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Friday, June 03, 2011

Eric James Stone: A New Level of Homophobia in the Science Fiction Community

You may remember seeing Stone's name on the Nebula Awards list not too long ago.  He won for "That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made," a story I have not had the pleasure to read, and a story I will never read now that I know a little something about what the author thinks about my mother and some of my closest friends, their friends, and, most of all, children.

You see, I discovered something very interesting about Stone through Outer Alliance, a community for readers and fans of LGBT people/characters in SF/F.  He's a homophobe.  And not just any kind of homophobe.  A very special brand of homophobe.  We've all encountered everyday homophobes -- the kind of people who just don't care for gay people.  Some of them are alright folks.  Misguided?  Perhaps, but you can't win them all.

In 2006, Stone commented on a post called "Perfecting the Saints in Utero" at Times and Seasons.  The post, written by Adam Greenwood, discusses whether genetic modification to change a baby's sexual orientation is morally acceptable in a society where such powers are available (and, obviously, where homosexuality is found to be genetic either as an actual set of genes or a "mutation" as a result of the mother's hormones, etc.). Stone, in comment #21, responded by using deaf people as an example for whether it would be acceptable to genetically modify a child if it were found to be deaf.  Shortly after, he removed "deaf" and replaced it with "homosexual" in some strange attempt to prove that the two things are mutually inclusive. Here is the section as he wrote it about homosexuals (there are some errors, but you get the idea) (after the fold):

Now that I’ve offended the zealots of deafness, it’s time for me to offend the zealots of homosexuality.

Homosexuality is a defect.

That doesn’t mean homosexual people aren’t human, of course. Neither does it mean they should be treated as less human than those who are heterosexual. There are people who are homosexual but who have gone on to to great things — in some cases motivated by their homsexuality.

Of course, there are some homosexual people who seem to define their essential being by their deafness. They insist that homosexuality is not a defect.

But no matter how much we love and appreciate homosexual people, it doesn’t change the fact that they do not have something that, by design, they are supposed to have: hearing. (The reproductive organs weren’t put there just to provide sexual pleasure, after all.)

From a gospel perspective, we believe that when we are resurrected, our bodies will be made whole. That would presumably include correcting defects one is born with. (Recall that Jesus healed the man who was born blind, rather than say, “He was born that way, so that’s the way he’s meant to be.”)

So I don’t think correcting those defects through medical science in advance of the resurrection is problematic.

If a child’s genes showed it was going to be born homosexual, I see nothing morally wrong with changing that.

On the other hand, from the gospel perspective, I do see something morally wrong with homosexual parents who are so adamant about there being nothing wrong with homosexuality that they purposely try to concieve homosexual children. (Note that there is a moral difference between homosexual parents knowing that there is a possibility or even a certainty that a child they concieve will be homosexual, and intentionally choosing for the child to be homosexual when it could have been avoided.)
You read that right.  Eric James Stone believes it is morally acceptable to genetically modify babies to get rid of their homosexual genes, and that it is morally reprehensible for homosexual (or otherwise) parents to try to conceive homosexual children (but somehow semi-OK if they conceive homosexual children by accident).  Why?  Because, like blindness, homosexuality is, in Stone's opinion, a genetic defect.

Let's not pretend that this is anything we haven't heard before.  Because we have.  And we've certainly heard similar opinions in the genre community too, especially from the LDS camp (Orson Scott Card, for example).  They're a crazy lot, I suppose, with so much hatred filling their souls that they've become rotten in their hearts (edit:  to clarify, I don't mean all Mormon's are like this, though my language choice here does have some continuity problems which would suggest otherwise.  The "crazy lot" should refer to those individuals who hold similar opinions rather than to all Mormons.  A fail on my part).  And Stone is certainly up there with the rottenest of them all.  This is a man who has no problem with genetically modifying babies (but would not support abortion, I assume, because that would be murder; yet it's okay to remove one's "essence," since that would somehow be loving or something like that).

