First Thing to Do November 1: Skip “Ender’s Game”

There are many reasons why I’m not going to see Ender’s Game. Orson Scott Card’s homophobia; I don’t care for science-fiction; Orson Scott Card advocates government overthrow; no actors I care about; Orson Scott Card plays the victim; there are way better movies opening and in theaters already; Orson Scott Card, as a producer stands to make money from Ender’s Game, and if the film does well, from subsequent sequels and merchandising.

KSL anchor and reporter Carole Mikita on the “Deseret News Sunday Edition” interviewed Card this past weekend, and the author went for the victim move with a neener-neenr combo:

The only reason I’m being attacked for it is because ‘Ender’s Game’ is coming out as a movie, so that was something that was going to get a lot of publicity for the people attacking. I’ve had no criticism…

I’ve had savage, lying, deceptive personal attacks, but no actual criticism because they’ve never addressed any of my actual ideas. Character assassination seems to be the only political method that is in use today, and I don’t play that game, and you can’t defend against it. All you can do is try to offer ideas, and for those who want to listen to ideas, great. For those who simply want to punish you for not falling in line with their dogmas, there’s really not much you can do about it…

Actually Card, who was on the National Organization for Marriage’s board of directors, wanted to punish people who didn’t fall in line with his dogma, and he has been personal in his attacks. Via The Daily Dot:

1990: Card argued that states should keep sodomy laws on the books in order to punish unruly gays–presumably implying that the fear of breaking the law ought to keep most gay men in the closet where they belonged.

2004:  He claimed that most homosexuals are the self-loathing victims of child abuse, who became gay “through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse.”

2008: Card published his most controversial anti-gay screed yet, in the Mormon Times, where he argued that gay marriage “marks the end of democracy in America,” that homosexuality was a “tragic genetic mixup,” and that allowing courts to redefine marriage was a slippery slope towards total homosexual political rule and the classifying of anyone who disagreed as “mentally ill.”

2009: He joined the board for anti-gay lobby The National Organization for Marriage, which was created to pass California’s notorious Proposition 8, banning gay marriage.

2012: He supported his home state North Carolina’s constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage by arguing that gay marriage “will be the bludgeon [The Left] use to make sure that it becomes illegal to teach traditional values in the schools.

And let’s not forget Card’s call to arms against the US Government:

Because when government is the enemy of marriage, then the people who are actually creating successful marriages have no choice but to change governments, by whatever means is made possible or necessary… 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.

But they key, in his interview, excerpted in the Deseret Times is this:

[The criticism] won’t affect my work. Will it affect the reception of my work? Of course, but not in ways that they expect. My sales go up with such attacks.

So let’s join in solidarity and be the allies we would want to have, supporting the LGBT community, especially those in states still working for marriage equality, by boycotting Ender’s Game, and prove Orson Scott Card wrong, as the sales figures for Ender’s Game tickets go down.

Elton John to Play Moscow: “I’m Doing It for Gay Russians”

Oh Elton, Elton.  I am so confused, but I just can’t quit you. Remember when his remark about being very happy with civil unions became a rallying cry for Prop 8 and anti-equality forces? Once there was a hue and cry about his naivety ignorance of basic facts, he came around and ended up playing an amazing concert as a fundraiser for AFER and becoming a spokesperson for marriage equality. Then he played Rush Limbaugh’s wedding for  huge fee. (I’d like to hope that he donated that fee to pro-equality groups as a puckish fuck you to the forces at the EIB, but I guess I’ll never know).

Elton John played Sun City  in South Africa during apartheid, and yes that was 30 years ago. He played Tel Aviv just three years ago saying:

Musicians spread love and peace, and bring people together. That’s what we do. We don’t cherry-pick our conscience.

Oh?

Then Sir Elton thumbed his nose at China’s cultural politics by publicly dedicating his 2012 concert in Beijing to  to “the spirit and talent” of dissident artist Ai Weiwei,  prompting the Chinese culture minister, Cai Wu, to demand that only stars with university degrees be allowed to play in China. Sir Elton told the Guardian:

“Ten thousand people went ‘Eugh!’, but how could you not?. He’s become a friend, and what he’s suffered as an artist is unbelievable. During and after the show, my tour manager was interrogated for three hours, and what he said to them was true: I bought a beautiful Ai Weiwei piece, I was grateful and we’ve become friends. I didn’t feel in any danger.

