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XBox (Games) Games

Gamer Claims Identifying As a Lesbian Led To Xbox Live Ban 1182

Posted by timothy
from the you-have-crossed-the-line-ma'am dept.
Goatbert writes "I just read on the Consumerist about an XBOX Live user being banned for identifying herself as a lesbian. Despite appeals, Microsoft has stood by its position that merely mentioning that you are gay or lesbian is grounds for terminating your XBOX Live membership."
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Gamer Claims Identifying As a Lesbian Led To Xbox Live Ban

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  • by rob1980 (941751) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:26PM (#26987187)
    Of identifying your sexual orientation in your profile anyway? Leave that for your Facebook/Myspace profiles or your blog, or maybe even shut up about your sexual orientation like all of us straight people do about ours. Just a thought anyway.
  • Fair is fair (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:27PM (#26987223)
    As long as you get banned from Xbox live for identifying yourself as straight too, I don't see a problem with this...
  • by SpinningCone (1278698) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:28PM (#26987243)

    Don't ask, Don't tell.

  • Mod parent up (Score:1, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:31PM (#26987307)
    Exactly. It sounds to me like she wanted to get banned. I'm against banning people for their sexual orientation, race, religion, etc. But if you're some activist who has set out to TRY and piss people off with the purpose of getting banned, that's another story. Getting banned for putting "Allah is great! Christians and Jews are the devil!" in your profile is NOT the same as getting banned for "being a Muslim."
  • by Smidge207 (1278042) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:32PM (#26987313) Journal

    So if identify myself as a Christian and a Hindu finds that offensive I can be banned? Or if I choose the username 'Bevets' I can haz bannination from Fark plz k thnx bai.

    =Smidge=

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:32PM (#26987321) Journal

    ... because they didn't want to see that crap or their kids to see that crap.

    Whew, I couldn't agree more! Because it's been scientifically shown that exposures to gay people is what causes one to be gay. But why stop at targeting gays on the XBox? Did you know that your child might be befriending another kid in grade school and your child's friend may be gay and not yet know it? The only safe way out of this is to remove your kid from school--did you know that nearly 100% of homosexuals have gone through school? A frightening figure! You better find a conservative Christian school that teaches your child intolerance and how to properly ostracize and judge other people. That's the only way you can provide for them a pure and clean life.

    And if the rest of us are lucky, we'll never have to interact with your kid.

    This is not helping the already low low stereotype I have adopted of the users of XBox's online service.

  • I'm skeptical (Score:5, Insightful)

    by religious freak (1005821) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:34PM (#26987361)
    This blog post does nothing but reference itself. There are no formal statements from MS and no proof of any kind given. Show me the proof, then I'll side with you. New tag: proveit

    Also, I don't hang my hat on being straight - do you really need to point out that you're gay in your xbox profile? I mean... really? I don't think you should be banned for doing it, but I think it's a little odd.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:34PM (#26987375)
    <duh> For the same reason you put anything in your profile. So you can find people with similar interests to play with. </duh>
  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:39PM (#26987487)
    I agree, homophobes definitely are not normal and should be condemned! Calling them "unnatural disgusting animals" does seem a bit extreme, however, even if all humans can technically be considered animals.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:41PM (#26987519)

    The purpose is to find other gamer lesbians (a pretty small subculture) to hang out with, even if you aren't necessarily looking to hook up.

    Why does anyone put anything in their profile? To find people with similar interests and backgrounds. It's not true of all lesbians, of course, but a lot of lesbians have things in common that they might not with non-lesbians and especially not with your typical xbox live player.

  • by Walkingshark (711886) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:41PM (#26987525) Homepage

    Why should announcing your sexual orientation start a fight? The bad behavior is on the part of people who feel that it is ok to persecute someone for talking about their sexual orientation.

  • Re:Fair is fair (Score:5, Insightful)

    by easyTree (1042254) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:43PM (#26987579)

    Look. Here's how it is. Microsoft make it REALLY easy to join XBOX Live but virtually impossible to leave. This is just the most convenient way to leave.

    It's like the way they charge to change your gamertag but if you ask several ppl to 'complain' that your gamertag is offensive, microsoft 'force' you to change it.

    It's just ppl working around MBA-led bullshit.

  • Implying spouse? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HockeyPuck (141947) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:44PM (#26987581)

    Let's say your XBOX live name was "Steve1234" could you get banned for mentioning the following phrase, "My husband is logging on right now, his mage would help us out..."?

  • by pluther (647209) <pluther@u s a . net> on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:47PM (#26987651) Homepage

    ...shut up about your sexual orientation like all of us straight people do...

    Yes, it's a good thing you don't go around mentioning your sexual orientation in public posts...

  • by oldspewey (1303305) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:48PM (#26987667)

    Why announce it to begin with? ... gays/lesbians are looking to start fights ... a lot of minorities play that game.

    As others have pointed out, it has nothing to do with starting fights and everything to do with expressing what is an integral part of your personal identity and choosing what kinds of online relationships you want to pursue.

    In a similar vein, I'm curious what "game" it is that you feel minorities are playing? The "game" where they don't try to hide their identity and culture? The "game" where they expect to be treated fairly and equally with others in their workplace and community?

  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... minus physicist> on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:49PM (#26987689) Journal

    Tell me the purpose of having a profile, and I will tell you the purpose of putting "I like [whatever]" in that profile. But for gays and lesbians, the issue is slightly different. 'Coming out' [wikipedia.org] is an important part of the process of self discovery and self acceptance for such people. Yes, many go through a phase where they may be a little strident about it, but that is completely natural in a society with so much homophobia. If allowed to progress through the 'angry gay' stage, most will reach a stage where being gay is just another facet of their identity.

  • by SCPRedMage (838040) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:51PM (#26987729)
    I, too, am quite interested in their native tongue...
  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rei (128717) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:52PM (#26987745) Homepage

    So, if she were to write in her profile that she had a husband, that'd be okay?
    And if she were to write in her profile that she had a wife, that'd not be okay?

    This is what's so wrong with people just saying "shut up about your sexual orientation". That's basically saying "Unlike everyone around you, you need to hide pretty much your entire life from everyone else." The fact that you see "I am gay" as equivalent to writing "Christians and Jews are the devil!" is incredibly offensive on so many levels.

  • by Joe the Lesser (533425) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:52PM (#26987753) Homepage Journal

    And please stop with the whole gender thing. I don't care if you're a male.

    And just shut up about what city you live in!

  • by Rei (128717) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:55PM (#26987835) Homepage

    When Microsoft bans, say, people from writing "I am black" in their profile because it might start a fight with skinheads or "I am an evolutionary biologist" because it might start a fight with creationists is the day I'll consider this position toward gays and lesbians even remotely fair.

  • Re:Sue (Score:1, Insightful)

    by mastershake82 (948396) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:57PM (#26987889)
    The first constitution does not apply to services provided by a company. This woman isn't going to jail, she's been removed from a service provided by a company.

    Microsoft isn't really concerned. They aren't going to lose any significant number of customers over this. There isn't going to be a backlash. Nobody is gonna care.

    It's just some person wanting express themselves everywhere and realizing that they can't win every battle. If more GLBT would learn this lesson they would probably be perceived better by the general public.
  • by Kell Bengal (711123) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:59PM (#26987921)

    they have the right to limit discussions that don't pertain to games

    And I insist that they do! How dare anyone talk about anything but games. It's almost as if they think they're there to socialise or have a good time.

  • Call me crazy... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BaronHethorSamedi (970820) <thebaronsamedi@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:00PM (#26987965)
    ...but I've been on XBox live. The vast (and I mean vast) majority of references to homosexuality in that community are slurs. Really, really ugly ones.

    So we have a blanket policy saying, no mentioning of sexual orientation in your profile or gamertag. Period. Because, while it's possible that such a mention in a gamertag/profile is a perfectly true, totally non-offensive statement about an individual's self-identified sexual orientation, the odds more strongly favor it being a nasty, hateful comment (or at best, a tasteless one).