Homosexuality, if we're being fair, is not like deafness or blindness at all.  Unlike those medical conditions, homosexuality does not create a negative for the child's wellbeing (in the sense of physical challenges which make it difficult to function in normal society).  The only negative for homosexuals is cultural, rather than physical.  The only barrier to reproduction for homosexuals (real or surrogate) are the laws and social codes we've created which ostracize them from hetero-normative culture.  To make matters worse, we have a culture of homophobia which makes it, in many cases, morally and socially acceptable to treat homosexuals (and particularly homosexual children) as sub-human.

In fact, while Stone can pretend that he believes homosexuals should be treated like anyone else, that opinion is belied by his own words.  This is a man who would destroy the person you were meant to be because you, the homosexual, are a genetic defect.  You're not human.  You're less than human.  In fact, you're so low on the human scale that you're expendable.  It's okay to commit genocide against you, because you're not "normal."  Homosexuals must not exist.  They should be culled from society to preserve the pure hetero-normative "race!"

Does any of that sound familiar?  It should, because we've been listening to the same kind of rhetoric for generations.  It's the same rhetoric that saw people of color enslaved and treated like separate species.  It's the same rhetoric that found itself engulfed in the Nazi genocide against the Jews.  It's the same rhetoric that still consumes our society day in and day out, making it acceptable for hatred to not only be expressed, but inflicted physically upon others.  Stone may not put the noose around your neck and drag you behind a truck until your head rips off, but can we honestly say that killing your homosexual self is all that different?

Maybe you can, but I certainly can't.  Genocide comes in many forms.  This is genocidal thinking masked behind religion and semantics.  And this is a person who is being handed awards in our community and treated with respect.  Next we'll hand an award to David Duke...

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  1. I read "That Leviathan Which Thou Hast Made" when it was first published, and frankly I was shocked that it won a Nebula. It is not really all that good of a story, falling into the weird subcategory of "preachy Mormon influenced science fiction".

    So not only is he a homophobe, he's not, in my opinion, that interesting of a writer. So there's two good reasons to consign him to the oblivion of deserved obscurity.

    Aaron (Dreaming of Other Worlds).

  2. As I mentioned, I didn't read the story, so I can't say whether it's a bad one. I don't wish the man ill. Not really. He has a right to a decent life. But I certainly won't support him in the SF/F community. Not in the slightest. And I have no problem condemning someone for disturbing opinions.

  3. You're calling fail on something from four years ago?

    You know, a hobby might be in order.

    I'd rather be friends with someone who thinks I'm a defect than someone who looks for reasons to be offended. Stone is wrong, but so are you. This post doesn't solve anything--maybe you should talk to him about it, if you're so upset. That's how minds are changed--not through Internet slapfights.

    Seriously, go spend some quality time with that family you love instead of trying to stir up drama.

  4. Well, technically I'm calling fail on something four years ago which directly reflects on something that happened recently. But thanks for missing that part.

    Blogging is a hobby. But thanks for suggesting I get one.

    And excuse me if I am offended by someone saying it's morally acceptable for my mother not to exist. Why would I ever be offended by that? Why would any gay or straight ally be offended by that? Seriously. That's totally normal behavior. That won't have any real world consequences if left unchecked. That has nothing to do with what could be real technological possibilities in the future which might see genetic genocide enacted in rapid order. Nothing to be offended about there.

    That is all.

  5. Shaun,

    Eric is a friend of mine, on a list with people from the GLBT community, and those topics do come up. He's never commented in a hateful fashion.

    Even if he did say the things you talk about, instead it tackling his opinions, you resort to name calling of the worst sort.

    People have different opinions and I can agree to disagree with them, but what I can't respect is name-calling like what's in this post. "Stone is up there with the rottenest of them all"? Man, I don't remember the last time I was so steamed by a blog post

  6. Jordan: you seriously think his comments about genetic modification are said with love? His opinions about homosexuality being a defect are "loving?" I find that hard to believe. That's not love. That's hate. Pure, unadulterated hate. He might be nice in conversation, but these are comments which were made without any semblance of respect or "niceness" for homosexuals.

