Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dallas Retailer Leads Way in Active Boycott of Orson Scott Card’s Superman Comic UPDATE – DC Release Statement

From There’s been controversy over the past few days following DC’s decision to hire Orson Scott Card, a pioneer in contemporary homophobia, as one of the writers on a new digital-first Superman anthology series. And although the internet has been going back and forth on the subject for the past few days, the first active step towards boycotting the book happened in Dallas today, as shop owner (and Eisner award-winner) Richard Neal has announced his shop will not be stocking the book once it comes to print. This begins a movement which the internet has been trying to get moving for the past few days to boycott the book, with a petition already online asking for his removal. But this is the first move which will actively see sales and money taken away from DC as a result of the hiring, rather than empty words on an internet page. Not just a homophobe, Card is one of the board members of the National Organization of Marriage, which openly seeks to prevent anybody from getting married apart from a male-female pairing. It’s not simply the case that Card has personal politics which are shameful – and they are SHAMEFUL - but that he works tirelessly to dismiss and degrade LGBT rights as part of a hate group. He has included his personal views in several of his works, including one particular piece in which he rewrote Hamlet in order to include more gay characters who were also paedophiles. There were previous movements a few years ago when he was hired by Marvel, but this is the first time that we’ve seen that momentum carry through into something tangible. The main problem here has been that DC have been actively trying to court an LGBT audience over the last few months… but have now for some reason decided to give up on that by hiring one of the most prominent homophobes in literature to write their single most heroic and admirable character. Several creators have already spoken out against the hiring, and comic critics have roundly condemned the decision. Writing on his facebook page, Zeus Comics owner Neal states: Card sits on the board of the National Organization of Marriage which fights against marriage equality. His essays advocate the destruction of my relationship, that I am born of rape or abuse and that I am equated with pedophilia. These themes appear in his fiction as well. It is shocking DC Comics would hire him to write Superman, a character whose ideals represent all of us. Which is very well said. UPDATE: When pressed for comment on the issue, DC have released the following statement: As content creators we steadfastly support freedom of expression, however the personal views of individuals associated with DC Comics are just that — personal views — and not those of the company itself

Thursday, February 14, 2013

One Billion Rising (Break the Chain) performed by New Light girls

Illinois Senate votes to legalize gay marriage

Illinois Senate votes to legalize gay marriage

Illinois moved closer Thursday to becoming the 10th state in the nation where same-sex couples can legally wed, after the Senate voted to lift a ban on gay marriage.
Senators voted 34-21 (see how they voted) to approve the measure, sending it on to the state House where Democrats also hold a majority. Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, has said he will sign the bill if the House approves it.
Among Springfield-area senators, Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, voted yes, and Sam McCann, R-Carlinville voted no.
Before approving the measure, the Senate attached an amendment Thursday that explicitly states no church or other religious organization will be forced to solemnize same-sex marriages. It also says churches cannot be sued if they don't allow their parishes to be used for same-sex marriage ceremonies.
Some Republicans raised concerns that the bill would force religious organizations to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies in their fellowship halls, parish centers or even in their sanctuaries. But Sen. Heather Steans, the bill sponsor, said even before the amendment was added that the bill made clear churches won't be forced to perform same-sex marriages.
The Valentine's Day vote marked the first time gay marriage has passed on the floor of either chamber of the Legislature. Steans and other supporters tried to pass it during the January lame duck session. But after getting approval from a Senate committee, Steans opted not to call for floor action, saying it didn't have enough votes.
After picking up seats in November, Democrats entered the current legislative session with control of 40 seats in the Senate, where 30 votes are required to advance most measures. The Senate Executive Committee approved the gay marriage bill on a party-line vote last week, setting up the Valentine's Day floor action.
Jim Bennett, regional director for Lambda Legal, said supporting same-sex marriage is "both politically smart and morally right."
Polls show voters' feelings shifting rapidly in favor of gay rights. President Barack Obama said last year he supports same-sex marriage, and in November voters in four states either approved or voted down bans on gay marriage.
"I think it's a safer vote to vote with us than to vote against us at this point," Bennett said.
The issue has caused internal conflict among Republicans as the party works balance its efforts to appeal more to younger voters, minorities and women with the more socially conservative positions of some members.
After Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady announced his support for gay marriage during the lame-duck legislative session, saying it was a civil rights issue, some Republicans called for his ouster. Opponents of gay marriage pledged to fund primary challenges to any Republican who voted in favor of the bill.
Thursday's vote came two years after Illinois lawmakers approved civil unions, which provide legal recognition of a partnership between two people, regardless of gender. But gay marriage supporters said it wasn't enough.
The bill is SB10.