Orson Scott Card and homosexuals

Orson Scott Card is a popular science fiction author. But I recently read an online copy of an article, apparently written by him, on another topic; homosexuality. Card’s opinions on the subject (according to this article) were extremely negative.

The opinions were in fact so negative, I wonder if they were real. As is common with online sources, the article was only loosely attributed. Reading it, I began to suspect that someone else might have written it and attributed it to Card to either portray him as prejudiced or to defame the LDS church (Card is a Mormon and the article is filled with what purports to be LDS theology).

Has anyone else heard of this article? Does anyone know if it was really written by Card? If so, does Card still stand by what he wrote?

The essay is called “The Hypocrites of Homosexuality”. It first appeared in the magazine “Sunstone” in 1990, and it’s reprinted in his anthology of essays, “A Storyteller in Zion”. In the essay he says that homosexual behavior is immoral, and that both the LDS church and the nation as a whole have a responsibility to discourage homosexual behavior. Here’s a copy of the essay, btw.


I’ve just lost a lot of respect for him.

Yeah, me too, jab1. Which I find very sad.

Good thing I don’t have to respect authors. I just have to like their books.

Yeah, this is one reason I don’t read much Card anymore. Not the only reason, but it was sort of the nail in the coffin. Very depressing, that an author who is so intelligent and observant in most other regards is such a, well, total fucking numbnut in this particular area.

I lost a bit of respect for him for what he said about Orwell on his All-Time Film Review List. Mind you, I do respect other people’s opinions but what he said was kind of ignorant:

This movie takes Animal Farm and realizes the possibilities that never crossed poor stodgy George Orwell’s allegory-ridden mind.

Uh…Babe and Animal Farm are two different things, Card. As an author, I would think he would realize it. But perhaps I’m looking too much into it. That could be because I am rather biased (Orwell is my favorite author of all time).

But, as to the OP, his essay is rather disgusting.

Actually, after reading Cards article, I still have the same respect for the man as I did before.

NOTE I do not agree with his position in anyway. At the same time it seems to me that he was just stating his religous belief, which he has made widely known, and explaining why he believes what he does. It is also apparent to me that the article was written in response to an attempt by some group to have the LDS church change its stance on homosexuality.

While I strongly disagree with Cards views I respect him for standing behind his beliefs. I highly doubt he is a homophobe. Yes, he believes homosexuality is a sin but he doesn’t rate that sin anymore evil than extra-marital affairs or pre-maritial sex.


Hmmmm, did anyone else think the article was really stiff and not at all like the easy flow of his books??? Maybe Mrs. Card really writes the books???

That’s what religion does, my friend.

Honestly, the essay doesn’t change my love for Ender’s Game.

It’s perfectly predictable that a Mormon would take issue against homosexuality. Most Christians do- it’s part of the doctrine, or at least part of what is taught as doctrine. On a personal level it upsets me, but at the same time I can’t manage to get myself broken up over a religious guy to be homophobic, especially when I personally have no power to change it.

I guess it becomes a question of when an artist’s personal convictions and beliefs completely undermine their work.

:rolleyes: Funny, growing up in Georgia surrounded by southern Baptists, I got the impression that religion was often used as a crutch for people to make themselves feel superior so that they could sit in judgement over others for their beliefs. Sounds awfully familiar to me; just replace “queer” with “Christian.”

To everybody else: If this one non-fiction essay written by the man takes you completely by surprise, then that must mean that his stance on homosexuality doesn’t come through in his fiction. (I dunno, personally; I can’t say I’ve ever read anything by the man.) My point being: the man’s personal beliefs should only undermine his creative work if the work incorporates those beliefs.

Or, at the very least, it makes intelligent and observant people into total fucking numbnuts in certain particular areas.

I read the essay. No less than I expected from someone who is a strong believer in a Christian religion. Card never held himself up as an enlightened man, just someone who can write well and has something to say.

I still love Ender’s Game and the following trilogy (Children of the Mind*, Speaker for the Dead, and Xenocide), and I love what I’ve read of the new series he’s writing to be more direct sequels of Ender’s Game (Ender’s Shadow and Shadow of the Hedgemon, with more to come). Card works technology, cultural changes, and, yes, his religion into fast-paced, intelligent stories with something to say and an engaging way of saying it. He transcends ‘space opera’ by having intelligent characters and logical, rational plots with rational solutions. The religion his characters have (Andrew’s parents were deeply religious, for example, and Andrew became religious later in life) is part of their characters, not the ham-handed addition of a preachy zealot.

Finally, anyone who can make me care about a computer network (Jane) and an insect (the Hive Queen) deserves my respect as an author. :slight_smile:

I lost no respect after reading the essay, but I respect him for a different reason.

I find that lot of science fiction writers and underground comic book artists tend to be very conservative.

You didn’t hear it from me, but it is widely rumored in some circles that Orson Scott Card is indeed a closet homosexual, and perhaps even a pedophile. He certainly does use children as the protagonists in his book very often, involved in blatantly sexual scenes that may only have been used for shock value, but do seem too occur far more often than I’m used to in science fiction. (The linked article mentioned Songmaster, but the same can be said for Ender’s Game and Wyrm…although the latter invovled a prepubescent girl.)

Still, assuming the article is real, it doesn’t surprise me that OSC would take such a hard-liner stance against homosexuality. For one, he IS a good-standing member of the LDS church, one of the most conservative and homophobic sects of Christianity. Secondly, he is definitely aware of the rumors about him, and a man in his position would have every reason in the world to deny them, WHETHER THEY ARE TRUE OR NOT.

At least, that’s my opinion…

Cheap shot, KGS.

Perpetrating insulting rumors about a person’s private life because you disagree with his political opinion.


I can understand (though not agree with) some of the things in that article. He has every right to his religion, and it tells him that homosexual relationships are wrong. I guess his plan is that they would all just remain abstinent. He is saying that it is hypocritical to justify a behavior that a religion deems sinful and at the same time profess to being a follower of that religion.

But I am baffled by the fact that he also justifies having laws against homosexual acts for everyone! He wants the government to be based on his own religion? Maybe his stories about various superintelligent people taking over governments for the good of the people are based on what he really wants to do.

It appears that no one disputes that this is actually Card’s work, so I guess it probably is. It’s just that when I read it, I was overwhelmed by how negative it was. That led me to consider the possibility this was a fake intended to defame Card or the LDS Church. Unfortunately it appears it isn’t.

I have seen that many (although not all) science fiction writers are conservative. But underground comic book artists? Can you give us some examples?

R. Crumb. I don’t think he liked anything that happened since 1939.