    I'm pointing out reality here. It's not name calling to suggest that his opinions on genetic genocide are what they are: rotten. I'm sorry you're steamed, but imagine how people in the SF/F community might feel that a man who would have no problem with them not existing at all is being handed over awards. Imagine how they feel to read what he thinks of them. If you're steamed that I'd call him out for being a rotten human being, then that's a serious problem.

  7. Shaun,

    Like I said, I have GLBT friends and I wouldn't change a thing about them, but Stone might have a point:

    In any case, I don't care to debate that topic here. Like I said, I love my friends just the way they are.

    I don't think it was said with love, but I'm not sure it was hateful either. The world isn't made up of black and whites. In any case, he's stating his opinion and to quote someone famous, "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

    Making such a personal attack on someone stating their opinion, even if you don't agree with it, is beneath you.

  8. I'll remember that next time someone spits in my mother's face when she's with her partner. There's definitely plenty of gray in everything, but the gray ends pretty quick when someone suggests that modifying babies to get rid of homosexuality is morally acceptable. I'd buy the gray love/hate if he disagreed with gays, but to go from "it's a choice" to "it's a defect, and it's okay to get rid of it" is a long way from gray territory.

    That's an interesting link, though. Thanks for that. I wonder how it will affect how we study human beings and how much our social qualities influence the genetic markers which might lead us to go after same-sex partners. That's still a long way from a "defect" in standard evolutionary situations, though. There are always stimuli and there are too many homosexuals for it to be a "defect." There's a purpose somewhere. I tend to agree with those that think it's because there are too damn many of us. Population control is an evolutionary staple, after all. It can't get us with disease and viruses and what not, so it resorts to more direct methods.

  9. I'm not sure you're argument is any better than Stone's? It's an evolutionary response? How do you think evolution works? By introducing mutations (or defects).

    Personally, I believe that if it's a choice, it's an individual choice. There are more GLBTs because they don't have to worry about lynchings if they come out. If it's genetic, then it's natural and that's okay too.

    I'll come back to this topic in a bit when I'm not so upset.

  10. Mutations and defects are not the same thing. Mutations may be positive. Defects are inherently negative. They have no physical positive, except, perhaps, that some senses might be heightened (as in the case of blind people). If homosexuality is an evolutionary response to over-population, then it's not a defect so much as a physico-social adaptation to environment conditions (namely that there is mass starvation, destruction of the environment, and so forth). But that's my guess. I don't know that it's true, and I don't think it's necessarily relevant to the discussion of whether homosexuals (choosing the lifestyle or gifted with it from birth) deserve equal treatment on all fronts and deserve not to be destroyed at birth.

    And I'l be honest: I came at this post from an emotional position too. If it's not clear, my mother is gay, and I pretty much take no shit when it comes to whether she deserves the same rights as I do. That probably means I overstep on occasion. The genetic modification issue is a big one for me...

  11. Anonymous1:05 PM

    Now you're going a bit overboard Shaun. You're equating Stone's opinion with every ignorant hater out there, of any sort, and projecting it over the top of your life expereince. His comments do seem misguided and somewhat strange, but intent needs to be considered in a situation like this. Using "defect" does make it seem inflammatory, but it is a common word in genetics. And, like was said, it was 4 years ago. People and opinions change. If only the interwebs did to reflect it.

  12. I'm equating his opinion with the rhetoric it is actually tied to. There is a long history of this kind of rhetoric and its use to do great evil. If I'm guilty of anything beyond being mean, it's having my head too deep into the study of historical human behaviors towards "non-normative" peoples.

    Defect doesn't "seem" inflammatory. It is inflammatory, Adam. You don't call someone a defect without the intent to say something negative about them, unless there's a joke in there somewhere that I'm not seeing. He's comparing blind people to gay people, not a pineapple to a gay person.

