DC Comics is sidelining its plans for Orson Scott Card’s Man of Steel story in an upcoming “Superman” anthology, after the artist backed out of the assignment when a furor was raised over Card’s history of anti-gay marriage rhetoric. Card himself has said nothing since then, other than to post to his official website an article, written by Matthew Sanders of Deseret News, supporting Card’s right to express his beliefs.
So are those opposed to same-sex marriage --- on religious beliefs --- now under threat of losing work or losing their jobs? Throughout the legal case to overturn Prop 8, supporters of California’s gay marriage ban have argued that they are under threat of religious discrimination and even intimidation, to the point where they opposed an early effort to televise a federal trial. In the entertainment industry, very few figures have publicly expressed opposition to same-sex marriage (Pat Boone is one of the few exceptions), and even celebrities who eat at establishments owned by anti-gay moguls come under fire.
Yet in Salon, the writer of a recent book, "Superman: The Unauthorized Biography," doesn’t see this as a stifling of free speech, but a pushback against an author who is actively campaigning against gay marriage, as a board member of the National Organization for Marriage.
Glen Weldon tells the site, "Well, in this particular case — Superman represents compassion. He’s an icon of fairness. The fact that a guy who has dedicated himself to hate and discrimation would be handed the keys to the character just shows that DC Comics doesn’t understand who the character is for. There was a period when the "Superman" radio show dropped out the whole 'truth, justice, and the American way' thing and he became a fighter for racial tolerance. It was an arc called "Operation Intolerance."
He adds, "Superman exists to be about fairness. People will say this is a witch hunt, this is censorship. But it’s the marketplace of ideas. Card gets the chance to say what he wants, and we get a chance to say, not this."