Kirsten Andersen

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Under fire from gay activists, DC Comics shelves Superman project by Mormon ‘Ender’s Game’ author

Kirsten Andersen
Kirsten Andersen
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NEW YORK CITY, March 12, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – After pro-homosexual activists promoted an online petition demanding the firing of award-winning speculative fiction writer Orson Scott Card from an upcoming Superman comic anthology, DC Comics confirmed that Card’s portion of the project has been shelved indefinitely. 

Card, who is Mormon, sits on the board of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and has been outspoken about his opposition to redefining marriage to include same-sex couples. 

In an opinion piece for the Mormon Times, he wrote, “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.” 

In another commentary for Sunstone Magazine, he wrote, “[G]ay activism as a movement is no longer looking for civil rights, which by and large homosexuals already have. Rather they are seeking to enforce acceptance of their sexual liaisons as having equal validity with heterosexual marriages, to the point of having legal rights as spouses, the right to adopt children, and the right to insist that their behavior be taught to children in public schools as a completely acceptable ‘alternative lifestyle.’”

“It does not take a homophobe to recognize how destructive such a program will be in a society already reeling from the terrible consequences of ‘no-fault’ divorce, social tolerance of extramarital promiscuity, and failing to protect our adolescents until they can channel their sexual passions in a socially productive way,” Card continued.  “Having already lost control of the car, we now find the gay activists screaming at us to speed up as we drive headlong toward the cliff.”

Homosexual activists said his views should have disqualified him from being hired in the first place.  While his Superman short story was not expected to touch on gay issues, activists argued that to give him a paycheck for his work was tantamount to funding NOM directly.

The petition demanding his firing said, “To DC Comics: By hiring Orson Scott Card despite his anti-gay efforts you are giving him a new platform and supporting his hate.  Make sure your brand stands for equality and drop Orson Scott Card now.”

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DC’s decision to shelve Card’s portion of the project came after illustrator Chris Sprouse backed out of doing the art for Card’s short story under heavy pressure from gay advocates and the media.  “The media surrounding this story reached the point where it took away from the actual work, and that’s something I wasn’t comfortable with,” Sprouse said. 

In a statement, DC Comics said the company “fully supports, understands and respects” Sprouse’s decision to abandon the project.  They said they would “re-solicit the story at a later date when a new artist is hired.”  However, most industry insiders speculate that DC will be in no rush to replace Sprouse as an artist, allowing them to let Card’s story die a quiet death without actually firing him and opening themselves up to a discrimination lawsuit.  (It is illegal in the state of New York to fire an employee for his religious beliefs.)

Homosexual outcry over Card’s views is expected to reach a fever pitch in the coming year as the film version of his classic 1985 novel “Ender’s Game” is released.

The move toward blacklisting writers who fail to support homosexual causes has caused some controversy in speculative and licensed fiction circles.  While many in the publishing industry support same-sex “marriage,” some say they are uncomfortable with the idea of banning opposing thought outright. 

“I think it is dangerous to support any blacklist of any creative for any reason,” John Ordover, former editor of the Star Trek series at Pocket Books and open supporter of gay marriage, wrote on his Facebook page.  “It's validating the entire concept of blacklists. To oppose blacklists, we have to stand against blacklisting those whose opinions we find abhorrent as well as those we agree with.”  Ordover, who now owns and operates the SoHo Gallery for Digital Art, is hosting a roundtable debate on the issue at the gallery on April 10, called “Superman vs. Orson Scott Card.” 

Scott M. Roberts, assistant editor at Card’s own “Intergalactic Medicine Show” online magazine, also took to Facebook to voice his concerns over the apparent blacklisting, but his concerns were much wider than just this single incident’s effect on his boss. 

Roberts said the obsession with political correctness is ruining the genre by banning entire points of view from existence in fictional universes, making for bland, repetitive storytelling.  “This is a plea for the speculative fiction community to stop obsessing over race, sexuality, gender, and political affiliation and which author (and which characters) are on the right side of the dividing line between moral bankruptcy and sainthood,” Roberts wrote.

“The obsession with correct political belief and expression in art is stultifying the genre as it is necessarily exclusive. We are losing our voice in artificial, forced homogeny posing as tolerance. Propaganda-disguised-as-story drives readers away as agenda takes the place of wonder, excitement, character, and conflict.”

Brad Torgersen, award-winning speculative fiction author, built on Roberts’s Facebook musings in a blog post, saying, “Science fiction is supposedly the ‘dangerous’ genre, but I’ve found this to be a largely toothless claim, based on past glory. Science fiction in the 21st century doesn’t want to be dangerous. Science fiction wants to be safe – at any speed … let any author or editor fall foul of the signposted sins – ist and ism — and it’s a cause for significant outrage. How dare someone let a scoundrel into our beloved genre!? Someone fetch the smelling salts! Vapors! Gnashing of teeth!”

