Friday, August 23, 2013

Mormon Writers Rally to support Gay Author

It is interesting that on the very night I attended a meeting with the Mormons Building Bridges group to discuss bullying of LGBT youths, I came home hear in the local news  that a publisher was canceling the contract because one of the authors refused to have "lives with his partner" struck from his biography. Bullying can happen off the school grounds too. And even among professionals.

But I've never been more proud that many Mormon authors have created a document to show support for Michael Jensen. Many of the authors that signed this document are my friends and I know they vary on moral implications, but what we are in agreement is that CFI is out of line I have no personal risk in this because CFI is not my publisher, but they do publish many of these friends. So I'm especially proud of those author friends who risked signing something that may put them in an awkward position. Sometimes though awkward is better than apathy. Sometimes you have to stand up and be counted. Please take a moment to read this document.

In response to recent events and attention in local and national media, we authors, who are also members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, feel the need to express our disagreement and disappointment with Cedar Fort in their dealings with David Powers King and Michael Jensen in regards to the manuscript, Woven. We appreciate that Cedar Fort has returned the rights to the work in question and want to note that there are many wonderful people working at Cedar Fort–staff members and authors–who strive to carry out their duties with professionalism and courtesy. Nevertheless we wish to offer our support to our fellow authors and feel compelled to speak out.
As writers, many of whom have published with Cedar Fort, we believe everyone should be treated fairly and with respect, regardless of political or religious affiliation, age, gender, or sexual orientation. We believe that degrading attacks are inappropriate in any business or personal relationship. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), we understand our church to teach respect and encourage civility–even when we have differences of opinion.
While publishers have the right to choose what they will and will not publish, we believe books should be accepted or rejected upon the merits of their content, quality, and commercial viability, not on any other factor. If a publisher isn’t comfortable with an author’s personal choices, those concerns should be discussed clearly and respectfully upon signing a contract–not hours before the book goes to press.
We believe that all publishers should be clear and professional in their submission requirements, treat others with dignity and respect, and give all authors the right to be judged on the quality of their work, not the content of their biography.
I encourage those who are in agreement to go to the website where the statement has been originally posted and make a comment.
This was taken from Tanya Mills, but I too would like to encourage those who also happen to be LDS writers in agreement with this statement to email writer(at)abelkeogh(dot)com and ask to have their names added (and linked to their websites, if so desired).

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