Sir Elton adds a new item to his wish list: He’d like to go back to China and talk to the government about AIDS. According to the performer:

the country’s leading AIDS activist has claimed that the government’s estimate of 650,000 HIV cases is barely a 10th of the real figure.

Elton John wanted to play in front of the Pyramids of Giza, but claims be was banned because he is gay. And his very public gayness has ruffled feathers in other locales, the Guardian reports:

a church in Tobago organised a protest against his appearance there, while he received threats from an Islamic group when he played in Morocco.

So what about his proposed December concert date in Moscow?

Listen, I went to Russia in 1979 and I knew we were being watched all the time: I had an interpreter that they’d clearly set up. Actually, I ended up having sex with him on the roof of my hotel.  I’m supposed to be going to Moscow in December. I’ve got to go. And I’ve got to think about what I’m going to say very carefully. There’s two avenues of thought: do you stop everyone going, ban all the artists coming in from Russia? But then you’re really leaving the men and women who are gay and suffering under the anti-gay laws in an isolated situation. As a gay man, I can’t leave those people on their own without going over there and supporting them. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’ve got to go.

Elton John certainly flies in the face of Putin’s  ban on homosexual propaganda. He and longtime partner David Furnish united in a civil union ceremony in 2005, one of the first in Britain, and are planning weddings in Britain and in California now that it is legal to do so– and the couple has two children Zachary  and Elijah. In 2009 the Ukrainian government block Sir Elton’s adoption of an HIV+ baby, citing his age and single status; the Ukraine does not recognize same-sex unions.  Adoption officials had another point of view:

Albert Pavlov, head of the Happy Child foundation for orphaned and sick children in Zaporizhia, said he opposed adoption by gays, but called for removing age and marriage restrictions for adopters.

How will Putin and Russian government deal with Elton John, a venerable and flamboyant, visibly gay figure in pop music who refers to himself as the Queen Mother? Madonna and Lady Gaga  played St Petersburg and spoke out from the stage, violating, according to the Russian government, the terms of their visas.  Lawmakers tried unsuccessfully to ban fans under 18 years old from Gaga’s concerts. Madonna and Gaga are post-modern hetero-normative, basically straight ladies who like teh gheys, have a platform to speak out, and do. Elton John is waaay more risky–he’s clearly queer and the very act of playing in Russia is pretty subversive/transgressive, especially given his outspokeness on  stage and off.

In July, 2103 Elton John was scheduled to play a concert in Krasnodar, Russia which caused great consternation.

Local party leader Mikhail Abramyan recommended that Elton don a knee-length kaftan, knee-high leather boots, and a fur hat for the July 14th gig.

He said: ‘It would be more respectable.  We have suggested it to the promoters and we hope he’ll wear it.’, according to Russian news agency Ria Novosti.

Despite calls from Krasnodar clergy to ban Sir Elton’s July 14th concert because the singer represents homosexual propaganda, no ban was issued. Rather the concert was postponed, then cancelled due to the singer’s illness.

Somehow I think, and maybe I am just an optimist, that Elton John playing Moscow is his attempt at activism, and is motivated by the desire to make a positive change, rather than to line his pockets. It will be interesting to see what bombshells, like that in China, he drops from the stage–maybe playing “All the Young Girls Love Alice”? And I wonder if Edward Snowden will be backstage! Now that would be a Facebook photo op!

HT: Back2Stonewall

Ender’s Game: GLSEN to Honor Lionsgate, Studio Behind Orson Scott Card Movie

 

GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is honoring Lionsgate, the studio behind Ender’s Game at their annual $,1000/ticket  Respect Awards in October. Disgusting. It’s shameful that GLSEN would do this, and looks really bad especially since Lionsgate responded to GeeksOut’st call to skip Ender’s Game by saying:

Lionsgate will continue its longstanding commitment to the LGBT community by exploring new ways we can support LGBT causes and, as part of this ongoing process, will host a benefit premiere for Ender’s Game.

I see what you did there. Gross.

Along with giving an award to Lionsgate, the Respect fundraiser for GLSEN will also honor Jim Parsons, Sheldon from the tv show, Big Bang Theory and his husband, designer Todd Spiewak (the newlyweds just founded a production company, That’s Wonderful Productions, and they are actively looking for projects, ranging from TV and movies to plays); and award winning producer and writer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason (she was responsible creating Designing Women and wrote and directed all three of Bill Clinton’s Democratic Convention films, including the iconic Man from Hope, as well as the 2008 Democratic Convention film for then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton).

