Enders Game EW header

Orson Scott Card is best known for his sci-fi writing, but over the years he’s also attracted a lot of attention for his staunchly conservative political views. Among other things, he’s been vocal about his opposition to same-sex marriage — and as public opinion evolves on that issue, Card’s position is increasingly becoming a problem.

Earlier this year, DC Comics shelved a planned Superman book after Card’s involvement sparked a public backlash. Now, the LGBT group Geeks Out is calling for a boycott of Ender’s Game, Gavin Hood‘s film based on Card’s classic novel. In an effort to address the controversy, Card himself has spoken out declaring the gay marriage issue “moot” and asking for “tolerance” of his beliefs. Read his comments after the jump.

Card issued the following statement to EW:

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

It’s possible that Card really is coming around on the issue. People change their minds all the time, after all. But the timing is no coincidence — this is as much about the Ender’s Game movie as it is about Card’s actual political views — and in any case his latest comments don’t seem likely to win over any of his opponents.

First of all, just because marriage wasn’t being debated in the Supreme Court in 1984 doesn’t mean the gay rights movement didn’t exist back then. Nor does the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on DOMA mean the issue is “moot,” as he put it. Same-sex unions still aren’t legal in most states, and there are plenty of people fighting to keep it that way.

The most obnoxious part of his statement, though, is when he seeks “tolerance” for his bigoted opinions. That seems pretty rich, considering how he’s spoken about gays and the gay rights movement in the past. Here’s the Card quote referenced on SkipEndersGame.com:

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.

That soundbite dates back to 1990, but as of 2008 Card wasn’t much more progressive. In an editorial at Deseret News, he blasted the “dictator-judges” that made same-sex marriage legal in Massachusetts and California, and called gay people the result of “tragic genetic mixups.” In 2009, he joined the board of the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage.

On the bright side, the fact that the outspoken Card feels the need to tone down his anti-gay rhetoric at all (whether because he’s really softened his stance, or because it’s bad PR not to pretend he has) is a minor victory for pro-gay groups. Granted, he sounds more resigned than happy about the march of progress, but back in 1984 even Card’s more abrasive comments wouldn’t have inspired this much controversy.

Discuss: Will Card’s political views affect your decision to see or skip Ender’s Game? Personally, I can’t blame anyone for not wanting to fork over their hard-earned cash to a man whose views they find reprehensible… but I also know there’s no way I’ll be able to resist my curiosity about this movie, no matter what terrible stuff Card says.

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