    If a given behavior has a 1% chance of being legitimate, and a 99% chance of being a TOS violation, doesn't a ban make sense? I'm not sure I'm willing to blame Microsoft for not wanting to go through thousands upon thousands of gamer profiles for approval on a case-by-case basis.

    And yeah, why do you feel it's important to proclaim your sexual orientation on XBox live anyway?
  • by Doug52392 (1094585) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:01PM (#26987987)

    Your playing a video game online with a group of pre-pubescent kids and teenagers who are granted nearly full anonymity without any fear of punishment, what did you expect?

    Now, due to the vague explanation of what happened given in the article linked in the story, I'm going to make some assumptions here. I would assume that:
    * Some kids on Xbox Live noticed that the gamer identified herself as lesbian.
    * Due to ignorance, or just for the "lulz", kids decide to file fake complaints against the gamertag in question to get the account banned.
    * Microsoft's fully-automated complaint system receives numerous reports from many people about the gamertag in question, and automatically bans the account.

    This just goes to show what a failure Microsoft's disciplinary system is. Microsoft made these game consoles and FREE headsets available to kids and teenagers, as well as adults. So, with that many people using an online service, it's fairly obvious that SOMEONE will abuse the system, break rules, etc.

    And yet, Microsoft decides to not only use a centralized network infrastructure for Xbox Live, rather than the infrastructure used by most online PC games, but they even made the disciplinary system fully automated. No human involvement. No one checks the validity of reports. No one is in the games to ban abusers. No way of even verifying weather or not a ban was justified or not when someone calls Microsoft's Tech Support. Such an easy thing to abuse.

    By contrast, nearly all servers on PC games are administered properly. There's at least one admin on, admins ban the hackers, cheaters, racist/homophobic people, and maintain their server's rules. Nothing's automated. There's always human involvement.

    I don't think Microsoft intentionally banned this person or refused to re-activate the account because the user is lesbian. Live's servers received compliments from a bunch of people, automated system bans the account, with no way of telling weather or not the compliments were legitimate or created fraudulently.

    Microsoft seems to be ignoring the lesson here: You can't trust machines to babysit children.

  • by bennomatic (691188) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:02PM (#26988021) Homepage
    Yay! Good job blaming the victim!! Maybe they should make it so that if anyone identifies themselves as being anything but straight, male, white and christian they can be banned!

    There are two problems here. One is the harassment from idiots, and MS should indeed take a strong stance on that behavior. The other is that instead of doing what they should and punishing those who are doing the harassment, they are banning the people who are being harassed.

    It's pretty clear what the reasoning is: their target market is maladjusted tweens, teens, and twenty-somethings. If they banned all of the people who were acting out, they'd lose a lot more money than if they ban the people who the jerks are going after.

    If they don't want people to post anything personal in their profiles, they should eliminate the profiles. If they don't want people to have the letters 'G-A-Y' in their names, they should auto-create names when people create accounts. This sort of activity is a travesty, and blaming the victim is, to put it mildly, is un-evolved thinking.
  • by Torodung (31985) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:03PM (#26988033) Journal

    Why should announcing your sexual orientation start a fight? The bad behavior is on the part of people who feel that it is ok to persecute someone for talking about their sexual orientation.

    Okay. I'm going to go down to the local lesbian bar (I used to drink there with some friends) and say, loudly but not unreasonably so, "I like to screw chicks!" Repeatedly.

    Let's see how long it takes before the police show up. I'd be lucky if someone politely asked me to cut it out, because I'm a big guy, and I look dangerous.

    It's all about context, dude. Look past your prejudices.

    Furthermore, the article says "Teresa says that she was harassed by other players and later suspended..." What this is known as, in rules of evidence, is hearsay.

    She is supposing, perhaps assuming, that Microsoft has banned her for that reason. Well guess what? I've had people say I hit them, in a crowd, when I didn't even touch them. There's no quoted email from Microsoft saying, "HI. WE ARE THE MICROSOFT AND WE BANNED U 4 THE GAY." There needs to be some evidence for this to be more than just Internet flotsam.

    I'm sorry, but in the age of blogs and Internet truthiness, all of you gullible types are going to have to bone up on what is admissible evidence, because it's generally equal to what counts as credible evidence.

    This sounds, barring actual evidence, very much like someone who has a chip on her shoulder about being a lesbian, assuming and projecting her own pathologies onto a corporation because they are unlikely to challenge her. Anyone who had any evidence at all could provide some kind of official correspondence, or at the very least, anyone with a clue could fake it.

    This is just someone trolling. And you bit. So did Slashdot. Nuff said. Look past your prejudices.

    --
    Toro

  • by Joe the Lesser (533425) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:05PM (#26988095) Homepage Journal

    For a real post, this article has insight Mr. Richard Gaywood gets banned [consumerist.com]

  • Re:I'm skeptical (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Plasmadog (564162) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:06PM (#26988103)

    Also, I don't hang my hat on being straight - do you really need to point out that you're gay in your xbox profile? I mean... really? I don't think you should be banned for doing it, but I think it's a little odd.

    It's no more odd than mentioning hobbies and interests that aren't related to gaming. I mean that's the purpose of profiles isn't it? Talking about the things that distinguish you from everyone else?

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by publiclurker (952615) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:10PM (#26988185)
    Then don't read their posts and live in denial. Don't expect the rest of the world to limit themselves to what your highness approves of.
  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:10PM (#26988195)

    I say "Shut up about your sexual orientation" to everyone. Come on, ban everyone who says they're straight too!

    I refused to state my sexual orientation on the grounds that I would annoy me if I did.

  • Draw the line (Score:1, Insightful)

    by DesScorp (410532) <<DesScorp> <at> <Gmail.com>> on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:13PM (#26988265) Homepage Journal

    From the article:

    "As if xbox live is really appropriate for kids anyways!" - Teresa

    What gives you the right to determine that? What gives you the right to tell Microsoft "I've decided that your network isn't going to be family friendly"? Video games started largely as an activity of children, and thanks to the Wii, is headed back in that direction. Nintendo has found that it's very profitable to get the whole family involved in games, rather than Sony's approach of just appealing to young adult men. Microsoft isn't stupid. They want to do what Nintendo has done. They're at enough of a disadvantage cost-wise against Nintendo as it is. It makes no sense to turn Xbox Live into a ghetto of adults from 18-25, when they can expand to market to all ages.

    Ultimately, its their network, a private entity. If she doesn't like their policies, then go somewhere else.

  • by AioKits (1235070) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:14PM (#26988289)
    Never thought a Star Trek TNG quote would apply to anything but...

    "When children learn to devalue others, they can devalue anyone - including their parents." - Captain Jean-Luc Picard
  • by taustin (171655) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:16PM (#26988339) Homepage Journal

    If there were any evidence whatsoever that someone was banned (or otherwise discriminated against) because of their sexual orientation, that is quite illegal in many states (including California, and Microsoft certainly does have a presence in California).

    Though, just to play devil's advocate, I can't help but wonder if this person's self-identity is so tied up in being a lesbian that that's all she sees herself as. Because at that point - and you know people like that, we all do - no matter what she does, it's always "because I'm a lesbian" when people react badly.

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rei (128717) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:21PM (#26988463) Homepage

    Anyone else find it amusing that they are so concerned about being offensive to gays, but where is the consideration about being offensive to everyone else?

    Anyone find it amusing that Kral presented the situation as precisely exactly the opposite of what happened, without intending to be ironic?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:22PM (#26988485)

    I thought it was code for "I'm not going to bother disguising my voice, stop hitting on me."

  • by Applekid (993327) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:22PM (#26988489)

    Why should announcing your sexual orientation start a fight? The bad behavior is on the part of people who feel that it is ok to persecute someone for talking about their sexual orientation.

