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An Open Letter To Orson Scott Card In Regards To Your Recent Statement

Graphic by Matt Sawicki

Dear Mr Card,
We haven’t met either in person or online in some fashion. It’s unlikely that we ever will so this is the only way I can think of to try to reach you. I had planned on cleaning and other mundane activities today until I learned from Joe My God about your statement that you gave to Entertainment Weekly regarding concern about a boycott of your Ender’s Game movie in response to your past statements against the LGBT community and marriage equality. Let’s let anyone who hasn’t read your statement have a chance to do that by giving EW another hit on the page. I’m a little miffed and not just because I put off cleaning which really needs to be done.

So, you wrote Ender’s Game in 1984 and state it has nothing to do with political issues that didn’t exist back then and therefore the LGBT community shouldn’t have an issue. Is that about fucking right, Mr Card? You wrote that the gay marriage issue becomes moot as a result of SCOTUS’ rulings and the Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause, and sooner or later every state will have to recognize SSM marriages from other states.

And in light of these we should show tolerance toward toward people who were anti-marriage equality. At the same time, you conveniently sidestep that you once called for the violent overthrow of the government as a reaction and recourse to marriage equality when it comes to our entire country. You opened that op ed piece for Deseret News by saying: “THE FIRST AND greatest threat from court decisions in California and Massachusetts, giving legal recognition to “gay marriage,” is that it marks the end of democracy in America.” [Emphasis Deseret News] This is your penulitmate closing paragraph:”How long before married people answer the dictators thus: 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, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.”

Yes, you’re right that Ender’s Game was written before the marriage equality debate began, but your views on the LGBT community didn’t form overnight in a vacuum. As far back as 2000 you stated that homosexuality is a “deviant behavior” and that “gay rights is a collective delusion“. You had a lengthy piece here in which you stated any gay man or lesbian has equal rights to marry a person of the opposite sex and go on to present your view that the marriage equality effort is a war on traditional marriage. I’ll say to you the same things I have said to every other like minded person who’s said we have the right to traditional marriage: “How the fuck, and I do mean FUCK! does my marrying a woman and putting her in a loveless, sexless marriage not make a mockery of the institution?” and “Do you have a female relative I can marry because I want to come gay up your family get togethers!” and “Alright, I’ll go marry an illegal Mexican woman.” The strength of your convictions is so strong that you sit on the board of the National Organization for Marriage, an organization whose sole purpose is to deny myself and other LGBT people the right to marry the person they love and prevent access to over 1,100 benefits, rights, and responsibilities that come as a result of a state issued marriage certificate. Then there was that business about NOM using fear tactics on the Afican American community in California to ensure they’d vote against allowing same sex marriage to continue in the state.

Just what was NOM’s connection to Minnesota Family Council which called gays “animal-fucking, shit-eating, child-rapists” in one of its site’s articles that conveniently no longer exist (not even at the Internet Archives site) but MFC President Tom Prichard defended. And then there’s NOM’s involvement against marriage equality and violence in France. In the time since SCOTUS’ rulings on June 26th, NOM has accused the Supreme Court Justices, Governor Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris, and other officials of lawlessness, railed against the “activist judges”, and called for people to ignore the rulings, vowed to continue fighting against same sex marriage, and has the temerity to continue asking for donations because SSM is not, I repeat not, being treated as a “moot point” by Bryan Brown and presmubly other board members.

No, it is not a moot point! Ross Douthat (hat tip to Bilerico) doesn’t believe it’s a moot point in this New York Times op ed piece in which he outlines strategies to ensure as much protection of traditionalism (re: bigoted privilege) as possible in light of mounting LGBT equality. No, it is not a moot point for NOM’s Maggie Gallagher Srivastav who recently declared that the DOMA decision is a “head on declaration of war against half of Americans“. For you to claim that it is, even for yourself, especially for yourself, belies a self serving and smarmy attitude. Thirteen states and DC have marriage equality. I cannot marry a man in the state in which I live, and I shouldn’t be forced to move to one of these states in which I can. To achieve marriage equality for everyone in this country will require more money, more hard work and effort, and more legal fights. People can still be fired in a large number of states simply because they are LGBT.

You’re a writer. You make money by using words. You say it “will be interesting to see whether the victorious propenents of gay marriage” will be “tolerant” toward people who didn’t (and still don’t) support SSM. You seem to be asking for tolerance, but I call bull shit on you, Mr Card. And not just a little bull shit, but heaping truck loads of cold, rancid bull shit. What I think you really want is to make us feel sorry for you so Ender’s Game isn’t boycotted and you can make even more money from your writing. Now I could probably forgive you for all your animus toward the LGBT community if you made a concerted effort to issue a sincere apology for all the harm your words have done to people you and I may never encounter. I could possibly forgive if you very publicly resigned from your position at NOM and there’s an even higher chance I could forgive you if you made financial donations to LGBT charities or organizations in an effort to show genuine remorse. But I would never forget the words you wrote even should you diligently remake yourself into an earnest and supportive LGBT ally because those words would show how far you had come, rather than mark how little you have not.

To clarify, you have tolerance from me, but you’ll find not one iota of pity or forgiveness from me as you’ve done nothing to deserve it. I accept that you and some percentage of Christians believe LGBT people are abominations to your idea of God. I accept that I can’t change that opinion, but your Constitutional rights end as soon as they begin to infringe on the rights of others. I don’t work to take your rights away. I don’t seek to prevent you a means of income even though I want your movie to be a box office disaster. I don’t seek to stop your freedom of speech. Words have consequences though and the consequences of your words against us is what you fear, and you don’t hide it very well at all. Now, you won’t starve and you won’t become homeless though you may lose much or all of the lifestyle you’ve to which you’ve become accustomed. Now be a man. Be a person of integrity and deal with whatever consequences are in your future. As God is my witness, we in the LGBT community sure as fuck have dealt with the heaping abuse, ridicule, bullying, scorn, hatred, outright discrimination, suicides, violence, and murders for far too long.

May God grant you that which you deserve. So be it.

Joe Palmer


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