does not mean your point is wrong, I just don’t know if it is an answer to the problem either.

  26. Corrosivepress says:

    Mormons? Hey, why stop with them? What about the Catholics, Southern Baptists, Hasidic Jews, Amish, the list just goes on! And once we throw in race, gender, height, weight, intelligence, etc., etc. — one would have to live exclusively with the Quakers or on an isolated island to avoid people, places, governments, companies, or organizations who haven’t discriminated, oppressed, or been biased at some point. Whether through personal behavior, institutionalized policies, and even the law. Now, of course, many things have changed. Some through local boycotts, others because stupid can’t last forever. But stupid is far from gone. Personally, I believe as long as stupid doesn’t infringe on me and those I care about, stupid can go off as just keep being stupid. As long as this writer isn’t trying to force my gay friends into anti-gay camps — I don’t give a good goddamn what he thinks or says to like-minded stupids. The minute he does, then we’ll have a problem. The ironic thing is the whole Mormon argument cuts both ways. There are a good number of people in this country who won’t vote for Mitt Romney simply BECAUSE he is a Mormon. Are any of you going to boycott their businesses or not read their books?     

  27. Pseudo says:

    So. Uh.

    …You know that there’s a difference between “this guy was raised as Mormon” and “this guy embodies the worst prejudices of his peer group”, right? It is crazy for you to conflate Orson Scott Card’s homophobia with his Mormonism. Not every Mormon in a homophobe, anymore than every Catholic is against birth control. Everyone picks and chooses which parts of religious dogma they choose to support, and Card has chosen this hill to die on.

    He is a wealthy public figure. He doesn’t need you to defend him from all those terrible gay people who want to take away your favorite novel.

    • JT says:

      Whether a Mormon embodies those prejudices personally or not, he is supporting them by tithing to the Mormon church. End of story.

      • Jono Jarrett says:

        Right. So if he’s tithing to the Church, how about we not give him any more money to do it with?

        • Ruth R. Davidson says:

          If the church used its tithing to fund political agendas it’d lose it’s tax exemption status. Therefore tithing is not used for politics. Individuals, however, can do whatever they want with their money no matter what group they are in.

  28. guest says:

    The only assholes are people that think it is normal for men to stick their penises into each others assholes.

  29. The three western religions are, as a whole, homophobic. I know a lot of people will say: well I’m a [insert sect here] and I’m for gay rights. However, it is a tenet of those faiths, and I don’t understand the picking/choosing to fit your lifestyle type of religious followers. My point is: it is not erroneous for the author of this post to say it’s because of Mormonism. I’m not saying that it is the only reason, but it sure is one of the main reasons.

    Ender’s Game is one of my favorite stories. Mr. Card’s stance on homosexuality is both surprising and disappointing to me. It makes me wonder how someone with such ignorance and bigotry can write a wonderful story like Ender’s Game. I’ve read a few of Card’s books. And, I’m not going to stop liking the stories of his I like, but I probably won’t read anything further from him.

    However, I would still encourage anyone to read Ender’s Game if they haven’t already.

  30. Pup McKeenan says:

    Hmm that is like saying don’t let Adolph Hitler’s Antisemitism detract from reading Mein Kampf! When you accept evil behavior you embrace it and promote it. Hate speech is not free speech. Hate speech kills.

  31. Pup McKeenan says:

    Hmm that is like saying don’t let Adolph Hitler’s Antisemitism detract from reading Mein Kampf! When you accept evil behavior you embrace it and promote it. Hate speech is not free speech. Hate speech kills.

    • JT says:

      Ender’s Game is not homophobic, thus your comparison to Mein Kampf is ridiculous and not valid.

      Also as everyone knows, whenever you invoke Hitler in an argument on the internet, you automatically lose.

  32. Arnold Friend says:

    I’m going to skip Ender’s Game. Not because the writer is a hateful homophobe who has written in the past about how hard it is to love a woman but it is his mormon duty, but because I don’t feel like watching an apologia for Hitler IN SPACE. Seriously, go read Sympathy for the Superman (google is your friend) and then check out the kuro5hin story “Orson Scott Card has always been an asshat.”