    And, yes, it was four years ago, and if his opinions have changed, I'd be willing to concede the argument and write something in response. I don't know if he has changed, though, and it doesn't seem like he has based on Jordan's comments. Maybe he's become less extreme? No idea.


  13. Anonymous1:15 PM

    I wonder if Mr Stone would feel as comfortable with that viewpoint if you substituted "left-handed" for deaf/homosexual in his argument regarding genetic correction. After all, lefties comprise only a small percentage of the population and are at a social and physical disadvantage in a right-handed world.

  14. Anonymous1:17 PM

    Fair enough. I just want to see the focus on the comments and not the person.

  15. I don't know. I doubt it. Unless I'm mistaken, left-handedness is socio-cultural rather than genetic. We aren't born left-handed, are we?

    Scratch that, I just looked it up:

    It's genetic, apparently, so I suppose if he were of the anti-lefty camp (which I seriously doubt he is, since no Mormons as far as I know are of the anti-Left cult), he would have no problem removing the left-handed gene. But that might depend on whether he would view left-handedness as a defect. I don't know that he would in part because which hand you use has very little to do with sexual and reproductive behavior, which is central to anti-gay rhetoric.

  16. Adam: I find it hard to disentangle the two, but I'll do my best to focus on what's said and avoid the person.

  17. Also, the Mormon bashing is WAY out of line.

    I have as many Mormon friends as I have gay friends, and it pisses me off to see either group maligned.

  18. Fair enough. My Santa Cruz, California blood is shining through.

  19. Anonymous3:35 PM

    I think you're committing some of the same mistakes that Stone did in his comments. Where you say deaf people have trouble in 'normal society', you should say 'typical society'. Because in a society where a lot of people are deaf and/or everyone knows sign language, then language is no barrier at all.

    I'm referring specifically to the history of Martha's Vineyard, but perhaps there are other examples as well. I suppose Gallaudet University might count as an example, though of a different sort.

    I support a Deaf individual or couple (or other grouping)'s choice to have a Deaf child, if they want one.

    From my view, his comment started out bigoted and ignorant and just got worse as it went along, as he 'cut and pasted' and slapped gay people in where he had deaf people before.

    Then don't forget he also went after autism a little later on.

  20. Julie: I think what I was trying to drive at was that being deaf means you are not able to function under typical conditions because of your physical handicap, not that you couldn't adapt to typical society. The use of normal was a stupid choice on my part. You're right there. But I didn't mean to say that deaf people can't function in society, just that what allows deaf people to function are cultural adaptations rather than physical ones.

    My opinion on deaf children having a deaf child (modified to be deaf) is complicated. I'm extremely hesitant to limit that right, in part because I know it is something that would be abused. Generally, I'm against genetic modification in humans, except where debilitating conditions are involved (I don't see anything wrong with getting rid of asthma or cancer). The whole "let's make perfect children" thing has always smelled suspiciously of Nazi Germany to me.

    I completely missed the autism thing. Is that in a different comment?

  21. Anonymous5:37 PM

    The Stone comment certainly isn't defensible *at all*, but I do have a tangential question...Do you, Shaun, know the difference between Stone's comment and *actual genocide*? I am asking if you know that genocide is the mass killing of people. That it is not an abstraction but a physical act of mass, horrific violence against a singled out group or groups that occurs in the world?


  22. Jeff: If millions of parents destroy the gay genes in their unborn children, and, thus, destroy millions of potential homosexual children, is it any less a genocide than if they shot them in the head after they were born and said "I'm gay"? I don't think it is. It may not involve the rounding up of people of a particular group and their subsequent slaughter a la the Holocaust, but a quiet genetic destruction of gay selves is still genocide to me. Potential genocide, at least, since it's not currently happening.

