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The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. —THOMAS JEFFERSON, 1788

DC Comics gets flak for anti-gay writer; first LGBT Jewish book for kids

SupermanTuesday was a big day in the world of picture book publishing. DC Comics, which recently made headlines with its announcement of two planned “Occupy” series, was back in the news, this time to demonstrate that it swings both ways.

The nation’s second largest publisher of comic books drew the ire of gays rights advocates and their comic book-reading sympathizers with its revelation that anti-gay writer Orson Scott Card would be authoring the next installment in the Adventures of Superman series. The digital comic is due to hit the market in April.

The Guardian writes:

Card is a long-time critic of homosexuality and has called gay marriage ‘the end of democracy in America.’ In 2009 he became a board member of the National Organization for Marriage, a group that campaigns against same-sex marriage.

Among the critics of DC’s decision was Jono Jarrett of Geeks Out, a gay fan group, who said:

Superman stands for truth, justice and the American way. Orson Scott Card does not stand for any idea of truth, justice or the American way that I can subscribe to. It’s a deeply disappointing and frankly weird choice.

At least Jarrett has enough self-awareness to acknowledge competing views of the world. Witness the addition to his critique of the qualifier “that I can subscribe to.” Michael Hartney takes a straighter — er, more direct — approach in his condemnation, which he expressed in a letter to DC:

If this was a Holocaust denier or a white supremacist, there would be no question. Hiring that writer would be an embarrassment to your company. Well, Card is an embarrassment to your company.

Speaking of superheroes and alternative lifestyles, Jewish children this Purim will be able to celebrate the holiday, which falls later this month, with a new book titled “The Purim Superhero.”

The Jerusalem Post offers this synopsis:

The Purim Superhero is the story of a young boy whose dilemma over which Purim costume to choose is solved with the help of his two dads.

The book, which is being promoted as “the first gay-themed Jewish children’s book,” is a joint venture between Kar-Ben Publishing of Minneapolis and Keshet, a group that advocates for the full inclusion in Jewish life of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Jews.Purim Superhero

In a statement on its website, Keshet wrote, We’re so proud to have played such a key role in the publication of this book,” which they call “the first LGBT-inclusive Jewish children’s book in English.”

The book’s author and illustrator, Elisabeth Kushner, comments in an interview posted on Kar-Ben’s website:

Purim is very much about ‘coming out’ as yourself — Esther is a great example of someone who comes out of the closet for a good cause — and I thought that would be a good setting for a book about a kid with gay parents.

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Howard Portnoy has written for HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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