    It shouldn't. But announcing sexual orientation, much like announcing opinion on /., can be done in various troll/flamebait ways. Compare and contrast:

    "Hi! My name is soandso and I'm a lesbian here in whereever, USA. My favorite games right now are Gears of War and Catan."
    "Hi! My name is soandso and I'm an oppressed lesbian here in Redneck City (wherever), USA. Fuck Christians! I'm gay and fuck God if he hates fags. Christians are all closet fags anyway with priests molesting lol"

    This story simply isn't complete without the full text of her profile.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:22PM (#26988501)

    Because it's been scientifically shown that exposures to gay people is what causes one to be gay.

    Really? so If I lightly of expose my wife to lesbians I can make it easier to convince her into a Three way because she will become bi?

    THAT ROCKS!

    Oh wait, it dont work that way? Crap.

    Posting Anon to keep my wife from kicking my ass.

    P.S. isn't every straight man a lesbian trapped in a mans body?

  • Re:Draw the line (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:25PM (#26988575)

    A few points:

    What gives you the right to tell Microsoft "I've decided that your network isn't going to be family friendly"?

    She wasn't telling Microsoft that, it's more common knowledge that their network isn't family friendly. I can say the sky is blue, but that's not telling the sky to be blue.

    Video games started largely as an activity of children, and thanks to the Wii, is headed back in that direction.

    I'd say the opposite - from what I've seen, the Wii seems to be moving gaming closer to an adult demographic.

    Ultimately, its their network, a private entity. If she doesn't like their policies, then go somewhere else.

    Just like if I don't like their policy of "No blacks allowed," I can simply find some other network to play my Xbox 360 on.

  • Re:Get a PC (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FunkSoulBrother (140893) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:32PM (#26988723)

    I love PC gaming too man, but the couch is mighty comfortable.

  • by Kral_Blbec (1201285) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:33PM (#26988741)

    The game of playing the victim regardless of what actually happened. This case is not in any way equatable to real discrimination. She wasnt kicked because she IS a lesbian. She was kicked because she was flaunting it and refused to stop.

    I personally do not like homosexuality at all (BTW, where is my freedom of speech to say that without being flamed for it?), but I agree that certian things just dont matter. For example, in job hiring then there should be no difference between white/black straight/gay for most jobs. ( Going back to the game reference, it can actually be better to be some minority a lot of the time because you can complain you were discriminated against and the media is automatically on your side, affirmative action anyone?

    In an elective setting where you are there of your own choice (like a live account) then the owner/manager of that setting has the right to say what they will or will not allow, especially when something is known to be disruptive for no reason other than to be disruptive.

  • by A. B3ttik (1344591) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:35PM (#26988791)
    Because being a Lesbian automatically makes you 100x more attractive to guys. There's no WAY they'd ban a girl.

    Furthermore, you know it's bullshit because she says "They followed me into the games and told all the other players to turn me in because they didn't want to see that crap or their kids to see that crap."

    People with kids don't play X-Box live. People with kids certainly don't check user profiles. She was either doing something obscene, or that's not why she was banned.

    Either way, I find it all fishy.
  • by mikkelm (1000451) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:38PM (#26988863)

    Yeah, you're absolutely right. Why confront bigotry and set clear rules against it, when you can just ignore the problem and maintain an environment where mentioning an alternative sexual orientation will get you harassed? Let us, as you say, do absolutely nothing about the problem, and hope that education will slowly convince them.

    Wait, what education? I thought nothing would be done about it? Didn't you also just say that "they don't know they're wrong, and they never will?" Can you make up your mind?

    I guess people should also just keep from attaching pictures of themselves to their profiles, in case whoever's watching might have something against their race.

  • by DrLang21 (900992) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:39PM (#26988871)
    This has nothing to do with people getting into fights. According to TFA, she was banned for what she had in her profile. Now granted, there's probably a lot more to this story than what's in the article, but I keep seeing other people trying to say that MS is in the right because mentioning that you are gay will elicit an aggressive response from others. That's just plain flawed logic.

    Now my best guess is that this chick either didn't quite use the term "lesbian" in her profile or she didn't use it as the sole descriptor. I am also under the impression that this was all over one single isolated incident.
  • by Walkingshark (711886) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:40PM (#26988897) Homepage

    I guess she should also avoid mentioning that she's a woman, since maybe 1 in a 100 people might think video games are no place for women and she shouldn't shove the fact that she's playing in their faces, right? I guess people who are bigoted little shits with thin skin should have their precious feelings coddled, right, or else they'll throw a tantrum and it'll be my fault.

    Some people stamped their feet and howled and threatened to hold their breath until they got their way, and your solution is to spoil the brats further.

    Honestly, your rhetoric sounds like that of many people I know who like to outwardly pretend they're tolerant but who are inwardly homophobic, and have decided to adpat the position "my problem isn't homosexuals, it is that they shove it in my face." Of course, by shove it in your face, you would be refering to the fact that they have the audacity to openly exist and wish to seek relationships with like minded consentual adults, something they can't do without mentioning the fact that they have no interest in persons with certain genital configurations.

    If you have a problem with open, out sexuality then you are the one who has the problem. If your skin is so thin that people have to walk on eggshells around you, then you need to toughen up. I, for one, have no patience with that kind of person and have no tolerance left for the intolerant.

  • Re:So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ral8158 (947954) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:42PM (#26988929)

    Do you understand the concept of 'victim blaming'? You're right, we could avoid the issue of people starting fights over other people's sexuality by banning the mention of other sexualities from people's profiles, but why should this policy be enforced across the board? Why can't users choose whether they'd like to closet themselves and avoid conflict or be open?

    Also, being gay is not mutually exclusive with being a homophobe--I feel bad that you've convinced yourself that people who make *any mention at all* of their sexuality are giving other gay men and women a bad name.

  • by kindbud (90044) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:45PM (#26989003) Homepage

    And yeah, why do you feel it's important to proclaim your sexual orientation on XBox live anyway?

    Straights proclaim it all the time just by talking about what they do and who they do it with, on Xbox Live, on WoW, on LOTR Online, at the 7-11 buying a Pepsi, shooting the breeze with the person sitting next to you on the bus. You don't have to even think about how you broadcast your sexual orientation, because it's so automatic.

    Gays and lesbians, on the other hand, must make an effort not to broadcast our orientation, and we do it by self-censoring what we talk about. But if we slip up and mention something that implies our orientation, now we're "flaunting" our sexual orientation, even though we said something that, if it came from a straight person, would not have attracted any notice whatsoever.

    Is there anything else I can help you with?

  • Re:Get a PC (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:45PM (#26989011) Journal
    One piece at a time, like the ram/motherboard/CPU/graphics card. Oh wait.
  • by ral8158 (947954) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:49PM (#26989083)

    Right, Rosa Parks shouldn't have tried to keep her bus seat-she could have provoked a fight!

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stevecrox (962208) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:52PM (#26989127) Journal
    I think you've missed the GP's point. I've met a number of (admittedly teenage) lesbians (and a couple of gay men) who seem to treat their sexual orientation as their primary defining personality feature. It's worse than a lot of other obsessions because they often seem to need to mention it at every available opportunity and try to challenge you with it. If someone's lesbian/gay I don't really care, once you get past the whole "lesbians + me" lesbian fantasy and the "asses to the walls" homophobia a persons sexual orientation isn't a big deal.

    It's wrong to ban someone just because they put "I'm a lesbian" in their profile, but I can see banning someone who is constantly forcing this on other people (like the type of person above) because that other person is irritating others with it. I have also met a man hating lesbian stereo-type, someone who might go on a game and start slagging off men in a fashion no better than trolls should be treated as a troll, regardless if their topic is about computers, cars, tv, music, sexual orientation, race or religion.

