Let me get the news out of the way first before I get into this. Orson Scott Card (Ender's Game) is writing a two-part arc for DC's digital comic Adventures of Superman. Many fans are very angry at DC, and calling for boycotts due to Card's active stance against homosexual unions.
Here's Card on the subject of gay marriage:
"...legalizing gay marriage is not about making it possible for gay people to become couples.
It's about giving the left the power to force anti-religious values on our children. Once they legalize gay marriage, it will be the bludgeon they use to make sure that it becomes illegal to teach traditional values in the schools.
Our children will be barraged with the deceptions of the left. Parents will be forbidden to remove their children from the propaganda.
Any child with any gender or sexual confusion will be pushed inexorably away from the decision to establish a traditional family. They'll be told, again and again, that any sign of effeminacy or gender confusion or same-sex attraction is an irrevocable, lifelong compulsion and they might as well shape their lives accordingly.
The left is at war with the family, and they want control of our children's education. That's what those signs on the lawns are about.
I'm not making this up – it's already happening wherever the left has complete control of education."
Typical, old school right-wing "homosexual agenda" paranoia. I've always wondered what a vast pro-homosexual conspiracy could stand to gain by "indoctrinating" children, but that's probably because I don't see homosexual activity as anything different from heterosexual activity.
Far less typical and more inflammatory are Card's broader opinions on homosexuals in general...
"Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to 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."
Today, RIch Johnston of Bleeding Cool directly addressed the subject of boycotts against the upcoming comic:
"There are a number of comic book creators who believe something very different to what I do. Some of those beliefs offend me. Sometimes they even inform their art, something that Card is unlikely to be accused of in Superman.
Some try to draw a line between an opionated [sic] person and an activist. I disagree, any famous person who expresses an opinion, especially in this day and age, de facto becomes an activist for that opinion.
It’s a very dangerous game, it has led in the past to witchtrials, McCarthyite or otherwise, and it’s no better than the actions of, say, One Million Moms. And next time? It could be you…"
I've seen other fans chime in with the sentiment that a creators' politics should be ignored in favor of good stories, and that makes some sense to me, but I think what Rich Johnston and those fans get wrong is thinking of this as a manner of politics. It really isn't. This is the matter of people who believe in their heart of hearts that human beings should be denied rights, if not outright punished by law, for romantic attraction.
To me, there's a massive difference between Frank Miller's opinions on Occupy Wall Street (to use one example) and how we interact with the other human beings on our planet. I support Card's right as an artist to create and have the work be judged on its own merit. But, at the same time, I admonish DC for inviting Card to create that work for them. Card can, and has, created his own material for most of his career. He's not artistically censored by being denied two issues of a work-for-hire Superman comic, and DC could say, "we don't want to put money in the pocket of someone who thinks gay people should be jailed if they're too gay." At a moment when DC should be making smarter editorial decisions in general, they've invited controversy instead. And not the good kind. (In full disclosure, Marvel has also worked with Card in the past, but Card's reputation as an outspoken anti-gay advocate grows every year - you're going to be hearing a even more about him when the Ender's Game film hits later this year).
Johnston's last paragraph gets me hot under the collar because it's so live-and-let-live that it forgives people of wrongdoing with an argument that next time "it could be you." That's unacceptable. I may be saying what I think is "right," just as Card thinks what he's saying is right, but we don't advance as a society unless we challenge each others' viewpoints. We are where we are because of this concept. The argument grows and grows and the voices get louder and louder until the "wrong" voices are robbed of their power and things like women's suffrage or the civil rights movement happen. Those loud voices can send a very real financial message to an artist who uses his money to support groups that work to deny basic human rights to law-abiding Americans. In truth, DC Comics should've been the first loud voice in this situation. We wouldn't be having the conversation otherwise.
(Special thanks to luchins.com for the scans.)