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Xbox Live Now Allows Gender Expression 348

Posted by Soulskill
from the good-on-you dept.
Last year we discussed news that an Xbox Live gamer was banned for identifying herself as a lesbian on her profile. Microsoft said at the time that nothing sexual in nature could appear in Gamertags or profiles. Now, they seem to have reconsidered their stance, and they've updated their Code of Conduct accordingly. Xbox Live General Manager Marc Whitten wrote: "[The update] will allow our members to more freely express their race, nationality, religion and sexual orientation in Gamertags and profiles. Under our previous policy, some of these expressions of self-identification were not allowed in Gamertags or profiles to prevent the use of these terms as insults or slurs. However we have since heard feedback from our customers that while the spirit of this approach was genuine, it inadvertently excluded a part of our Xbox LIVE community. This update also comes hand-in-hand with increased stringency and enforcement to prevent the misuse of these terms."
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Xbox Live Now Allows Gender Expression

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  • by oasisbob (460665) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @02:41PM (#31382690)

    Microsoft is based in Seattle. We tend to be quite liberal and supportive of civil rights out here. Hell, I had two jobs with two lesbian managers in a row -- in IT! How often does that happen?

    Microsoft learned about this the hard way in 2005: Originally opposed to a gay rights bill in Washington state, they quickly changed position. [seattlepi.com]

    Said Balmer at the time:

    "After looking at the question from all sides, I've concluded that diversity in the workplace is such an important issue for our business that it should be included in our legislative agenda," Ballmer wrote. Ballmer said he did not want to "rehash the events" that led to the company taking a position of neutrality. But he did say the company was implementing changes to make sure the mistakes were not repeated.

    I read that as "our employees [probably smart, talented, and many quite senior in the company] threw a fucking fit over our ignorance."

    True to their word, in 2009 Microsoft donated $100k [oregonlive.com] to support partnership rights in Washington.

    I agree with other commenters that this is a civil rights issue, and seriously doubt Microsoft will screw the pooch on gay rights ever again.

  • by headkase (533448) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @03:09PM (#31382942)
    They may differ in degree but the core of an ugly person is the same deep down when they enforce their prejudice on others. Might as well cut straight to that core: they have the freedom from religion too, it is for religious reasons that the debate is so heated. Christian morals are being enforced on those that obviously don't share them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 06, 2010 @03:49PM (#31383310)

    By the same token, willingly confining yourself to reproducing with a single person for the rest of your life is just as important a genetic deficiency. The basis of genetic selection requires multiple partners for multiple recombinations. Yet polygamy and cheaters are treated with persecution and hatred. Either we value reproduction for reproduction's sake, or we value love. I choose to value love.

Our policy is, when in doubt, do the right thing. -- Roy L. Ash, ex-president, Litton Industries

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