    Your reaction is precisely what has gone wrong with our overly PC western society, the American "Don't ask, don't tell policy" is wrong as it forces people to hide an important part of their life that they shouldn't have to. But going to the other extreme and hiding behind that reason is far more annoying to those around you, my motorcycle is highly important to me and a fundamental part of who I am but I don't introduce myself as "I'm Steve the motorcyclist". Nor do I feel the need to troll about cars. If I did most people would consider me strange (at best) and irritating at worse. In this case unless Microsoft profiles include a sexual orientation section you have to ask why anyone would care and why a person would feel the need to put the information in there, I certainly don't feel the need to write "Straight" in my online profiles.

    Reading the blog it seems (from knowing only her side) that other player's homophobia has caused this issue and she really is a victim. The fact Microsoft has come down on the homophobes side is very worrying and some sort of action needs to start to get this corrected. She deserves an apology from Microsoft and the people who have been attacking her need to be banned.
  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:53PM (#26989141) Homepage

    Fact: When someone says "I don't want to hear about [a gay person's] sexual orientation" what they are really saying is "Stop breaking my comfortable assumption that everyone is straight".

  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... minus physicist> on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:54PM (#26989161) Journal

    Freedom of speech means you get to speak. NOT that you get to speak and I don't get to respond. It doesn't mean you have the right not to be challenged for your beliefs. It also doesn't mean that I have to let you, for instance, print whatever you like in my blog, or talk however you like in my house. It just means the government can't censor you without a very good cause.

    I have never understood this attitude. It's so inherently hypocritical and just plain illogical. A 'flame' as you call it, is protected speech. Even a flame about your protected speech. Your statement, "(BTW, where is my freedom of speech to say that without being flamed for it?)" is semantically equivalent to "(BTW, where is my freedom of speech to say that without you having freedom of speech to rebut it)"

    You may also be interested to find out that you do not have a Constitutional right not to be annoyed or offended. Imagine that.

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:4, Insightful)

    by h4rm0ny (722443) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:58PM (#26989249) Journal

    That makes so little sense it's bizarre. It's not normally offensive to a gay person to say "I am straight", so why should it be offensive to a straight person to say "I am gay" ? Seriously, no-one here honestly believes that someone would have been banned for saying they had a boyfriend or girlfriend in their profile if they were a girl or boy respectively. No-one here honestly believes that someone's account would have been closed if their profile said: "I'm hetero." So it is correct to point out that this is a double standard. And as to other people being offended? Well you can be offended by people's actions and statements toward you, but if someone is offended by a personal detail about you, that's their problem and you shouldn't be punished for it. According to the article, this girl was hounded by others who kept following her into games and telling other players to "turn her in." That isn't acceptable if someone's profile says they're Black, or Indian or White or Christian or Muslim, and it isn't acceptable if someone says they're gay. Profiles are so you can learn a bit about the other person if you wish to. Being gay is a fundamental part of who someone is. At least most gay people would consider it to be and they're perfectly entitled to put that in their profile if they wish.
  • Re:Fair is fair (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ch33zm0ng3r (1266976) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:58PM (#26989257)
    I think the difference is that being a straight male I can easily say to a relative stranger, "Well the other day my girlfriend and I were walking through the park..." and no one bats and eye. But if a lesbian says the exact same thing they tend to get "WTF I don't want to hear about your sexual orientationLOL I don't the gays but keep it to yourself." In that case you might as well provoke people with your sexual orientation up front to weed out the assholes quickly and move on to friends that are more accepting.
  • by mikkelm (1000451) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:59PM (#26989287)

    XBox Live has strict rules against racism. Surely racism and homophobia draw on the same irrationalities, so why doesn't XBox Live have strict rules against homophobia? It doesn't matter what people think are right and wrong. You have the right to state your race on XBox Live, and people do not have the right to antagonise you for it. You should also have the right to state your sexuality on XBox Live, and people should not be allowed to antagonise you for it.

    There's a time and place for everything, and XBox Live certainly is not the place for homophobia. It is, however, a place for casual conversation, whatever that may constitute. Including your sexual orientation.

    My analogies are perfectly sound. If you think otherwise, I'd suggest that you explain yourself, rather than just saying so. You're stumbling over your own feet, contradicting yourself multiple times within the same post. It's definitely not my argument that needs improvement.

  • by againjj (1132651) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:01PM (#26989333)

    Yeah, you're absolutely right. Why confront bigotry and set clear rules against it, when you can just ignore the problem and maintain an environment where mentioning an alternative sexual orientation will get you harassed?

    Because the potential number of bigoted customers you lose is higher than the potential number of harassed customers you lose. The easiest, cheapest, and most profitable model is simply do that the largest number of your potential customers want you to do, and hang the rest. To all that say "vote with your feet/dollars", this can be the result.

  • Re:Get a PC (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mdarksbane (587589) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:05PM (#26989405)

    Typical? Not one of my coworkers is still on his first xbox 360. Some are on their third.

    The thing is, most people are going to have some sort of PC anyway. Obviously you do, because you're on the internet. Now, *if* that PC is a desktop (which if it isn't, you already spent enough on it to build a killer gaming desktop), it will cost you about $100 every year or two to be able to play almost any PC game that comes out at fairly high settings, and starting about a year ago they will look better than the console version. For me, that comes out to cheaper than or comparable to a console ($300 up front). And I can play all my old old games any time I want, because they're still compatible, as opposed to being locked out of anything but just the last generation.

    YMMV, but just because some people spend thousands of dollars every year on a dick length competition for PC gaming doesn't mean that is required. The vast majority of developers are forced to target people with machines much lower than that - therefore, if you have a machine a bit lower than that, you're fine.

    Both consoles and PCs have their strengths and weaknesses, but this money sink weaknesses people seem to project onto PC's is a bit of bullshit.

  • by JeanPaulBob (585149) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:08PM (#26989461)

    When Microsoft bans, say, people from writing "I am black" in their profile because it might start a fight with skinheads or "I am an evolutionary biologist" because it might start a fight with creationists is the day I'll consider this position toward gays and lesbians even remotely fair.

    Speaking as a conservative Christian who believes that same-sex sexual activity transgresses an objective moral principle:

    This whole thing is BS. Microsoft should not be restricting people from mentioning that they're gay. Even your example wouldn't be remotely fair. The only thing that would make it fair would be this: They restrict you from mentioning sexual orientation, period.

    If they want to prevent people from discussing sexual orientation at all, that might be equitable. If they ban people for saying "I'm straight", too, that would be fair. But this is like allowing people to say, "I'm a democrat," but not allowing them to say, "I'm a republican." Or it's like a university allowing pro-choice student clubs, but not allowing pro-life student clubs. Or allowing someone to say "I'm white," but not "I'm black".

    If they want to restrict speech in order to maintain a non-controversial environment, they should restrict the entire topic.

  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... minus physicist> on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:08PM (#26989473) Journal

    Words don't always mean just what their roots would imply. For instance, xenophobia means hatred of strangers. There is such a thing as homophobia. And since you bring it up, you may want to look in your latest DSM to see if homosexuality is immoral or abnormal.

    You can justify your bigotry any way you like, but it is still bigotry. Southerners had similar justifications for slavery, but now we look back on them as ignorant, backwards and racist. Just like future generations will look back at homophobia.

    Just because some dude in a weird outfit claims that some invisible guy in the sky says that something is bad and wrong does not make it so. The only people who think homosexuality is abnormal or immoral are people who's religion or culture told them that. Nobody is born thinking it is wrong. Nobody arrives at that conclusion without coercion from an outside source.

  • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:10PM (#26989497) Journal

    I was kind of homophobic as a kid. It was only through exposure that I eventually realised I didn't give a fuck about someone's orientation. People's minds can and do change and it happens all the time. I watched some kids who were quite racist at school lose their racism when a black kid (it was a fairly white area) joined our school and it slowly dawned on these kids that when they made anti-black comments they were actually talking about one of their friends. Exposure is the way to reduce prejudice and it works all the time. But by your arguments Rosa Parks should have bloody well known her place and gone to the back of the bus. Same logic. Although this is to a far less degree. There's a profile section that says: "Tell us about yourself..." So she did. Shouldn't be her problem that some people don't like what she is. There's nothing offensive about being a lesbian, but that's what Microsoft are saying.
  • by vorpal22 (114901) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:13PM (#26989553) Homepage Journal

    How hard is it, really? Most boys fall in love with girls, and most girls fall in love with boys. Some boys, though, fall in love with other boys, and some girls with other girls. Done with no reference to sex, and at least to the level of understanding necessary by a nine year old. The sex part can be filled in later.

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Unordained (262962) <unordained_slash ... @pseudotheos.com> on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:16PM (#26989597) Homepage

    There is a difference between saying that a company has no right to do something, and saying that it's stupid and unfair of them to do that same thing. I don't think anyone here is arguing the legality / contractual compliance of the action -- just that it's a stupid stipulation to put in the terms of service in the first place.

  • by jfruhlinger (470035) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:18PM (#26989615) Homepage

    And do you have to explain how sex works to a nine-year-old every time they encounter a straight couple?

    A simple "most boys want to marry girls, but some want to marry boys" will probably do the trick. It's about relationships, not body parts.

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:18PM (#26989621)

    You may not feel the need to write "Straight" in your online profiles, but the odds are good that you acknowledge your heterosexuality in one way or another, like you did several times in your post. The issue with this reasoning is that straight people flaunt their sexual orientation every bit as much as gay people do, if not far, far moreso.

  • by Rycross (836649) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:24PM (#26989747)

    Er no. These parents don't see homosexuals as monsters or anything like that. That's an absurd characterization, and its made so that you can, in turn, demonize the opposition. What they do feel is that homosexuality is immoral, and showing it in a "normal" light promotes the view that it is normal. This, in turn, encourages people to act on their homosexual urges. They are not worried that their kids will see homosexuals as normal people, but rather that they will cease to view homosexuality as immoral, and possibly be "recruited" as homosexuals.

    An ignorant belief? You bet.
    Bigoted? Yep.
    Portraying homosexuals as monsters and pedophiles? No way.

    Just because some people are bigoted asshats doesn't mean you should likewise engage in hyperbole to demonize them. Its counter-productive.

  • Re:Draw the line (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:25PM (#26989755)

    This is the reasoning that would allow for barber shops to hold up signs saying "No blacks allowed." You don't want to sit at the back of the bus, man the fuck up and ride a different bus you communist.

  • Re:Draw the line (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GravityStar (1209738) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:25PM (#26989769)
    That would work, if they A) wouldn't advertise to me or B) note in their advertisements of the XBox the restrictions that exist on the XBox live network, or at the very least C) advertise on the XBox box wrapping itself the restrictions of the XBox live network.

    Do they, in actual fact, note such limitations on the box? No? Then I'm perfectly justified to bitch them. I may not have a legal case, but hell, I have a moral one.
  • by Unordained (262962) <unordained_slash ... @pseudotheos.com> on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:28PM (#26989809) Homepage

    Even further: what does "what's the purpose of ..." have to do with whether or not something should be allowed? There's no guarantee the GP would agree with whatever perfectly good reason we came up with for this -- it's easy to say "well, that doesn't make sense to me" and thus end the conversation, if you let them be the arbiter. Fine. Even things with no discernible purpose should be allowed by default. It's not a good basis for deciding the question.

    Shouldn't I be allowed to take raw fish outside and hold it over my head for 5 minutes a day? It makes no sense to anyone else -- it doesn't make sense to me, either. But it's not causing harm to others, with the possible exception of haters of people who hold fish over their heads, and that's their own problem. Which is what this is.

    The GP sees no purpose, and automatically jumps to the conclusion that it's a reasonable thing to ban -- which is exactly the logic we deal with every day in the US. Why are most consensual crimes, well, crimes? Why is it so hard to get people to agree with our constitution's guaranteed freedom of speech? It's like pulling teeth every time -- yes, I know, you see no good reason for this to be allowed, it could offend someone, someone could hurt themselves, it doesn't seem like it benefits anyone, that's not the direction I think our society should go, blah blah blah ... it's always the same fight. We need to eradicate that meme entirely, for a better society.

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rhyder128k (1051042) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:28PM (#26989817) Homepage

    I'd like to find out the full story as this sounds suspicious. IMO, if she added a note to her profile that she's a lesbian and was subsequently banned, they have treated her unfairly. If that's the case, the people who carried out the banning may well have broken the law. She'd certainly have my support, for one.

    However, for all we know, she could have been causing trouble and getting into arguments with people over other issues. The linked report doesn't go into much detail other than her claim that she was banned for mentioning that she was a lesbian. I'd like to see some evidence, either way.

  • Re:Fair is fair (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nbates (1049990) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:29PM (#26989841)

    Actually, that's not the same. In the current cultural context, you are assumed to be straight.

    I guess you are straight and that's why you didn't noticed. But being gay myself it is obvious to me that people always assumes I'm straight, it is obvious because I often find myself "coming out" to people. You'll think our sexual orientation is something that doesn't come up often, but actually it is. Maybe somebody tells you how hot Angelina Jolie is, or maybe asks you if you are married, or a coworker who invites you dinner and tells you that you can bring a girlfriend. Very small things that you don't even notice.

    I really never found somebody who didn't make the "straight" assumption.

    And that's why the headline says the problem was with somebody identifying as a lesbian. Do you really think nobody has ever identified as straight in Xbox Live? (example "I'm married" "I have a girlfriend" "I like blond chicks") Did you ever heard that was a problem?

    Another common misconception is that saying you are gay is about sex. It is not. As an analogy, when you say you are married you are not saying "I'm banging a woman", even if you in fact have sex with your wife. In a similar way, saying gay is making a statement about who you are, your life experience, and in general where you come from.

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mistshadow2k4 (748958) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:30PM (#26989849) Journal

    That's actually not a bad idea. If they had to deal with a large number of profiles all proclaiming to be gay they'd have to rethink that policy.

    Problem is, they shouldn't be allowed to discriminate like that in the first damn place. I am straight myself, but this is the 21st century already. Almost everybody would be on her side if this happened because she mentioned that her boyfriend was black. When the hell is it going to recognized as a basic human right to be with anyone you want as long as that person is a consenting adult? It's way past time to get rid of this Bible-thumping, repressed Victorian crap.

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrLang21 (900992) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:38PM (#26989983)
    And many people consider Muslims to be evil and Blacks to be stupid and Jews to be conspirators. Does that mean these rules should apply to all of those descriptors as well?
  • by againjj (1132651) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:43PM (#26990077)

    There are enough minority people and a general social mentality that racism is bad (compare the small number of people that would actually make such comments) so that the trade-off is the other way. They would lose more than they would gain by allowing racist content.

    Do note, I do not justify anything, but rather simply explain what I see as the real reason behind the policies or lack therof, i.e. profit. Piss off the fewest customers as possible for the largest revenue.

  • by jythie (914043) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:46PM (#26990115)

    That actually kinda makes my point. If children are exposed to homosexuals in a way that does not portray them as immoral monsters then they start seeing them as normal people and not immoral people.
     
    Condensed.. it is important to these parents that their kids continue to see homosexuals as inherently immoral people. It is also important to them that their own children be so scared of these immoralities that if they are gay themselves they will keep it nice and repressed out of fear of being monsters themselves.
     
    Kinda sounds the same to me.

  • by PJ1216 (1063738) * on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:48PM (#26990151)
    If that was in the actual profile, she wouldn't have been banned for stating her sexual orientation. Microsoft would have said she was banned for other comments. They have come out and said she was banned for stating her sexual orientation NOT for being offensive or using offensive language which is extremely clear in their TOS, so if they wanted a non-controversial way to ban her, they'd use that.