Added Torgersen, “The quest for tolerance has led us down a very odd road where the proper enacting of tolerance is to be, well, intolerant. To not tolerate the ‘intolerable’ according to trendy or arbitrary or otherwise assigned values of correctness: correct thought, correct speech, correct action. Not only must the stories themselves hew to this rigid correctness calculus, authors themselves must hew to this rigid correctness calculus.”

“There is no room in 21st century science fiction for real people,” Torgersen alleged, “(b)ecause sooner or later the ist and the ism are exposed — both real and, as often as not, imagined — and the evil-doer is punished and/or cast out.”

Whether Card will be punished and/or cast out from the November release of the long-awaited film adaptation of his best-known work, “Ender’s Game,” remains to be seen.  The Hollywood Reporter says executives at Summit are dithering over whether or not to include him in the summer’s main fan gathering and press junket, San Diego Comic-Con.

“I don't think you take him to any fanboy event,” said one unnamed studio executive. “This will definitely take away from their creative and their property.”  Another insider said the same: “Keep him out of the limelight as much as possible.”


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Quebec groups launch court challenge to euthanasia bill

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

As announced when the Quebec legislature adopted Bill 52, An Act respecting end-of-life care, the citizen movement Living with Dignity and the Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia, representing together over 650 physicians and 17,000 citizens, filed a lawsuit before the Superior Court of Quebec in the District of Montreal on Thursday.

The lawsuit requests that the Court declare invalid all the provisions of the Act that deal with “medical aid in dying”, a term the groups say is a euphemism for euthanasia. This Act not only allows certain patients to demand that a physician provoke their death, but also grants physicians the right to cause the death of these patients by the administration of a lethal substance.

The two organizations are challenging the constitutionality of those provisions in the Act which are aimed at decriminalizing euthanasia under the euphemism “medical aid in dying”. Euthanasia constitutes a culpable homicide under Canada’s Criminal Code, and the organizations maintain that it is at the core of the exclusive federal legislative power in relation to criminal law and Quebec therefore does not have the power to adopt these provisions.

The organizations also say the impugned provisions unjustifiably infringe the rights to life and to security of patients guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. They further infringe the right to the safeguard of the dignity of the person, which is also protected by the Quebec Charter.

In view of the gravity of the situation and the urgent need to protect all vulnerable persons in Quebec, they are requesting an accelerated management of the case in order to obtain a judgment before the Act is expected to come into force on December 10, 2015.


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Colorado baker appeals gvmt ‘re-education’ order

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

A Colorado cake artist who declined to use his creative talents to promote and endorse a same-sex ceremony appealed a May 30 order from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to the Colorado Court of Appeals Wednesday.

The commission’s order requires cake artist Jack Phillips and his staff at Masterpiece Cakeshop to create cakes for same-sex celebrations, forces him to re-educate his staff that Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act means that artists must endorse all views, compels him to implement new policies to comply with the commission’s order, and requires him to file quarterly “compliance” reports for two years. The reports must include the number of patrons declined a wedding cake or any other product and state the reason for doing so to ensure he has fully eliminated his religious beliefs from his business.

“Americans should not be forced by the government – or by another citizen – to endorse or promote ideas with which they disagree,” said the cake artist’s lead counsel Nicolle Martin, an attorney allied with Alliance Defending Freedom. “This is not about the people who asked for a cake; it’s about the message the cake communicates. Just as Jack doesn’t create baked works of art for other events with which he disagrees, he doesn’t create cake art for same-sex ceremonies regardless of who walks in the door to place the order.”

“In America, we don’t force artists to create expression that is contrary to their convictions,” added Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “A paint artist who identifies as homosexual shouldn’t be intimidated into creating a painting that celebrates one-man, one-woman marriage. A pro-life photographer shouldn’t be forced to work a pro-abortion rally. And Christian cake artists shouldn’t be punished for declining to participate in a same-sex ceremony or promote its message.”

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In July 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins asked Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, to make a wedding cake to celebrate their same-sex ceremony. In an exchange lasting about 30 seconds, Phillips politely declined, explaining that he would gladly make them any other type of baked item they wanted but that he could not make a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith. Craig and Mullins, now represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, immediately left the shop and later filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division. The case now goes to the Colorado Court of Appeals as Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Craig.

“Jack, and other cake artists like him – such as those seen on TV shows like ‘Ace of Cakes’ and ‘Cake Boss’ – prepare unique creations that are inherently expressive,” Tedesco explained. “Jack invests many hours in the wedding cake creative process, which includes meeting the clients, designing and sketching the cake, and then baking, sculpting, and decorating it. The ACLU calls Jack a mere ‘retail service provider,’ but, in fact, he is an artist who uses his talents and abilities to create expression that the First Amendment fully protects."

Celebrity cake artists have written publicly about their art and the significant expressive work that goes into the artistic design process for wedding cakes.


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Prisoner of conscience Mary Wagner appeals her conviction

Tony Gosgnach
By Tony Gosgnach

TORONTO -- As promised, Mary Wagner has, through her counsel Dr. Charles Lugosi, filed a formal notice of appeal on numerous points regarding her recent, almost two-year-long court case that ended on June 12.