    My only hope is that the movie with be another Starship Troopers, which skewers the philosophy of the book it was supposedly based on in an amusing way.

    Given Card’s confidence in the movie, I think I’ll take a pass. 14 year old me would have loved it, but then again, 14 year old me was a fucking idiot who explored all sorts of juvenile philosophies including Ayn Rand and La Vey Satanism (which are actually very close in substance).

    So not giving money to the rabid homophobe is simply a added bonus. I’ll pirate it and torrent the hell out of it, not because I want to watch it (although I may do so one night when drunk), but because I actually wish to financially harm any studio that would put out work like this.

  33. FallenGrace says:

    If African-Americans had used this logic during the Civil Rights movements, there’d still be For Whites/For Colored signs everywhere. I guess what I’m saying is…if low powered or oppressed people signed up for your argument, they would be on the losing end.

    • JT says:

      I thought African Americans were fighting to be allowed in to bigoted businesses, not boycotting them?

      • Ernesto says:

        Montgomery Bus Boycott

        Wikipedia it now before you speak again.

      • FallenGrace says:

        The whole point was boycotting businesses (mainly public businesses) that enforced segregation. By finding alternatives, these businesses lost a lot of revenue and the courts were compelled to strike down Jim Crow laws. Sometimes boycotting works. Other times they don’t. The LGBT community has every right and reason to withhold their money from anything that could further marginalize their very existence just as African-Americans did during Jim Crow.

  34. I met Orson Scott Card while working at Barnes and Noble in Orem Utah. He walked up to the info booth and said, “Can you see if you have such and such book.” I was like, “Sure. Oh, sorry we don’t have that in.” He was like, “Well I’m the author and it should be on that shelf.” So I was like, “Well, you should be glad that your books are actually selling out.” He gave me a grumpy look and walked away. Yes, the man is a dick!

  35. Jono Jarrett says:

    Thanks so much for bringing Card’s ongoing activities and affiliations to light. The more fans know about the truth, the better. However, I must entirely disagree with your stance. It is perfectly appropriate for any person, no matter how devoted a sci-fi fan, to opt out of financially supporting an active hate-monger. As other posters have pointed out, it’s not (only) Card’s Mormonism and faith-based hate speech that’s the issue. He’s on the Board of the National Organization for Marriage. You don’t publicly join the Board of NOM and dedicate your time and financial resources to the group’s goals just for a cultural belief. His writings are brutal and ugly in the extreme. Card is making money off of the movie adaptation. If you buy a ticket, you are giving your money to a hate group. It really is that simple.

    • JT says:

      Great I hope you’re also boycotting all other organizations which give money to Mormons since the Mormon Church also gives money to NOM and all Mormons tithe to the Mormon church.

      • Jono Jarrett says:

        Whether I am or not I’m standing up against a bigot rather than saying, “Eh, whatever, I *really wanna see this movie*!” I think one demonstrates more integrity to take any stand than to take none. Card is advancing an anti-gay agenda as a member of NOM. To support him is to support NOM.

      • Ruth R. Davidson says:

        Do you have documentation that the Mormon Church gives money to NOM? I doubt this is true since tithing goes toward the upkeep of church buildings, Sunday school supplies, and helping the poor and needy. However, IF it were true I’d be the first Mormon protesting that.

  36. David Long says:

    His work isn’t homophobic? Clearly the person who wrote this hasn’t heard about his little reworking of Hamlet – http://io9.com/5838157/orson-scott-cards-hamlet-not-as-good-as-shakespeares-version

  37. It’s absurd to give one hateful person a pass because he belongs to a larger body that may share a degree of his stance. I know Mormons who have reconciled their church’s belief with their own, modern interpretations, or have stuck to their church’s stance on homosexuality without directing disgusting hate and vitriol at the LGBTQ community. This article makes a rash generalization about the Mormon faith to excuse a bigot.