    Common sense dude. Why assume something else was done when if that was indeed true, events would have transpired in a completely different manner.
  • by Stray7Xi (698337) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:49PM (#26990171)

    and who is at fault? the ones causing all the trouble over it? or the one shoving it in their face while they'd rather just not know? imo both are just as wrong

    If they didn't want to know about the person, they wouldn't be viewing their profile. If I asked you to tell me about yourself and you identify yourself as a Christian, is that shoving your religion in my face?

  • by Abreu (173023) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:51PM (#26990197)

    The "just came out" gay attention-seeking, tell-everybody-about-it phase is similar to the "linux user" attention-seeking, tell-everybody-about-it phase, which is also similar to the "born again christian" attention-seeking, tell-everybody-about-it phase.

    When you have such a big change in your life, you want to advertise it to everybody... It's natural and if it happens to a friend of yours, you need to be patient while you wait for him/her to adjust to their new situation...

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:52PM (#26990211)

    Not that I disagree with the point you're trying to make, but there is a distinct difference between a "gamer profile" and an "archived usenet post".

  • by fermion (181285) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:55PM (#26990271) Homepage Journal
    What is really being said is that a significant percentage of the people on xBox live are really intolerant. Rather than losing the income from these people, which they would if MS actually banned members who made slurs against others based on arbitrary characteristics, MS chooses to tacitly condone this behavior. It is no big deal. It is unlikely that GBLT customers would make up the income lost from those who feel strongly that GLBT are devil worshippers.

    The best thing to do online is proclaim yourself a straight white male. That way if those guys who sit and watch the border crossing cameras for Mexicans crossing into the US find out your mexican, they won't start telling you go home and quite spending all thier tax money on the hundred illegitimate babies you have at home. Or maybe the follower os the extremely traditional catholics might find out that you are one of those devil worshipping protestants. And who knows what would happen if anyone found out that someone might be divorced and on their second marriage, why that might start a flame war on polygomy.

    The reality is that people who are comfortable being in an exclusive environment like xBox live, or believe that such exclusive environments do no harm, will continue to do so. This is a significant portion of america, given the results of the last presidential election. Almost no one is going to turn in their xBox simply because MS supports bigoted behavior, any more than we would stop shopping at wal mart because we are concerned about the trade imbalance or stop buying meat becuase we are concerned about illegal immigration and the abuse of undocumented workers.

    In the end those that wish to express themselves will go somewhere else, those that wish to attack other people will stay with xBox, and we will continue to have segregated communities that never talk to each other. Because, as has been said so many times in this post, why should i listen to someone who believes differently from me. I should have every right to taunt and slander such people if they have the audacity to think that I should be compelled to even associate with them.

  • by KillerBob (217953) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:56PM (#26990281)

    Although I wold welcome a Poly-Pride march at the mall. I'd love to see a bunch of prude soccer moms freak out.

    I'd pay to see that, lol. That would be great.

    And you're right, it is about "look at me, give me attention". A lot of it is also about "I'm sick of hiding who I am, and want to openly and publicly embrace my culture." It's part of coming out and coming to grips with who and what you are, and most queer people I know grow out of it eventually, when they realize that most of the enlightened populace doesn't give a shit that they're gay, it doesn't change who they are. But as with drag queens, a lot of what goes on in Pride is deliberately over the top with the purpose of provoking people, and the intention of having a good time. It really is a great party, if you relax and just embrace what's going on. Tons of fun.

    *shrugs* Each to their own. It's been a few years since I've been to pride, and I don't have a rainbow sticker on my car either. As I see it, the only circumstance under which you've got a right to know what I like in the bedroom is when you're there, or there's a chance you'll be invited. Unlikely... I like girls, and I don't think you are one... ^.~

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:57PM (#26990305)

    which overpowers the right of the majority not to be offended by them.

    This right here is where you go off the deep-end and become someone who is need of a serious ass-kicking.

    Let me bold this for you: there is no right for anyone to not be offended. Now go pay attention in Civics class before I run you off to a gulag.

  • by Rycross (836649) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @07:03PM (#26990373)

    Viewing something as immoral is not the same as "[seeing] them unquestioningly as sick pedophiles that are destroying society, inhuman evil monsters that can not be related to." Sure, they want their kids to think its immoral so that they "don't become gay," but they don't consider homosexuals pedophiles or monsters.

    You're projecting your own negative feelings towards Christians onto them. It seems to me that you are trying to paint them as malicious rather than ignorant, and portray them in such a negative light that you can justify hating them. The same thing that you accuse them of.

    I spent my formative years around a lot of people who were fundamentalists and thought homosexuality was "wrong," but the message was always that they were sinners that needed to be saved and reformed, which is an ignorant point of view, but hardly what you are making it out to be.

    Your efforts at hyperbole are pretty hypocritical. In writing your screeds about how they are unjustly trying to make homosexuals seem like "inhuman monsters," you are dehumanizing them by trying to assign very evil intentions that they do not harbor. What they are doing is not right, but neither is what you are doing, and its only going to alienate people that might have been allies.

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @07:05PM (#26990415)

    Because it isn't really a natural form of sex

    How is it not natural if it occurs in nature? And assuming it isn't natural, how is that a bad thing? Things like assault and murder are natural human behaviour, and things like medicine and ice cream are wholly un-natural. Your point?

    but, I can understand people not wanting to really have it shoved in your face (no pun intended) as to what you like to fuck or lick.

    I don't like having heterosexual behavior "shoved in my face" every hour of every day, but it happens. Nothing I can do about it, c'est la vie. But when somebody mentions they're gay on an online profile, holy shit, tell them to get the fuck out.

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by obarthelemy (160321) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @07:05PM (#26990421)

    Homosexuality IS natural. Animals do it, and not just the sex part, the setting up a couple and spending life together part, too. The latest research seems to conclude it's linked to physical differences in the brain...

    As the song goes: Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it...

  • Re:Draw the line (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DesScorp (410532) <<DesScorp> <at> <Gmail.com>> on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @07:09PM (#26990465) Homepage Journal

    "First off hate speech is not protected speech so your example falls on it's ass"

    Why isn't it? Hate speech laws (as opposed to hate crimes laws) haven't been tested in SCOTUS, so we don't know if they lack protection or not. But they certainly violate the 1st Amendment. Calling someone a racial epithet, for instance, is nasty, but not the same thing as shouting fire in a crowded theater. What good is freedom of speech if we only protect nice speech? If we only protect speech that we approve of?

    Besides, "hate speech" codes are sliding into political correctness with the force of law behind it. The hypocrisy of "freedom" libertarians and liberals never ceases to amaze me when it comes to government control of social systems. They cry out that social conservatives are fascists for wanting to impose their idea of social order, but then these same people have no problem when social order is imposed from the other direction.

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Chris_Jefferson (581445) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @07:22PM (#26990635) Homepage
    I'm NOT saying Homosexuality isn't fine, but saying animals do it just isn't a good justification. There are animals that kill and eat their own mothers, but I don't think that's a good justification for doing it yourself.
  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... minus physicist> on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @07:39PM (#26990847) Journal

    That's just flat out wrong, on both counts. Maybe you'd be safe declaring your homosexuality in, say, the Castro district of San Francsico. But even in, say, Hunter's Point or China Basin in San Francisco, you would get your ass BEAT for doing that. Reverend Phelps, on the other hand, goes around to funerals of gays all over the US with his inbred clan and they hold up signs and chant things like, "God hates fags!" without being stopped. At FUNERALS.

    You seem as though you are jealous of minorities for getting to play the victim card. You seem to want to play the victim card yourself, but you aren't really a victim, so you invent things that sound like, "I'm a victim because people don't agree with me about being a bigot." I'm guessing you are a member of the dominant culture and have never had to face any kind of serious prejudice.