  23. Anonymous6:30 PM

    Okay, I think I understand you. You're saying Hitler and Stone are moral equivalents. Thanks for clarifying. JeffV

  24. I would say there are moral similarities, but only in terms of the rhetoric. Stone, as far as I can tell, is not attempting to head an organization which wants to make his opinions reality. He simply holds an opinion which I see linked to the same rhetoric that would make genocide morally acceptable.

    Hitler and Stone are not the same, but that was what you were looking for, so you'll take that with you no matter I say at this point.

  25. Anonymous7:05 PM

    I'm seeking a clarity not present in parts of your post, is all. I'm not making any assumptions. Kind of you to read my mind for me, though. I think I'm done here. Cheers, JeffV

  26. Yes, because asking me if I know the definition of genocide was a very friendly way to start a conversation. *shrugs*

  27. Then again, I suppose I have acted rude enough on my own. Thanks for the comments.

  28. Interesting to see people here defending EJC, usually on one of the following grounds:

    (1) He's a nice guy and he has gay friends, so he can't possibly be in any sense a homophobe;

    (2) You got angry about / enthusiastic something I consider niche or geeky: I can ignore (and insult) you;

    (3) You make some sweeping generalizations / arguably ableist comments / criticism of a religious group in your post, therefore everything you say ever is invalid;

    (4) Freedom of speech! He has the wrote to think and say anything he wants. (Yes, and we have the right to call him out on it. Criticism, even the most vigorous and public criticism, is not censorship.)

    (5) Here's one article somewhere suggesting that homosexual-like behaviour can be provoked in a completely different species by chemical means; so he's right! Homosexuality is a defect.

    (6) You mentioned Hitler! Godwin's Law! You're wrong! Wrong!

    Personally, I think his comments about deaf and other "disabled" people are problematic just as his comments about correcting the homosexual gene are. As well as offensive and dangerous (leading to potential and real human rights abuses), it's also deeply lacking in imagination (or moral courage). This sort of "let's fix broken people" viewpoint is the result of an inability to accept or be comfortable with people radically different from yourself, in whatever sense. It frequently goes with a religious world-view (which often defines membership of a community by explicit points of similarity: belief, diet, sexual behaviour, appearance), but criticism of this intolerance does not itself equate to intolerance of religion.

  29. I agree with you that a lot of people have posted here to dismiss what I've said based on the fact that I wasn't nice about how I approached Stone's comments. So little attention has been paid to what are clearly very damning opinions on his part. But that's how you suppress knowledge, I suppose.

    I probably should have mentioned the eugenics movement rather than Hitler, since Stone's comments align him more clearly with that than the Nazis. Granted, the Nazis were students of eugenics, but I shouldn't suggest that Stone is advocating, at this time, a Nazi level extermination. His rhetoric simply aligns him with the same logic that made the Nazi exterminations possible.

    I do have to correct you on one thing, though. I completely disagree that homosexuals are radically different people than the "norm." Homosexuals love and feel no differently than heterosexuals. They simply love and feel for people of the same sex. That's not a radical difference to me. Some people might have a hard time accepting homosexuals, but that's their personal or religious issue, not a barometer for determining whether someone is "normal" or "radically different."

    But beyond that, you're absolutely right!

  30. Johann,

    No other commentor has so completely misread the discussion in this thread. Perhaps you're doing it deliberately in order to make a point. Or perhaps its simply cognitive dissonance at its best?

    Or maybe you're being obtuse for big laffs?

    Either way, it makes it difficult engage with you in a reasonable way.

  31. He makes a very valid point, which is one that has been brought up to me on Twitter and elsewhere in this thread. People are much more interested in taking me to task for the way I addressed Stone's disturbing comments than dealing with the fact that Stone has said something which aligns up with the eugenics movement.

    At least four people on this thread have done that. And that's fine, except that it distracts from what is the real issue here: Stone's comments.

  32. Shaun,

    If you'd engaged with Stone in a thoughtful, intelligent way, then we might be having a different conversation.

