Is boycott of Orson Card’s ‘Ender’s Game’ good policy or free publicity?

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It’s not that I’m sympathetic toward him, but Orson Scott Card can’t catch a break with the gay fanboys lately.

The Mormon sci-fi author and anti-gay activist wrote a book, Ender’s Game, in 1984 that was well-received among sci-fi folks. Then around 1990, he started speaking out against homosexuality. His vocal opposition to same-sex marriage drew more criticism — all of it, let’s say outright, completely justified. He’s even on the board (still) of the National Organization for Marriage.

Earlier this year, when DC Comics announced Card would be authoring the Superman Anthology, gay comic bookstore owners like Dallas’ Richard Neal drew a bright line, saying if the homophobic Card was allowed to write it, stores like Zeus would refuse to carry it. The artist hired to draw the serial pulled out as well.

Now Card is in the news again. Oscar nominees Harrison Ford, Viola Davis, Abigail Breslin and Hailee Steinfeld have completed principal photography on the film version of Ender’s Game, due out in November from Oscar-winning director Gavin Hood. Readying for San Diego’s Comic-Con next week, the studio began rolling out the stars to promote the movie; Ford and co-star Asa Butterfield are even on an Entertainment Weekly cover.

And here stands the new controversy. Card is credited as author of the source material as well as serving as producer on the film, and so a boycott had been brewing, with organizers from New York-based Geeks Out asking folks to sign a pledge denying “support” to the film (which, we assume, means buying a ticket).

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: Fort Worth teen suspended for anti-gay comments films NOM video

Dakota Ary

Dakota Ary, the Fort Worth teen who was suspended last year after he made anti-gay comments in class, is featured in a new video from the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage.

Ary was suspended after gay teacher Kris Franks sent him to the principal’s office for making anti-gay comments, which Franks said were part of ongoing anti-gay bullying from Ary.

Ary’s mom later hired Liberty Counsel lawyer Matt Krause — now the Republican nominee for Texas House District 93 — and the suspension was lifted. Franks was suspended for unrelated behavior, but the charges were later dropped.

Ary speaks about the incident in a NOM Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance video, where he talks about how his freedom of speech was violated and he encourages other people to speak up for what they believe in.

Ary’s mom is also in the video and talks about how parents should empower their children to stand up for their beliefs. She said Ary was targeted and called hateful names after his story made national headlines.

“Dakota is not a bigot. He is not someone who hates gay people,” she says in the video. “He’s not a hater in any way. And of all these organizations and companies that promote gay marriage and so on and so forth, for them to come back at him as a child is just ridiculous. I’m extremely proud of the fact that he did stand up for himself.”

Watch the video below.

—  Anna Waugh

Chick-fil-A to end donations to anti-gay groups, draft memo about policies

Couple Tyler Savage, left, and Larry Farris kiss at a Dallas Chick-fil-A Friday, Aug. 3, for National Same-sex Kiss-in Day. (Anna Waugh/Dallas Voice)

Chick-fil-A is reportedly ending its contributions to anti-gay groups, including Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage.

The decision came after discussions this month with Chicago’s Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Moreno made headlines this summer for opposing a new Chick-fil-A in a Westside ward after company President Dan Cathy’s stated opposition to marriage equality. Cathy’s comments sparked debate about civil rights and freedom of speech, along with protests and petitions to kick the restaurant of college campuses, leading to Cathy meeting with LGBT college leaders last month.

Moreno told the Times that the company would not add LGBT protections to its nondiscrimination policy but would send a memo to its restaurants called “Chick-fil-A: Who We Are.” The memo will state Chick-fil-A’s promise to “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender” and to not “engage in political or social debates.”

Moreno told Chicago’s LGBT newspaper, the Windy City Times, that it’s “a win for the LGBT community” and “for everyone who works for the cause of equal rights, and a win for Chick- fil-A. This is a win for all.”

Chick-fil-A has not released an official announcement stating that the company would cease donations to anti-gay organization, but a letter sent to Moreno signed by the company’s senior director states that it is “now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas.”

Donations will now go to foster-care agencies and community service organizations.

—  Anna Waugh

NOM announces every Wednesday will be Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day

The National Organization for Marriage might be trying to make more of Americans obese by encouraging supporters of traditional marriage to flock to Chick-fil-A every Wednesday for the chicken chain’s deep-fried goodness.

Supporters showed up in record numbers to restaurants around the country on Aug. 1, many of whom had to wait in long lines to show their appreciation for President Dan Cathy’s anti-gay remarks.

NOM President Brian Brown thanked those who waited for hours and announced Tuesday that the organization is pushing for supporters to eat at Chick-fil-A every Wednesday to show continued support.