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @07:45PM (#26990915)
    I don't believe in absolute, immutable moral laws that are applicable for all time and space. At the time the bible was written, the prosperity of a culture, sometimes even it's very survival, was dependent on maintaining a high birth rate. Cultures such as the Spartans foundered because homosexuality was such an established and "normal" part of the culture that they had negative population growth! The Jews placed a very high emphasis on having children, to the extent that my Jewish best friend and his wife still feel a sense of shame for never having had children. As far as murder, that is a virtually universal cultural taboo, and yet the US and Israel don't seem to have a problem with the "collateral damage" as their bombs take out innocent bystanders in addition to "terrorists", and the suicide bombers don't seem to have a problem with their bombs indiscriminately killing women and children of the same faith the suicide bombers claim to be defending. We have abandoned many of the laws laid out in the Old Testament, from the stoning of adulterers to the eating of pork. One should periodically examine one's moral laws to see if they still make sense in the current circumstances. Jesus healed prostitutes and hung out with tax collectors; I'm sure he wouldn't have any reservations about associating with homosexuals, especially since they are homosexuals because God created them that way. If there were such a thing as "moral intuition", we wouldn't need to explain the difference between right and wrong to our children, and we wouldn't really need churches either, would we?
  • by kalayq (827594) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @07:45PM (#26990917)
    I agree whole heartedly that the post was very hypocritical, but it did have some truth to it. Moral and immoral are ways to label what is seen as correct and incorrect to do/think/associate with/etc in a certain culture. When someone is doing something immoral, they are automatically in one's perspective, put in a different sphere than those who are seen as moral people. This creates an "us v.s them" mentality which is the first step in dehumanizing a person/group. Now it depends on how the culture around someone deals with immoral people/groups, which gives a guideline for the extent to which the dehumanizing occurs. These dichotomies are the seeds of dehumanization which everyone adheers to, to a certain extent. For example, I know if I were to meet someone who was convicted of pre-meditated murder, I would think of them differently than I would someone who wasn't. It is neither a good or bad reaction. Just human nature.
  • by Knara (9377) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @07:55PM (#26991075)

    While I am generally sympathetic to gay rights and the associated societal adjustments implied therein, the idea that heterosexuality is broadcast constantly is slightly problematic. First off, since the default sexual orientation for humans is heterosexuality, it isn't necessary to broadcast anything. Heterosexuality is *assumed*, because by and large you can assume that humans are heterosexual and be correct the overwhelming amount of the time. Furthermore, the idea that every day tasks and activities broadcast sexuality is ridiculous. The overwhelming majority of every day tasks are asexual.

    Now, it might be correctly argued that every day asks may indicate *gender roles*, but in order to equate that with sexuality means that all heterosexuals indicate their gender roles and view their sexuality equally, which obviously is a flawed premise. It's as correct as saying that all homosexuals express their sexuality in the same fashion (that is, all gay men are lispy, overdressed flamers, and all lesbians of the "butch" stereotype) instead of there being a wide range of different attitudes and appearance choices made by the whole subculture.

    The practical solution, one employed by heterosexuals every day, is not to wear your sexuality on your sleeve. I'd go so far as to say that homosexuals who make their sexual preferences part of their all-day-every-day personality are just as annoying (and worthy of mockery) as the heterosexual guy who never quite grew out of his fraternity days and keeps nudging you while making purposefully-louder-than-necessary comments about how hot the woman who just got on the bus happens to be.

  • by asaz989 (901134) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @08:24PM (#26991423)

    I can see a lot of boys getting confused and thinking they've fallen in love with their best friend.

    And if a boy and a girl are best friends? Same problem, even if they know nothing about same-sex relationships. (BIG issue for me in high school, let me tell you.)

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IonOtter (629215) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @08:28PM (#26991459) Homepage

    That's actually not a bad idea.

    Well, that depends on which end of the ban-hammer you're at, and whether or not your account is paid for.

    I'm sure that M$ will be quite happy to kill a few thousand accounts and laugh all the way to the bank for people violating their TOS.

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:4, Insightful)

    by arkhan_jg (618674) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @09:01PM (#26991829)

    Because it isn't really a natural form of sex....many people consider it as abnormal as necrophilia, pedophilia, or bestiality.

    And those people are close minded bigots. None of those three types of sex are between two consenting adults, unlike gay couples. Besides, putting 'I'm a lesbian!' in your freaking profile isn't exactly forcing someone to watch icky sex they find disgusting, is it.

    Would you be equally as happy banning people from putting 'I'm black!' or 'I was born deaf!' in their live profiles? Cos being gay, black and born disabled are all genetically predetermined.

    If you have no problem being bigoted against one group, then you should be just as proud of your bigotry against the others.

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... minus physicist> on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @09:01PM (#26991833) Journal

    Taking offense at the actions of others is a form of self-harm and I don't understand why anyone does it. It's like cutting yourself, it's fucking weird.

    Now, stopping people from doing things to others against their will is a different matter. We don't want that done to us, and have therefore both agreed not to do it to others AND to stop/punish other people who do it. It's a simple contract I have agreed to based on what I believe to be best for me. No feelings of judgment, condemnation, or offense need be involved.

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Miseph (979059) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @09:47PM (#26992401) Journal

    What SHOULD they write in it? That they're a gamer? Gee, you don't say, never would have expected to read in a GAMER profile that the person is a GAMER. If you aren't writing a little bit about who you are in your profile for /just about anything/ then your profile is completely useless.

    And for the record, I've heard and seen many gamers talk about their families or relationships both in game and on profile pages. It's neither uncommon nor completely inappropriate in itself. Banning somebody for it, even if there are people out there who are irrationally intimidated by and intolerant of your preferences in a sexual partner, is simply absurd.

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fugue (4373) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @10:11PM (#26992669) Homepage

    Maybe you wouldn't. If you don't like it, you can ignore it, just as you can ignore the people who write about their favourite breed of dog. If you're not going to say whatever is important to you on your profile, how is it an interesting profile?

    It sounds like you are advocating banning anyone who discusses any topic that is not of particular interest to you.

    ps. Beautiful day today, isn't it?

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fugue (4373) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @10:41PM (#26993013) Homepage

    That isn't acceptable if someone's profile says they're Black, or Indian or White or Christian or Muslim, and it isn't acceptable if someone says they're gay.

    Being gay shouldn't be grounds for hounding--it's not hurting anyone (except all of us straight males who can't get a date because the accursed gay males convinced women that men should know how to dress well). But what exactly is wrong with hounding Christians or Muslims? It's about time that we as a society moved beyond basing major life decisions on fairytales and wishful thinking. Why shouldn't people who use faith to justify ANYTHING be hounded and harassed and mocked? For one thing, Microsoft's and society's homophobia is almost certainly a direct result of Christian faith.

    That said, I'd prefer if people identified their faith-vs-brightness status upfront. It'd save a bunch of time.

  • by Rary (566291) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @11:14PM (#26993387)

    The practical solution, one employed by heterosexuals every day, is not to wear your sexuality on your sleeve.

    You missed GP's point. Heterosexuals do wear their sexuality on their sleeves. It's not just assumed as a default, it's obvious by any conversation they have in which they mention a boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wide. It's obvious if they're wearing a wedding ring in a country/state that doesn't allow same-sex marraige.

    GP's point was that all it takes is for a man to mention his girlfriend in public and you know he's straight, and no one will think anything of it. But if a man mentions his boyfriend in public, suddenly he's "flaunting his sexuality" and making everyone around him uncomfortable.

    That's fucked up.

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @11:39PM (#26993613) Journal

    No. As opposed to a (non-average) hetero teenage male gamer, who runs around saying "I LOVE PUSSY!", or "I'm God's gift to women. Behold my cock!" It's one thing to be open about one's sexual orientation (whatever it is), and another thing entirely to embellish it to the point of irritation.