    Sometimes the envelope a letter comes in obscures the message, and that's what happened her. Honestly, I didn't even read Stone's comments the first couple of times through your post because I was so upset at what I saw as infantile name calling (and Mormom-bashing) on your part, a blogger I used to respect.

    Inflammatory posts provoke inflammatory responses. Thoughtful posts provoke discussion.

  33. The Mormon Church is well known for its active engagement in anti-gay politics and for perpetuating anti-gay rhetoric. I'm not pointing out anything new by suggesting that the Mormon Church is, largely speaking, a homophobic institution. There are certainly many people within it that are not homophobes, but Stone is certainly not one of them. Even with that in mind, I barely engaged in Mormon-bashing in my post. I said this phrase: "especially from the LDS camp." That doesn't mean all Mormons. That phrase clearly refers to individuals *from* the Mormon Church. I mentioned Card in that sentence, because he would not be the first or the last Mormon in the SF/F community to have homophobic opinions. There are Mormons in our community who, as far as I know, do not have these opinions, but I'm not talking about them. This is no different than if I had said "from the religious camp." Would you deny that religious people are spearheading the anti-LGBT movement?

    As much as my post was an emotionally charged one, it was also only pointing out reality. Stone is a homophobe. If it's name calling to point out what someone is, then everyone engages in name calling on a routine basis. If you were to call me a liberal, you'd be engaging in name calling. If you were to say I'm a LGBT-supporter, you'd be engaging in name calling. At one point does Stone cease to be a homophobe? Just because he's your friend does not change the fact that his comments and opinions of gay people are blatantly homophobic.

    And how exactly am I supposed to "thoughtfully" approach Stone's comments without pointing out his homophobia and his ties to the rhetoric of the eugenics project? These two issues are central to the problem. Do you think I could have a rational discussion with someone who believes it is morally acceptable to remove homosexual genes from unborn children?

    I get it. You don't like that I used harsh language and was not particularly kind to Stone. He's your friend. How could you like it? But I have no interest in getting to know Stone so long as he holds such opinions about the people I care about. These are not the opinions of someone I can respect. These are the opinions of someone who despises the people I love based solely on their sexual orientation. He may be a really nice guy, but deep down, he harbors utter contempt for homosexuals. That's made very clear by his eugenics rhetoric. You don't love someone if you believe it morally acceptable to terminate what makes them who they are.

    I'm sorry you were offended and that you lost your respect for me. That's an unfortunate consequence. But while I can admit that I have not be friendly to Stone, I won't back down from pointing out how grossly offensive his comments are, nor how dangerous and problematic they may be.

  34. @Jordan Lapp: I haven't found your engagement to be terribly reasoned so far, so forgive me if I don't weep at missing out on that.

    I thought it was obvious that I was (in most cases) exaggerating the case for effect, although I stand by my assessment of most of the comments--with the proviso that I don't think most people were replying in bad faith.

    @S.M.D.: I really didn't mean to imply that homosexuals are "radically different" from anyone else, much less from some imaginary "norm" that includes (presumably) only straight, white, male, middle-class, religiously conservative, able-bodied individuals. The "radically different" I was positing is only in the narrow minds of those who can't imagine anyone different from themselves having a happy or worthwhile existence.

    Deaf people? We need to fix them! Autistics? We need to make them normal! The gay? We need to make them better! (Because we love them!)

    This was what I meant by lack of imagination. Shakespeare recognized that intolerance and persecution were caused (or at least enabled) by a lack of empathy for those perceived as different. "If you prick us, do we not bleed?"

  35. Shaun,

    I have zero problems with you pointing out behaviours you don't like, nor do I have a problem with you choosing not to like Stone. The problem I had was that you were hissing and spitting instead of reasoning about it.

    Re: trashing the Mormons--Nice one, Shaun, but you lost the ability to play dumb about rhetoric when you accepted your MFA. This line "especially from the LDS camp (Orson Scott Card, for example). They're a crazy lot, I suppose, with so much hatred filling their souls that they've become rotten in their hearts" is clearly aimed at Mormons in the genre community at its narrowest focus, and can be interpreted to mean the C of LDS in general.

