The Bill of Rights protects your freedom of speech but it does not protect your right to a blockbuster opening weekend.
NOM Board Member and Ender’s Game author Orson Scott Card’s tone-deaf plea for “tolerance” from pro-gay marriage forces, first given to Entertainment Weekly, struck such a sour note with so many because it seems to miss the point entirely.
This is not and has never been about a much beloved sci-fi novel. Leaving aside the fact that Card thinks gay civil rights didn’t exist in the mid-80s, which is pretty insulting to the post-Stonewall generation frontline against a little something called AIDS—this is about us, here and now. This is about our community refusing to financially support an extreme anti-gay activist. We didn’t read his diary, and we’re not taking dinner table conversation out of context—Orson Scott Card has a very public record of far-right comments against marriage equality as a concept and LGBT folk as human beings, such as:
“But homosexual "marriage" is an act of intolerance. It is an attempt to eliminate any special preference for marriage in society—to erase the protected status of marriage in the constant balancing act between civilization and individual reproduction.
So if my friends insist on calling what they do "marriage," they are not turning their relationship into what my wife and I have created, because no court has the power to change what their relationship actually is.
Instead they are attempting to strike a death blow against the well-earned protected status of our, and every other, real marriage.
They steal from me what I treasure most, and gain for themselves nothing at all. They won't be married. They'll just be playing dress-up in their parents’ clothes.
The dark secret of homosexual society—the one that dares not speak its name—is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally.”
—Orson Scott Card, “Homosexual ‘Marriage’ and Civilization,” 2004
Tell families in 37 states where gay marriage is still illegal that it’s a “moot issue.” Tell citizens in Indiana, where it’s now a criminal act for same-sex couples even to apply for a marriage license. Tell that to the Virginians whose governor wants to recriminalize sodomy. I doubt very much children delegitimized and stigmatized by red-state legislatures across the country are kickin’ back with a cold drink to let historical inevitability do the work now that the Supreme Court has ruled on DOMA. That’s a bizarrely dismissive and defeatist attitude from the same man who swore,
“W]hen government is the enemy of marriage, then the people who are actually creating successful marriages have no choice but to change governments, by whatever means is made possible or necessary… Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down….”
—Orson Scott Card, The Mormon Times, 2008
Does this look "moot" to anyone?
This plea for tolerance is perhaps a bridge too far, especially from someone who characterized gay marriage as “the bludgeon [The Left] use to make sure that it becomes illegal to teach traditional values in the schools,” (2012). There’s nothing more democratic and tolerant than a consumer boycott, rooted in the ideas of free market accountability. Skip Ender’s Game is about doing what all of us do every day—use facts to determine who and what to support with our money.
Orson Scott Card, we can tolerate your anti-gay activism, your right-wing extremism, your campaign of fear-mongering and insults, but we’re not going to pay you for it. You’ve got the right to express your opinions and beliefs any way you choose—but you don’t have a right to our money.
How many homophobic billboards and absurd “Gathering Storm” ads would a new fortune built off of Ender’s Game lunchboxes buy for NOM?
Now would be an ideal time to hear from Lionsgate, as we know them to be a company of open hearts and allies of LGBT families. Now would be a great time, too, to hear from the cast and creative team behind Ender’s Game who have no connection to the author’s anti-gay activities and who’ve been vocal supporters of gay rights in the past. How do you cut this guy a check?
No matter what happens with Skip Ender’s Game, American voters have already rejected Orson Scott Card's and NOM’s extreme anti-gay agenda. Whether they’ll continue to fund it at the box office remains to be seen.