    The lesbians that I, personally, know (and know of) are pretty quiet about the whole thing, just as I am about my own sexuality. Same thing with the gay folks that I consider friends. But just because I'm accepting, doesn't mean that I invite loud proclamations of anyone's sexuality into my life. I'd rather treat people based on their treatment of me, non-sexually, than on boisterous claims of their sexual preference, or worse, the depth of a man's throat or the length of a girl's tongue.

    Those things aren't important to me. And the converse is also true: Even as a hetero male who definitely enjoys a good blow job[1], especially one that employs the exquisite feel of the tonsils and the soft palette, I'd really care not to know how deep a girl's throat is, or how long a man's tongue is -- especially in a gaming environment.

    What this has to do with Xbox Live bans, I'm not sure, but I'm just trying to reiterate OP's point, which you took to such an extreme that it seems that you've lost it entirely.

    [1]: This statement might be offensive to some. And, if this were a family-oriented service like Xbox Live, I'd expect repercussions for it. But it's Slashdot, so: *shrug* If it offends you, then I guess my point is thus validated.

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:2, Insightful)

    by the white plague (1436257) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @01:21AM (#26994319)
    I think the assumption that being gay is the defining aspect of a person's life is much more offensive than declaring that discussion of sexuality may not be appropriate in all settings.
  • Re:Richard Gaywood (Score:0, Insightful)

    by JockTroll (996521) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @05:12AM (#26995571)

    "I'M A LESBIAN! DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT?!"

    No, but PICS OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN!

    Besides, if you hate gay people it means you don't like lesbians and are, hence, a faggot. Gay-haters, racists, mysoginists, chauvinists and other lowlifers are LOSERBOY NERDS: we BEAT THEM UP and SHIT ON THEIR FACES.

  • by ilitirit (873234) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @05:54AM (#26995817)
    IMO, this is more of an indication of the narrow-mindedness of the general Xbox-Live demographic than of Microsoft. Microsoft is a business, so it's likely that this person got banned because of a huge number of complaints from their customer base. They don't want to lose business, so they appeased their customers.

    If however they didn't receive all that many complaints (comparatively speaking), then I think someone needs to take serious legal action against them if possible. It may sound a bit hypocritical or contradictory to hold them responsible in this case, but this to me sounds like a problem with the mindset of the general population, and Microsoft can't really be held responsible for that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 26, 2009 @06:25AM (#26995971)

    XBox Live isn't a place for hook-ups, so sexual preferences should not be listed in your profile. They'd suspend "I like to have sex with women" whether you're a man or woman.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 26, 2009 @09:05AM (#26997267)

    Actually, having gone to Catholic school for many years (both grade school and high school), I find it hard to imagine a place which is at least more implicitly and administratively homophobic, even if certain of the teachers/students were more accepting.

    (Captcha: Satanic. :)

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:4, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday February 26, 2009 @09:31AM (#26997607)
    The challenge to this is to ask yourself to face the converse implication. Would you be okay with someone putting "I'm a heterorsexual and only want to game with other heterosexuals" in their gamer profile? Would you be okay with a whites-only game guild, and okay with it being advertised as such?
  • Re:I'm skeptical (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rary (566291) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @09:45AM (#26997815)

    Sorry, I guess I forgot that all black people add the tag [BLACK] to their nicks online!

    But seriously, -EVERY- difference is invisible on the tubes unless you tell someone about it...so...I guess I don't get your point!

    I was talking about how people identify themselves in general, not just on the tubes. How they identify themselves on the tubes will merely be an extension of how they identify in the real world. So, if one feels the need to break through the "don't ask, don't tell" cloak that society tries to impose on them, then it's only logical that they're going to do that on the tubes, too.

    The fact that simply putting "I'm gay" on a profile actually causes such a controversy — not to mention some heated debate right here on Slashdot — is reason enough to want to rise up against such stupidity. You and I both know that if someone did put "I'm black" on their profile, there would be no controversy, no discussion on Slashdot, and certainly no banning.

  • by Moryath (553296) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @09:56AM (#26998003)

    Equal rights means EQUAL rights, not "we just changed who can get away with what", dumbass.

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tenebrousedge (1226584) <tenebrousedge@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday February 26, 2009 @11:43AM (#26999513)

    Speaking as someone who is bisexual, I have no problem with your proposal, and suggest that you have missed the point. The issue isn't whether people are allowed to be small-minded, it's whether those people are allowed to force their worldview on others.

    I find your attitudes at least as offensive as you apparently find mine--probably more so. Welcome to the Internet. In this most public of fora, tolerance is an absolute necessity. It's a very simple concept. If we do not have equality, we have unfair discrimination--by definition. We suffer a loss of freedom, the extent of which is determined by some arbitrary and subjective censor. Your views may be an affront to me, but censorship is an affront to the freedoms of all men.

    If someone wants to start a child molester's WoW guild, or an islamic terrorist's guild, or any such thing, as long as they confine themselves to methods of expression that do not cause demonstrable harm to others, they should be allowed the same liberties as any other man.

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... minus physicist> on Thursday February 26, 2009 @11:52AM (#26999643) Journal

    It's not getting bent out of shape. My actual feelings on the matter aren't important. I choose to take action and speak out against bigotry because it is wrong. It doesn't matter if I am the only one in the world who sees it that way, I will still speak out against it and say it is harmful, it removes other people's freedoms unnecessarily.

    A word in English does not always mean the same as it would in Latin. Homophobia is like xenophobia. You may not agree with the definition, but that is how it is commonly used, and it's part of the dictionary definition of the word, so you are simply wrong.

    You are in the minority. Your opinions amount to fundamentalist religious intolerance, similar to the Taliban wanting women to wear veils. Your type of fundamentalism brings shame to our entire country and make us look like back woods buffoons to the rest of the first world.

    Look at how you've been modded here, and who gets modded up. Still think you're in the majority? If you were, we'd have had anti-gay marriage laws passed nation wide. Even if you were in the majority, you would still be wrong. People used to think owning slaves and treating women like property was okay. Now we look back at those people as backwards, unenlightened savages. That is how future generations will look at you.

    You advocate limiting the freedoms of someone else because you find behavior that doesn't impact you in any measurable way offensive. It is your choice to be offended. Some people choose to cut themselves with knives, that is their right.

    I'm not offended by your backwards, bigoted, harmful opinions, I just think they are harmful and should be stopped. Like an avalanche or a flood should be stopped. I don't take offense at the behavior of the flood, even though it kills. I just work to stop it.

  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... minus physicist> on Thursday February 26, 2009 @12:57PM (#27000757) Journal

    Your tactic here is known as 'poisoning the well.' You want to put a shadow of a doubt out there. You have no proof of any misconduct on this woman's part, but plenty of proof of other's misconduct. People shout 'fag' all the time on Xbox Live. Guys hit on girls all the time there. Yet no one punishes them. You hear this woman's story and immediately begin a propaganda campaign implying, again and again, that she must have done something offensive. Why is that?

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Veggiesama (1203068) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @02:14PM (#27001941)

    You may not feel the need to write "Straight" in your online profiles, but the odds are good that you acknowledge your heterosexuality in one way or another, like you did several times in your post. The issue with this reasoning is that straight people flaunt their sexual orientation every bit as much as gay people do, if not far, far moreso.

    Very true!

    It's quite difficult to see your own biases, especially when you live in an environment that supports your way of doing things.

    When a right-handed person walks into a computer lab and sits at a computer with a mouse on the right side, it seems normal to him. A left-handed person immediately recognizes a problem, if they haven't already adjusted to using mice on the right side.

    A white man goes to the store to buy band-aids. Traditionally, band-aids were made to blend with white skin, not black or other shades of brown. If asked what color a band-aid is, the white man might say "flesh colored," not realizing that the band-aid was manufactured to complement certain skin-tones and not others.

    We flaunt and support our biases just by living them, and when we encounter a different way of doing them, the "other-ness" factor triggers and we feel uncomfortable. Completely normal part of human existence, as long as it is recognized with curiosity as opposed to hostility.

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