    @Johann. That's a new one. I've never heard of anyone actually admitting to be a troll before. Honesty is an admirable quality, but it still doesn't mean I'll engage with you.

  36. Jordan: You've yet to explain to me exactly how I'm supposed to "reason" and "respond thoughtfully" about what Stone said. What exactly would one say that would sound like anything less than distaste for his rhetoric and opinions?

    I actually don't have an MFA. Nor am I in a creative writing program. I have an MA, but since I'm not actually playing dumb about rhetoric, only pointing out where you misread what I was saying and correcting what you falsely took to be my intent, it doesn't seem particularly relevant, except to continue to draw this conversation away from the real problem: Stone's comments.

    And on that front, I'm not really interested in continuing this. I get it. You don't like how I approached this. Fine. Let's move on now. It's been said. It can't be undone. If you want to have a conversation in a reasoned and thoughtful way, as you put it, then we can have that discussion. But I really don't want to spend any more time talking about what ifs and the finer points of my distaste for homophobia and homophobic rhetoric. If there's a rational discussion to be had, then start one.

  37. Johann: Oh, okay. I get what you mean, then. No biggy! Thanks for the clarification.

    You're right there, too. The "let's fix them" attitude may be a little too nice for what they're really saying, though. The argument over genetic defects and whether we should correct them is a dangerous road to travel. This is why I keep bringing up the connection to the eugenics movement, because it's tied intimately to it. With the logic of "genetic defect" under one's belt, you can justify the destruction of anything deemed "less than the norm." At one point, that was race. Now? I wouldn't be surprised if a eugenics movement sprung up over the homosexual gene...

    As far as I know, gay folks bleed just like the rest of us. But I suppose we could do extensive tests to determine the truth of that... :P

  38. Shaun, I fell in love with you the more I read on this post. And the comments. Love, I say. LOVE!


  39. Umm, thanks? I think? Love is good, right?

  40. Very very good.

    But, not spamming, it was a good read. I enjoy seeing homophobes torn apart for their ridiculous beliefs.

  41. The Mormon church spearheaded the banning of same sex marriage in California with Amendment 8. They bank rolled the anti gay measure.
    The gauntlet has been thrown and now all my disdain, scorn and anger turned into action will be directed at all things Mormon. No apologies.
    The bigots started the war of hate but they ain't gonna be the ones to finish it.
    If you are a member of the American Nazi party you are infinitely connected to the holocaust, if you're a member of the Klan you are connected to their history of lynchings, If your a Mormon you are to be held accountable for homophobia and bigotry.
    I don't care about your family values, and choirs. You're hate mongers so either renounce your fucked up religion or suffer the guilt by association and all my wrath.

  42. Those are some really harsh words, Tom. I wouldn't quite go that far with the Mormon Church. You can be Mormon and not support the Church's anti-gay agenda.

  43. Wouldn't that be like being a Nazi and not embracing their anti-Semitic agenda?
    Maybe you just like the cool grey uniforms, large pretzels and lots of parades.

  44. Big difference: the Mormon Church is not, as far as I am aware, advocating rounding up gay people and exterminating them. Being a Nazi and being a Mormon, thus, are not comparable in general. Individual Mormons may advocate such things, but the Church itself does not. I agree that the Church, in general, is anti-gay, and to a very disturbing degree, but let's not try to paint all Mormons in the same light as Nazis simply because they hate gay people and gay rights.