    • JT says:

      No one said anything about excusing him. We’re just talking about boycotting his work. You’re misreading. I would suggest that by focusing entirely on this one man, you’re excusing or at least ignoring the bigotry of the Mormon Church.

  38. james says:

    Umm you guys have picked the Republican Candidate already for us? Great I guess we can just knock of the primaries and get right to Rommny. LAME
    RON PAUL 2012!

  39. Jono Jarrett says:


    Read Card’s most recent comments from the Greensboro Times (NC) and tell me that *even if you don’t boycott every Mormon everywhere (which is an illogical prejudice itself* this man still deserves your gay or gay-ally dollar.

    “If there were even a shred of science behind the absurd claims about
    gender and sexuality coming from the left, there might be a case for
    allowing this to happen. But there is no science behind it. In fact, the
    scientific evidence we have points in the opposite direction: Same-sex
    attraction is not a strait jacket; people’s desires change over time;
    gay people still have choices; a reproductive dysfunction like same-sex
    attraction is not a death sentence for your DNA or for your desire to
    have a family in which children grow up with male and female parents to
    model appropriate gender roles.”

  40. Ruth R. Davidson says:

    I agree that there are better ways to support the civil rights of homosexuals. However, you made a gross error. NO tithing was used to fund Prop 8. Church members were asked to donate to the prop 8 cause, so individual members did. Thus, the members donated EXTRA funds to Prop 8 itself. No tithing went to it. None. This is a very important distinction. Individuals can do whatever the hell they want with their money no matter what group they belong to.

    I am Mormon. I did not donate. I did not vote for prop 8. Why? Because after a few years of research and talking to people (in the wake of prop 22) I realized that I was actually trying to force people to follow a tenant of my religion. That I was reacting to same-sex marriage based on my cultural lenses. It is bloody hard to remove that lens.

    Everyone has a cultural lens. People get all up in arms over the homosexuality issue and Mormons but then refuse to even look at the good Mormons do (see Katrina) or try to understand why we are collectively reacting this way. We collectively get labelled as bigots. If y’all don’t learn how to remove YOUR cultural lens regarding Mormonism it is going to make respect for differences a lot harder. It’s going to make things like this a lot harder: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym0jXg-hKCI&list=PL8E89720844C4E0D9&index=1&feature=plpp_video

    • Doug says:

      “NO tithing was used to fund Prop 8.”

      Are you so sure about that, Ruth? I have spokent with many friends who used to be part of LDS, but walked away from it because of their actions. Once you give them your 10%, you have little, if any, control how the elders choose to invest it. The LDS spent MILLIONS on Prop 8, not to mention on other anti-LGBT legislation- that could not have been accomplished merely on the donations of various members. Your tithe to them is akin to paying your state and federal taxes

  41. Rich White says:

    The easy answer is this: illegally download his work and don’t pay the man a dime. How hard was that to accomplish everything? When the movie comes out just download it!

  42. D.C. says:

    God Bless you Mr Scott, stand up for your beliefs! Now a days to have morals and faith in God are under attack, and I for one will never bow to the masses of sinners. God will judge them when their time comes, until then keep the faith! Just because we know the difference between right and wrong, doesnt make us homophobic or haters. I pray for all you lost souls that you might find God and turn from your sinful lives.

  43. Not buying it. Plenty of Mormons manage to either not be homophobes, or keep it to themselves if they are. Besides, it’s not even that he’s “just” a homophobe–it’s that he advocates overthrowing the damn government to keep it from being legalized. That’s not just hateful, it’s insane.

  44. Doug says:

    Irregardless of his talent as an author, he is clearly a bad human being- no human being would ever suppress the equality of his fellow human beings- regardless of their gender, ethnicity, or sexual preference. He gets no pass from me

  45. Guy says:

    And exactly what is wrong with being homophopic??? These days it seems to give good reason for it!

  46. Guy says:

    Sounds to me like the wrtier of this article has a gay complex.

  47. Bec says:

    I can’t support a homophobe. Not even if I want to enjoy his books. Giving this guy a pass because hes a good writer is wrong.