Orson Scott Card Demands Your Tolerance Of His Intolerance

Quit being so close-minded, marriage equality supporters.

Orson Scott Card Demands Your Tolerance Of His Intolerance

I bet someone at Summit isn't happy about this. 

Yesterday, Ender's Game author Orson Scott Card released a statement meant to address the boycott of the upcoming film as a result of his decades-long attack on gay rights. Here's what he said: 

Ender’s Game is set more than a century in the future and has nothing to do with political issues that did not exist when the book was written in 1984.

With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot.  The Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution will, sooner or later, give legal force in every state to any marriage contract recognized by any other state.

Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute.

Orson Scott Card

Well, there's a lot to discuss there. Let's take it point by point, shall we? 

"...has nothing to do with political issues that did not exist when the book was written in 1984." 

This isn't the most infuriating part of his quote, but it's the most tone-deaf. The fight for equality has been around almost as long as homosexuality itself, which is to say literally foreverBut let's stick to America, from where Card hails: Emma Goldman, the first American to fight openly against gay prejudice, began speaking on the subject in 1910. The first gay rights organization, The Society for Human Rights, was established in 1924. Stonewall took place in 1969. Vito Russo began organizing activist rallies the same year. Harvey Milk began publicly lobbying for equality in 1973. The first National March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights, in which 75,000 people participated, took place in 1979. In 1984, the year Ender's Game was written, Berkeley, California became the first city to offer its citizens domestic partnership benefits. So yeah, the fight for gay rights existed when this book was written. 

"...the gay marriage issue becomes moot."

Actually, no, it doesn't. Right now only thirteen of our fifty states recognize same-sex marriage. Sure, with the fall of DOMA, the federal government must honor all same-sex unions that take place in those thirteen states, but that still leaves roughly 75% of our states that are turning their backs on marriage equality. We had a victory this month, but it's hardly the last victory. 

"Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute."

Well, the issue is still in dispute, but that aside: this idea that we must show tolerance of those who would deny basic human rights to someone due solely to sexual preference is the most backwards and blind weapon of homophobes. We do tolerate you, Orson Scott Card. We let you live and breathe and marry and divorce and rant and write and visit your loved ones in the hospital and receive benefits when your partner dies. That is tolerance. Tolerance doesn't mean agreeing with your hateful, narrow, ancient views. It means allowing you to live your life as the little worm you are without denying you any of the rights that any other citizen receives. 

Ender's Game meant a lot to me as a child, a little outsider who wanted to escape. I'm not going to boycott the movie, because as a lover of literature throughout the ages, I've spent most of my life learning to separate art and artist. I don't particularly want to see Orson Scott Card grow any richer, nor, for that matter, do I want to celebrate the personal lives of Roman Polanski or Charles Dickens or T.S. Eliot. I can see Ender's Game and despise Orson Scott Card. That is my right. But in the face of hatred, I will always fight back with what small means I do have: with words. 

Meredith Borders's photo About the Author: Meredith is the managing editor of Badass Digest, Fantastic Fest, The Alamo Drafthouse and Birth.Movies.Death. She's shorter than you might think.
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