More and more, the sci-fi, comic book, gaming and anime communities are coming out in favor of equality for their gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) friends, superheroes and artists. While these communities remain fairly dominated by straight guys, it's rare to see homophobic messages stated, and when they are, they're frequently challenged by allies.
World of Warcraft fan and Minnesota Viking Chris Kluwe has become a hero to the LGBT community following a tongue-lashing he gave to a Maryland lawmaker. (Let's just say the term "lustful cockmonster" is now a part of our country's vernacular because of him.)
Star Wars: The Old Republic now allows players to select the sexuality of their characters. In fact, dozens of games now feature gay characters, including Dragon's Age II, Guild Wars 2, Tekken, Mass Effect 1, 2 and 3, Fallout: New Vegas and Bully, and even a lesser-known PS2 game (for which I happened to voice the lead character), Shadow Hearts: From the New World, features a gay relationship.
So this is why I was shocked to see that DC Comics had hired one of the most openly homophobic science fiction writers out there to pen the new Superman digital comic. Orson Scott Card, author of the soon-to-be-released blockbuster movie Ender's Game, is not only anti-gay but unapologetically so. In 2009 Card joined the board of one of the most virulently anti-gay organizations we know of, The National Organization for Marriage (NOM). While the name sounds innocuous enough, NOM has not only sunk millions into fights agains marriage equality, but they've also fought against gay adoption, safe schools for LGBT kids and, as recently reported, the gay "lifestyle" as a whole. And Card is a part of it all.
In 2000 Salon's Donna Minkowitz outed Card as a "disgustingly outspoken homophobe" following a thorough and eye-opening interview. In Card's writing he has equated homosexuality with pedophilia, and in a 2004 essay, he stated, "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."
A devout Mormon, Card frequently speaks about the "radical redefinition of marriage," which is of course fairly hypocritical, considering that his own church went through their own "radical redefinition of marriage" not so long ago. In 1990 Card wrote a lengthy essay titled "The Hypocrites of Homosexuality." Throughout it, he roundly admonishes gay people as nothing more than people who are giving in to sin. He even goes so far as to state that anti-sodomy laws should remain on the books, making homosexuality illegal in the U.S. He points out, of course in an epilogue, that those were his old views, held before those laws were overturned. Now he only says non-inflammatory things like: "There are no laws left standing that discriminate against gay couples. They can visit each other in the hospital. They can benefit from each other's insurance."
This was what he said last year when North Carolina was passing an anti-gay marriage amendment. He seems to ignore the fact that gay couples' right to hospital visitation is not a law but an executive order, which can easily be overturned by the next president, and his statement that we can benefit from each other's insurance is a lie. This is completely dependent on the insurance company and the employer that one has. Most companies in the U.S. still do not offer coverage for partners of LGBT employees. Finally, I'd like to point him to the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (which gives heterosexual couples 1,100-plus rights that I don't have), the lack of an Employment Non-Discrimination Act (meaning that in most states, I can still be fired for being gay) and the fact that in 30 or so states, I can be evicted from my home for being gay.
Card has gone even further, though, threatening to overthrow any government that approves marriage equality: "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, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage."
Card has proven that not only is he virulently anti-gay, but he has no problem spreading lies to bring others to his wrong side of history.
All Out, an international LGBT rights organization, has started a petition asking DC Comics to get rid of the anti-gay Orson Scott Card. I can't seem to find any sort of formal boycott of his film Ender's Game, set for a March release, but considering that 10 percent of his income goes to the Mormon church, I'm fairly certain he won't be seeing my $12.