Justice Fergus O’Donnell of the Ontario Court of Justice rejected every application made by the defence – including for access to abortion center records, public funding, standing for a constitutional challenge and for expert witnesses to be heard – before he found Wagner guilty and sentenced her to five months in jail on a charge of mischief and four months on four counts of failing to comply with probation orders.

He further levied two years of probation, with terms that she stay at least 100 metres away from any abortion site. However, because Wagner had spent a greater time in jail than the sentence, she was freed immediately. She had been arrested at the “Women’s Care Clinic” abortion site on Lawrence Avenue West in Toronto on August 15, 2012 after attempting to speak to abortion-bound women there. She then spent the duration of the trial in prison for refusing to sign bail conditions requiring her to stay away from abortion sites.

Wagner is using the matter as a test case to challenge the current definition of a human being in Canadian law – that is, that a human being is legally recognized as such only after he or she has fully emerged from the birth canal in a breathing state.

Wagner’s notice states the appeal is regarding:

  • Her conviction and sentence on a single count of mischief (interference with property),
  • Her conviction and sentence on four counts of breach of probation,
  • The order denying public funding,
  • The order denying the disclosure of third-party records,
  • The order denying the admission of evidence from experts on the applicant’s constitutional challenge concerning the constitutional validity of Section 223 of the Criminal Code,
  • The order denying the admission of evidence from experts concerning the construction of Section 37 of the Criminal Code,
  • The probation order denying Wagner her constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion on all public sidewalks and public areas within 100 metres of places where abortions are committed,
  • And each conviction and sentence and all orders and rulings made by O’Donnell.

In the notice of appeal, Lugosi cites numerous points on which O’Donnell erred:

  • He denied Wagner her constitutional right to make full answer and defence.
  • He denied Wagner her right to rely on Section 37 of the Criminal Code, which permits “everyone” to come to the third-party defence and rescue of any human being (in this case, the preborn) facing imminent assault.
  • He decided the factual basis of Wagner’s constitutional arguments was a waste of the court’s time and that no purpose would have been served by having an evidentiary hearing on her Charter application because, in the current state of Canadian law, it had no possibility of success.
  • He misapplied case law and prejudged the case, “giving rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias and impeding the legal evolution of the law to adapt to new circumstances, knowledge and changed societal values and morals.”
  • He accepted the Crown’s submission that it is beyond the jurisdiction of the courts to question the jurisdiction of Parliament legally to define “human being” in any manner Parliament sees fit.
  • He ruled Section 223 of the Criminal Code is not beyond the powers of Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
  • He ruled Section 223 of the Criminal Code does not violate the Preamble to, as well as Sections 7, 11(d), 15 and 26, of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • He denied Wagner standing to raise a constitutional challenge to the validity of Section 223 of the Criminal Code.
  • He ruled that Section 223 of the Criminal Code applied generally throughout the entire Criminal Code and used it to deny unborn human beings the benefit of equal protection as born human beings under Section 37 of the Criminal Code.
  • He denied the production and disclosure of third-party records in the possession of the “Women’s Care Clinic” abortion site, although the records were required to prove Wagner was justified in using reasonable force in the form of oral and written words to try to persuade pregnant mothers from killing their unborn children by abortion.
  • He denied Wagner the defence of Section 37 of the Criminal Code by ruling unborn children did not come within the scope of human beings eligible to be protected by a third party.
  • He ruled Wagner did not come within the scope of Section 37 because she was found to be non-violent (in that she did not use physical force).
  • He ruled the unborn children Wagner was trying to rescue were not under her protection.
  • He denied Wagner the common-law defences of necessity and the rescue of third parties in need of protection.
  • He denied Wagner public funding to make full answer and defence for a constitutional test case of great public importance and national significance.
  • He imposed an unconstitutional sentence upon Wagner by, in effect, imposing an injunction as a condition of probation, contrary to her constitutional rights of free speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.

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Among the orders Lugosi is seeking are:

  • That an appeal be allowed against conviction on all counts and that a verdict of acquittal be entered on all counts,
  • That Section 223 of the Criminal Code be found unconstitutional  and contrary to Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982, as well as the unwritten constitution of Canada,
  • That the sentence be declared unconstitutional and contrary to Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and the unwritten constitution of Canada or that a new trial be conducted, with Wagner permitted to make full answer and defence, be given standing to make a constitutional attack on Section 223 of the Criminal Code, with the admission of expert witnesses,
  • That the Women’s Care Clinic abortion site be made to produce third-party records pertaining to patients seen on August 15, 2012 (when Wagner entered the site),
  • And that there be public funding for two defence counsels at any retrial and for any appeal related to the case.

No date has yet been established for a decision on the appeal or hearings.

A defence fund for Wagner’s case is still raising money. Details on how to contribute to it can be found here.


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