Of course, Mr. Brown makes the argument for free speech by a company’s leader instead of focusing on the anti-gay organizations Chick-fil-A funds.

“Because of the groundbreaking significance of Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day—and because the attacks on Dan Cathy and his freedom to speak out in defense of marriage aren’t going away—we’re calling on all supporters of marriage, free speech and religious liberty to make every Wednesday a ‘Chick-fil-A Wednesday!’” the NOM release reads. “I am profoundly grateful to Gov. Mike Huckabee for his leadership in sponsoring and promoting last week’s ‘Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.’ No politician has the right to discriminate against private business owners simply because they believe what God says about marriage.”

No word yet if the LGBT community will do any more same-sex kiss-ins in response to the announcement. More from Brown:

Take the Chick-fil-A Wednesdays Pledge! Join the Chick-fil-A Wednesdays community on Facebook to show your support for Dan Cathy, for marriage and free speech, and for your fellow Americans who believe in marriage like you do: use this page to remind yourself and one another that we are not alone!

Look for events and opportunities to take your business to Chick-fil-A, especially on Wednesdays. Whether it’s a church catering event, a political meeting or a weekly Bible study, look for opportunities to support Chick-fil-A with your fast-food dollars.

Keep up your support! Have you thanked Dan Cathy for his brave stand in support of marriage? If you haven’t, be sure to send him a note at ThankChickfilA.com! Share this page with your friends and let’s make sure that Mr. Cathy and Chick-fil-A—as well as the gay marriage radicals who would silence him—know how very many Americans support his position and his right to publicly express it!

—  Anna Waugh

Gay New Yorkers switch parties to reward Republican senator

Mark Grisanti

Mark Grisanti was one of four Republican senators in New York’s upper house who voted for marriage equality. Now, 250 New Yorkers in his district that runs from Niagara Falls to Buffalo have switched parties — to the Conservative Party — to support him.

In New York, a candidate can run on two party lines. Longtime New York Sen. Jacob Javitz, a Republican, maintained his position only because he was also the perennial Liberal Party candidate. Grisanti won his seat with the support of New York’s Conservative Party.

The 250 people who switched parties will be eligible to vote in the primary that will nominate a candidate. The party, itself, opposes same-sex marriage.

However, Grisanti said at the time of the vote earlier this summer, “I cannot legally come up with an argument against same-sex marriage.”

The district has five times as many Democrats as Republicans, according to the Buffalo News.

You have to hand it to the hate group National Organization for Marriage for being so narrow-minded that they think that everyone thinks the way they do. NOM is placing billboards in Grisanti’s district to remind people how their senator voted. However, the newspaper called that a gift to Grisanti in a district that overwhelmingly supports his vote.

Buffalo’s NBC affiliate talked to the local Conservative Party chair who was not pleased with a group joining “to disrupt the party.”

The organizer of the switch-parties move said that they were doing this to protect someone who helped them. They will not be able to switch back again until 2013. In the mean time, they will be eligible to vote in Conservative Party primaries.

And Grisanti may switch parties and become a Democrat before next year’s election. But a Conservative Party line would help him get votes from Republicans and Conservatives who prefer not to vote for a Democrat.

—  David Taffet

BREAKING: Perry signs anti-gay marriage pledge; NOM responds by calling him ‘marriage champion’

Gov. Rick Perry

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a GOP presidential candidate, has signed an anti-gay marriage pledge from the National Organization for Marriage, the Associated Press reports. By signing the pledge, Perry has vowed to support a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage throughout the country; defend the Defense of Marriage of Act in court; appoint judges and a U.S. attorney general who “will respect the original meaning” of the U.S. Constitution; support legislation allowing D.C. residents to vote on whether to overturn the district’s same-sex marriage law; and appoint a presidential commission to “investigate harassment of traditional marriage supporters.”

Although Perry’s decision to sign the NOM pledge comes as no surprise whatsoever to us, the AP writes that it “repudiat[es] his earlier comments that marriage rights should be left up to individual states.” For a recap of all that, go here.

Other Republican presidential candidates who’ve signed the NOM pledge include Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. Check out Bachmann’s signed copy below:

UPDATE: Brian Brown, president of NOM, issued the following statement about Perry’s decision to sign the pledge:

“Kudos to Gov. Rick Perry for making it clear: he’s a marriage champion. The purpose of NOM’s Marriage Pledge is to move from vague values statements to concrete actions to protect marriage. Gov. Perry joins Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum as a signer of NOM Marriage Pledge. By doing so, Perry makes crystal clear that, contrary to the conventional wisdom, gay marriage is going to be a bigger issue in 2012 than it was in 2008, because the difference between the GOP nominee and Pres. Obama is going to be large and clear. We look forward to demonstrating that being for marriage is a winning position for a presidential candidate.”

