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New York Time Editorial Writer Accuses Geeks Out of “Blacklisting” Orson Card Scott

Boycott Enders Game

In what has to be one of the most badly researched, written and most bizarre editorials ever to grace the page New York Times opinion page.  New York Times Editorial Board member Juliet Lapidos accuses the LGBT community and specifically the organization Geeks Out of “blacklisting” anti-gay National Organization for marriage board-member and virulent homophobe Orson Scott Card.

Geeks Out wants to sink the film to punish Orson Scott Card, who wrote the 1985 novel “Ender’s Game” and was one of several producers for the screen adaptation. In 1990, Mr. Card argued in the magazine Sunstone that “laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books” and “be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society.” He was on the board of the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex unions, from 2009 until this year.

Both Mr. Card and Lionsgate have issued statements in response to the boycott movement, emphasizing that “Ender’s Game” has nothing to do with gay rights or really any contemporary debate. Lionsgate said that while it does not “agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card,” his opinions “are completely irrelevant to a discussion of ‘Ender’s Game.’ ” The studio’s response, though self-serving, is exactly right.

Generally, boycotts are used to pressure companies or governments to end objectionable activities; consider the boycott of Chick-fil-A to protest the chain’s financial support of anti-gay organizations. What Geeks Out has in mind is closer to blacklisting. The group wants to “send a clear and serious message to Card and those that do business with his brand of antigay activism — whatever he’s selling, we’re not buying.” This isn’t about stopping the dissemination of anti gay sentiments; it’s about isolating Mr. Card and shaming his business partners, thus cutting into their profits.

If Mr. Card belongs in quarantine, who’s next? His views were fairly mainstream when the Sunstone article appeared and, unfortunately, are not unusual today. Just 10 years ago, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his inflammatory Lawrence v. Texas dissent that Americans have every right to enforce “the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct” in order to protect themselves “from a lifestyle that they believe to be immoral and destructive.” 

Lapidos makes many mistakes in her “so called” editorial.  The first being the fact that, as a writer and producer of Ender’s Game, we put directly money into Orson Scott Cards pocket, which money has been used for actions — not opinions, action — that have harmed the lives of thousands of gay Americans this she seems to simply overlook or just ignore.

The “Sunstone” article written by Card in 1990 which Ms. Lapidos mentions, and should actually read is more of a manifesto against homosexuality rather than an article and if I remember correctly at the time  it was not mainstream to promote the idea that homosexuality should be criminalized to let people know that they would never be accepted by society.  Also it is not now mainstream to sit on the board of a hate group like the National of Marriage, call for the overthrow of the government if gay marriage becomes legal,  and it’s certainly not mainstream to donate million’s upon million’s of dollars for the sole purpose of denying fellow citizens equal rights.

And perhaps whats most bothersome part Lapidos  piece is that she herself purposely fear-mongers by inaccurately using the term “blacklist” which brings back to memories of the of the 1940’s and denying employment to Jewish Hollywood screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians in the 1940’s which is incredibly moronic repugnant.  The fact that a New York Times editorial staffer does not know the difference between “boycotting” and “blacklisting” is shameful and unacceptable.

The New York Times does not allow comments on its editorial pages and there is no email listed for Ms. Lapidos  but she can be reached via her Twitter account @jlapidos

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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