  45. Touché, but I am using my examples as hyperbole and it does illustrate my point in an effective manner.
    Simon Wiesenthal spent decades after WWII hunting down Nazis and bringing them to justice.
    I am not advocating that Mormons be hunted down- all I am saying is that they need to be held accountable for their bigotry and the bigotry of their church. What form this accountability will take in a democratic society, in 2011; well that is a good discussion. For me it means not ever voting for a Mormon for president, not allowing those little fuck-head missionaries onto my porch and sure as shit not buying any book written by Orson Scott Card. The Mormons are rich, organized and 100 percent dedicated to their anti-gay pogrom. We need to be just as committed in defending gay rights and as the cliché states "the best defense is a good offence"

  46. No, hyperbole does not illustrate your point effectively, especially when your hyperbole is excessive even for hyperbole. When you used the Nazis as an analogy, you were making a very disturbed argument which shouldn't be taken lightly.

    And, again, not all Mormons support the Mormon Church. You need to separate the two. Hold the church accountable, and hold those who support the church's agenda accountable, but don't broadbrush every single Smithite just because you can't see beyond the blind bigotry of your own. The logic you're advocating wouldn't leave much room for people of a religious stripe. Almost everyone would be guilty in your eyes.

  47. Trust me, its not blind bigotry. You’re using a basic debating tactic against me-- accusing me of being intolerant of the intolerant; bigoted against bigots, hateful of those that are full of hate. Well it’s a symantec trap and I am not guilty of any of the above.
    The Mormon Church is an anti gay, homophobic organization just as the Nazis were anti-Semitic. If you were a Nazi you didn't have to work at Auswitz to be guilty (read Hannah Arendt’s "Banality of Evil" where she discussed just this concept at great length -while covering the Nuremberg Trials)
    Further reading should include The Burden of Guilt by Hannah Volt –she also delves into the concept of collective/societal guilt-- standing by and letting atrocities occur.
    If Mormons wish to be exculpated of their guilt they must quit associating with the prime director of that evil.
    A pogrom looks like this;
    The first step is always denying the group basic human rights, like the right to marry whoever one wishes. If you can take away that right then you move onto the next one, and finally you end with the final solution-- don't kid yourself, the fundamentalists who hold so much power in this country would be quite happy seeing gays marched off to gas chambers. They are just building the frame work with their politicians and their Amendment 8s and their Sunday morning services filled with fire and brimstone and preaching weekly (or daily) that homosexuality is the greatest blasphemy and these sinners banished? jailed? rehabilitated? stoned to death? Who knows but they got a plan and it ain't love and tolerance and neither is my response to them.

  48. Tom: Your logic is so terribly skewed and circular it's worrying. I'm not going to argue with you anymore, because you're coming off batshit crazy...

    Please read this:

    That is all.

  49. So, here's the exact same post you wrote, except without without all the vitriol, teeth gnashing, and shirt-tearing.

    I pretty much agree 100% with Hines here. Even though Stone is a friend, I don't feel the same urge to leap to his defense that I felt from your post.

  50. Thanks for the link.

  51. Hi. I agree with you, certainly, that using genetic engineering to remove homosexuality is morally wrong--but you're making an unjustified leap to suppose that Eric James Stone (and Orson Scott Card, for that matter) have souls filled with hatred. I know Eric fairly well and Scott Card a little, and both in their words and actions they have both shown themselves, in my experience at least, to be profoundly generous and morally-driven people.

    The fact that you and I may have a different opinion from them on a particular moral issue doesn't mean that we can infer than anyone who disagrees with us is motivated by hatred. We can consider such a person tragically wrong and work tirelessly for our moral vision instead of theirs to prevail, but let's not make the mistake of demonizing people we disagree with.

    Thanks for mentioning the Outer Alliance; I hadn't heard of the group before and am glad to see that there's a group out there to foster LGBTQ in speculative fiction.

  52. Luc: Thanks for the comment. I can't help disagreeing, though. I find it very difficult to disentangle hatred (even buried hatred) from the kinds of statements made by Stone and others. I understand that people know Stone and Card personally, and that they are really nice guys in person, but that doesn't, for me, change the fact that they think gay people shouldn't exist, that they don't deserve rights, etc. etc. etc. A lot of people are nice in person, but in the end hold opinions which hurt real people.

    I dunno. My heart isn't in this terribly much anymore, though.