I've been thinking about this, and talking to various people about it, for months now. Should a writer's political/religious/racist/sexist/classist/homophobic/etc. leanings outside of their fiction or poetry impact my feelings as a reader? I'm not gonna lie. For me, they totally do. I have recently (in the past 6 months or so) learned some things about some writers I admired and/or planned to read that have left a horrible taste in my mouth.
A prime example of what I'm talking about came up in a conversation just yesterday, then again on a new fantastic blog that I've discovered today. One of the writers on my list to explore was Orson Scott Card. I talk a lot about my quest to build my geek fu here, and OSC is one of the big daddies in SciFi right now. He's also a big browncoat and featured in lots of Firefly & Serenity fan stuff, so my intention was to start reading OSC, starting with his extremely popular Ender's Game. I even had the book on my amazon.com wish list for a long time.
I knew that OSC was LDS, and that he leaned to the right on social issues. None of that bothered me as a consumer of his creative work. Then one day about six months ago, I found out that he is a vitriol-spewing homophobe who believes gay people should be jailed. His essay about gay marriage is the most hateful thing I've read since Matthew Shepard was killed.
Today, my newest blog crush Alas, a Blog, posted this about OCS. I am glad, number one, that I am not alone in not being able to stand the guy. Also, wow, what a nut this guy is.