—  John Wright

Protests add to lively 1st day of marriage in NY

Westboro Baptist Church protests in New York City.

The first day of marriage equality in New York ended without incident although several groups in Manhattan staged protests, according to an email from the New York LGBT group Connecting Rainbows.

Members of Westboro Baptist Church, the hate group with the most experience protesting LGBT rights, were cordoned off inside a small police barrier on the street outside the governor’s New York City office. They flashed new signs like “Fags cannot marry,” along with “Thank God for 9-11,” specifically designed to enrage New Yorkers.

Others demonstrating on behalf of discrimination included a large Hispanic group led by State Sen. Ruben Diaz, the only Democrat to vote against equality, as well as a Hasidic (Jewish ultra-Orthodox) group.

The Hasidic group held signs that read, “LGBT Education will cost us billions” and “Redefining marriage bashes bible believers.” Religious groups were given strict exemptions in the New York marriage equality law. It’s unclear what the group meant by “LGBT Education.”

The Hispanic group was the largest. Several hundred marched from Cuomo’s Midtown Manhattan office to the United Nations. In June, the U.N. Human Rights Council passed a resolution that seeks equal rights for all regardless of sexual orientation.

Anti-LGBT protesters also appeared in Albany, Rochester and Buffalo, according to the Buffalo News.

—  David Taffet

Is this what they mean by ‘traditional marriage’?

Actor Doug Hutchison, 51, and his new bride, 16-year-old Courtney Alexis Stodden.

While looking through headlines this morning, I found a story about actor Doug Hutchison announcing his marriage to aspiring country music singer Courtney Alexis Stodden. But here’s the catch: Hutchison is 51. His new bride is 16.

My first reaction was disgust, for two reasons. Reason No. 1: I am 50, going on 51. I have a son who is 14 going on 15. The idea of my son marrying someone my age makes my skin crawl and my stomach churn. That’s reason enough for me to want to slap Mr. Hutchison silly right there.

But then there’s Reason No. 2: I cannot legally marry the woman I love and with whom I have shared the last 10 years of my life because same-sex marriage is unnatural and against God’s law. The right-wingers in this country, like the National Organization for Marriage, insist that only “traditional marriages” between one man and one woman should be legally recognized. Some, I dare say, would go so far as to say gays and lesbians, especially those who want to marry their same-sex partners, should be thrown in jail. And yet, this 51-year-old man can legally marry this 16-year-old girl, and even her mama thinks that’s OK.

Is this the kind of “traditional marriage” they want to protect from me?!

And then my wife made the comment, “Do they think this is the 1800s or something?” and I realized that, well, yes, that IS a “traditional marriage,” with the tradition dating all the way back to biblical times.

All I can say is, somebody please protect me from tradition.

—  admin

Bill Clinton comes out for marriage equality

Bill Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton came out in favor of same-sex marriage in New York. And according to the Human Rights Campaign, daughter Chelsea Clinton is doing phone-banking in favor of marriage equality in the Empire State.

Democatic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made marriage equality a top priority of the current legislative session in New York after two other states, Maryland and Rhode Island, failed to enact similar legislation this year.

Cuomo now has the support of Clinton, according to the Wall Street Journal. On Tuesday, Cuomo said he expects the measure to pass before the end of the session in June. Today, he backtracked and said that he won’t press for a vote unless he has the votes in the state Senate.

To change the votes of a handful of Republican Senators who voted against the measure last session, Cuomo is traveling around the state asking residents to put pressure on legislators.

In 2009, same-sex marriage passed the Assembly in New York but failed to pass the Senate.

The hate group National Organization for Marriage has sent $500,000 to the state to derail the legislation. They have also pledged $1 million to campaign against legislators who vote for it, according to the Capital Tonight. The site comments that the ad was not made specifically for New York since the announcer has a distinct Southern accent. The TV ad uses scare tactics that imply that legalizing same-sex marriage requires children to be taught about homosexuality in school.

The bill to legalize same-sex marriage was introduced in the Assembly on Tuesdasy by Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, Rosie O’Donnell’s gay brother.

—  David Taffet

Gallagher steps down from NOM

Maggie Gallagher
Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher, president and chief bigot of the National Organization for Marriage, announced her resignation. She has headed the hate group for three years.

The group is directly responsible for the misleading advertising and scare tactics that defeated same-sex marriage passed by the legislatures in Maine and California.

Her latest target is New Hampshire. Marriage equality became law this year after a battle with their Republican governor, John Lynch, last summer. The law passed after the governor insisted on “protections” for religions and the threat of passing despite a veto.

Now NOM has set their sites on the governor for not stopping equality altogether. The campaign against Lynch, who is up for reelection this year, is  based on the idea that Lynch lied on same -sex marriage.

—  David Taffet