The work done by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network is important and impressive. With 36 chapters in 23 states, GLSEN works to make sure that every member of every school community is valued and respected, regardless of sexual identity, gender identity or gender expression. So why the flying monkeys are they lauding Lionsgate this year with their Chairman’s Award? Because presumably Lionsgate can sell tickets and get their stars to show up. Think The Hunger Games franchise, The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn—Part 2, Now You See Me, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, Tyler Perry’s Temptation, Warm Bodies, Perks of Being A Wallflower, The Expendables 2, The Possession, Sinister, The Cabin in the Woods, Mud and Arbitrage–and that’s just movies. They also produce 28 television shows on 20 different network,s including iconic brands such as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men and recent hits such as Orange is the New Black, Anger Management and Nashville.

However, this year Lionsgate has stinky stench associated with it: Ender’s Game is based on the novel by Orson Scott Card, a homo-hatin’ card-carrying (ex?) board member of the National Organization for Marriage, and a staunch opponent of marriage equality who advocated for government overthrow should federal marriage equality be granted (now there’s a guy who needs an NSL!). Insiders suggest Card stands to make millions of dollars between the story rights, distribution rights, and his box office percentage through Lionsgate and their partner Summit Entertainment.

Julia Marella of Slate PR, a public relations firm based in Hollywood, CA, replied to Back2Stonewall’s query to GLSEN’s involvement with Lionsgate:

Lionsgate has a long and rich history of creating LGBT-inclusive and affirming films. The studio has also been an industry leader in ensuring workplace protections and benefits for LGBT people. When Lionsgate acquired Summit Entertainment last year, the company inherited its library of current projects, including Ender’s Game. Though GLSEN flatly rejects book author Orson Scott Card’s support for the discrimination of LGBT people, we stand behind Lionsgate’s similar rejection of Card’s personal beliefs and its long-standing commitment to support the LGBT community.

If GLSEN, which counts Kyra Sedgwick as a board member, wasn’t an organization involved with kids, I would use some very strong language about selling oneself. Interestingly, when Back2Stonewall contacted  GLSEN’s  press person, Andy Marra about Lionsgate, it was Slate Public Relations, one of the heaviest hitters in Hollywood that  responded, and Hollywood publicists are  not cheap, they start at about $4,500/month.  In the past, Slate handled the PR for the 2013 Tony Awards and the 2013 Emmys. Basically, if you buy a table (1oK) you’ll be covering the publicist’s fees.

Ender’s Game opens November 1. Patrick Yacco of Geeks Out emailed me about the Respect fundraiser, Lionsgate and Ender’s Game:

Until Lionsgate and their subsidiaries are more transparent about their production deal with homophobic activist Orson Scott Card for the rights to Ender’s Game, it’s difficult to see them as deserving of such an award.  Unfortunately, it’s highly unlikely that those details will ever be revealed, so I feel that LGBT fans have few options to support that film, and should skip it when it’s released later this year.

But for now, shame on GLSEN for accepting this obvious pinkwashing. Shame, shame shame!

H/T: Back2Stonewall

Ender’s Game: Orson Scott Card Gets Even Crazier, More Hateful

Orson Scott Card is the homo-hatin’ author of Ender’s Game who is also a producer of and presumably profit-taker from the eponymous film due out in November from Lions Gate.  He has proven himself to be an equal opportunist disliker of non-white people and a loony-toon nutter in this May 9, 2013 essay, originally published in something called The Rhinoceros Times. Card spins a paranoid (admitted) fantasy about Obama becoming a dictator, and at one point gets all sandy-pantied about

young out-of-work urban men

who he speculates will be recruited as Obama’s jackbooted personal militia:

Obama will put a thin veneer of training and military structure on urban gangs, and send them out to channel their violence against Obama’s enemies.

Instead of doing drive-by shootings in their own neighborhoods, these young thugs will do beatings and murders of people “trying to escape” — people who all seem to be leaders and members of groups that oppose Obama.

Card cloaks his racism and paranoia in speculation

 as a science fiction writer and a student of history

(because since he, like, studied history, he knows stuff) as he proceeds to spin what he calls a

a little thought experiment

involving Obama running Michelle Obama for President (one of his earlier columns in The Rhinoceros Times claimed that the First Lady’s appearance on the Oscars was a warm up for her 2016 run, so this is a recurring fear/theme for Card) so Barack Obama can stay in power forever as a Hitler-esque dictator who will put his young urban male troops in armored vehicles as they ride the streets enforcing Obama-laws against Obama-enemies.  Part of Obama’s power plan, according to Card:

Barack Obama needs to have a source of military power that is under his direct control. Like Hitler, he needs a powerful domestic army to terrify any opposition that might arise.

