Apologies for this being off topic, BUT:
I was just reading Roger Sutton's blog and I came across the SLJ article he'd linked to discussing the- apparent- controversy over Orson Scott Card being awarded the Margaret A. Edwards award. According to the article (which can be read in full here), some people feel like Card was an inappropriate choice for the award because he's expressed, in a number of different arenas, openly anti-gay sentiments. The award committee was unaware of this dimension of their decision, but they are standing by it nonetheless, saying that it's Card's books and writing for teens that they're awarding, and that his personal opinions should not be a consideration. Or, as the wonderful Roger quips in the article: "“The award is not for being an idiot in real life; it's for writing books that have made a positive difference in the reading lives of young people.”
On the other side of the controversy, David Levithan says:
“I would like to believe that the Edwards committee would not have honored someone who had written essays that were as racist or as anti-Semitic as Card’s are anti-gay. The charter of the Edwards award says that it “recognizes an author’s work in helping adolescents become aware of themselves and addressing questions about their role and importance in relationships, society, and in the world”—I think Card’s writings on homosexuality do the exact opposite of that.”
It's an interesting debate, and I'd be curious to know what you guys make of it. Personally, I think I am with Roger- we're awarding the books, which are not ostensibly homophobic, not his personal opinions. Whatever they may be, he has a right to them. While David might be correct that a racist or anti-semitic writer would be treated differently, I don't think that would make depriving a racist or anti-semite the RIGHT thing to do. However, there is something to the argument that his homophobic writings are not likely to help a confused adolescent find themselves which is, in a way, what the award is celebrating. I don't think there's *enough* to it to change my opinion that Card deserves the award, but its definitely a point worth thinking about. Are YA and children's authors personal lives a more necessary consideration because they write for a more impressionable audience? Or should Orson Scott Card be allowed to have his award and be homophobic too?