Obama called for a “national police force” in 2008, though he never gave a clue about why such a thing would be necessary. We have the National Guard. We have the armed forces. The FBI. The Secret Service. And all the local and state police forces.

Actually Obama called for a

civilian national security force that is just as strong and well funded…

and Salon points out the excerpt Card quotes was used by Obama

to describe how he’d “expand AmeriCorps to 250,000 slots,” “double the size of the Peace Corps,” and “grow our foreign service.” That was five years ago, and he actually failed to do it.

Orson Scott Card is a card-carrying, tin-foil-wearing wacko whose “speculation,” while unpleasantly crazy, is his to spew as he wishes. And his loathing of gays, anger over marriage equality, funding of NOM, and urgings to overthrow the United States government over marriage equality and liberal thought will be underwritten by any profits made from the film Ender’s Game, its merchandizing, and sequels. Card has written this following not as speculation:

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.

Skip Ender’s Game.

H/T Back2Stonewall

Ender’s Game: Comic-Con Panel, Filmmakers Discuss LGBT Issue: Basically “Please Don’t Boycott”

 

Last week, Orson Scott Card, a National Organization for Marriage board member and author of the popular Ender’s Game series, said his views on marriage were

moot

because of the DOMA repeal. He said this because Geeks OUT! called for a boycott of the film version of his book. Card is one of the film’s producers. Producers stand to make money if the film is profitable. As a Mormon, Card tithes at least 10% of his income to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which actively opposes, and has repeatedly campaigned against, marriage equality.

Oh, and Card wrote in 2008 about marriage equality:

What these dictator-judges do not seem to understand is that their authority extends only as far as people choose to obey them.

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. [emphasis mine]

So really, this guy is a homo-hatin’ seditionist. That’s a good reason not to give him money at the box office!

Lionsgate, the studio behind Ender’s Game, has tried to buy off the boycott by offering to have a premier party and donate the proceeds to a worthy cause (uh, they’d be having a premier anyway). So far, wisely, no LGBT org has stepped up to take the offer. At Comic-Con, the mega-geek fest where all good (and some bad) sci-fi films go for boosting, Summit, the film’s distributor, staged a mega presentation planned long before the Card controversy raised its ugly, bigoted head. Another of the film’s producers, Robert Orci was on the panel, as was director Gavin Hood. According to Variety:

When brought up during a Q&A session during Summit’s Comic-Con presentation for the film, Orci said, “The truth is you never want to court controversy, but we decided to use the attention on us to support Lionsgate’s statement of support of LGBT rights. So rather than shy away, we are happy to embrace it and use the spotlight to say we support LGBT rights.”

Hood backed up the producer, saying that the film has themes of “compassion” and “empathy” “and I hope I’ve delivered that” to the 6,000 filling the San Diego Convention Center’s massive Hall H.

In other words:

Please come see our movie even though some of the ticket price will go to support a guy who hates gays and wants to overthrow the government because marriage equality is now federal law.

Prop 8 decision globalized

People in Stockholm know about Prop 8, and the staff at American Apparel told me that the “Legalize Gay Overturn Prop 8″ tees have been big sellers with locals and tourists alike. They congratulated California on Judge Walker’s decision, saying they were happy about It.

Federal Judge: Names of Prop. 8 Donors Must Be Public

images-4.thumbnail.jpgU.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. denied an attempt by Yes on 8 supporters to withhold disclosure of campaign donors to the state’s same-sex marriage ban. Yes on 8 campaign officials said hundreds of people have alleged harassment, intimidation or threats.

Attempts were made by Yes on 8 to blackmail No on 8 donors  but No on 8 campaigners didn’t go bawwwing about it to the courts. Instead they stood fast, supporting California’s Political Reform Act, approved by voters in 1974, which requires disclosure of the name, occupation and employer of anyone contributing $100 or more to campaigns.

Attorneys for Proposition 8 argued that First Amendment rights to be free from retaliation outweigh the state’s interest in disclosure.  But the judge disagreed:

The court finds that the state is not facilitating retaliation by compelling disclosure.


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