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Microsoft finally looking to stop gay bannings on Live

Thursday, 26th February 2009 07:36 GMT By Patrick Garratt

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Is that the whiff of common sense? The stench of reason? Xbox Live mod boss Stephen Toulouse has confirmed Microsoft is looking at ways Xbox Live users can express sexual preference on the service without getting banned.

His comment came after yet another Live subscriber was banned for ‘causing offence’ by saying they were homosexual in their profile data.

“I can’t say any more at the moment, except to say I’m working right now in finding a way to safely express relationship preference,” Toulouse said on his Twitter.

He added: “Expression of any sexual orientation (straight or gay or otherswise) is not allowed in gamertags.

“However we’ve heard from the user-base they want that capability, so I am examining how we can provide it in a way that wont get misused.”

This is the first time Microsoft has even acknowledged something needs to be done about the fact gay and lesbian people can be hounded on Live then banned.

Bit of a shame the “user-base” had to fight against it instead of anyone with half a brain at Microsoft doing something about a truly disgusting situation, but there we are. We should be thankful for small mercies, hey?

Thanks, Roybott.

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58 Comments

  1. Blerk

    Why not try something radical like… banning the bigots instead of the victims?

    #1 6 years ago
  2. sickpuppysoftware

    /Checks calendar
    Hmmm it does seem to be 2009

    #2 6 years ago
  3. Syrok

    Not to mention that gay has more than that one meaning.

    #3 6 years ago
  4. Michael O'Connor

    “Why not try something radical like… banning the bigots instead of the victims?”

    Because 90% of companies prefer to satisfy the demands of the people who complain the loudest, instead of acknowledging the status of those who aren’t whining and bitching a lot.

    #4 6 years ago
  5. Psychotext

    Besides… ban the bigots on live and there’d be about 12 people left. :)

    #5 6 years ago
  6. Blerk

    And this is bad because…? :-D

    #6 6 years ago
  7. Hunam

    I’d be surprised if they don’t just do something in a way that if you put in some words that are on “The List” they it comes with a pop up saying “Oh hey, so your gay right? Well, that’s nice, not our thing but still, we’re cool with it, but unfortunately some people in the mid west aren’t, and they have money too, more than modern folks actually, anyway, your profile will only been seen by those of 18 years or older, is that cool? Right, have a nice day and get your friends at the march to sign up too!”

    #7 6 years ago
  8. jeremycafe

    Current policy is fine. No need to fix.

    #8 6 years ago
  9. Blerk

    Perhaps they should extend it to black people? And women, perhaps? What about the lower classes?

    #9 6 years ago
  10. jeremycafe

    Nope. But I would say to extend it to bestiality and child sex offenders.

    #10 6 years ago
  11. Blerk

    Because obviously homosexuals are just as bad as those guys, right?

    #11 6 years ago
  12. jeremycafe

    Maybe not sex offenders, they are much lower.

    #12 6 years ago
  13. jeremycafe

    Bottom line, xbox live is a gaming service. Not a gay dating service. I don’t see normal people trying to find relationships on there, why should it be any different for homosexuals?

    Blizzard made the right decision back in the day to ban the guilds that were expressing their sexual orientations as well. It’s not the place for it.

    #13 6 years ago
  14. Psychotext

    VG247 is a dating service though. We can all be as gay (happy?) as we want here. :D

    #14 6 years ago
  15. Michael O'Connor

    “Blizzard made the right decision back in the day to ban the guilds that were expressing their sexual orientations as well. It’s not the place for it.”

    Blizzard received so much hassle, abuse and complaints for that they were eventually forced to reverse the decision and change their EULA to indicate that the free expression of sexuality is acceptable behaviour.

    #15 6 years ago
  16. Blerk

    Where does it say she was looking for a date?

    #16 6 years ago
  17. Patrick Garratt

    She obviously was. She’s a lesbian.

    #17 6 years ago
  18. Captain Fruitloop

    Was she a hot lesbian, though? That’s the important question thagt needs answering here, I feel.

    #18 6 years ago
  19. jeremycafe

    Stating your sexual orientation on a social network has nothing to do with playing games. I should change my name to LikesAsianWomenJeremyCAFE, right?

    There is no purpose of having a sexual orientation in a gamertag and the majority of people on xbox live, and the USA, would prefer not to see it.

    And yes, many of us would rather kids be brought up without having to be introduced to a DECISION made by others that is not natural.

    #19 6 years ago
  20. Blerk

    Speak for yourself. I’m quite happy to discuss homosexuality with my kids without fear of them ‘catching it’.

    #20 6 years ago
  21. Syrok

    Uhm, but what are you supposed to write? Why should you write what you are supposed to write? Why can’t you write what you want to write? Why does anyone care what I write? If it’s in about me section, why can’t I write something about me? Why do we have freedom of expression?

    #21 6 years ago
  22. Patrick Garratt

    jeremy – :| x 15 billion

    #22 6 years ago
  23. jeremycafe

    Why because I don’t agree with a choice that is not natural? And because I would rather not know who made this choice while im trying to play call of duty or xbox live arcade?

    If people want to live this lifestyle, good for them. I won’t be pushing the fact im straight on them as they should be pushing the fact they are bi/homosexual. They can look for attention in other places.

    #23 6 years ago
  24. Michael O'Connor

    “Stating your sexual orientation on a social network has nothing to do with playing games.”

    Microsoft have promoted Xbox Live as a social networking system for quite some time now, and its tools lend it in that direction as well.

    “There is no purpose of having a sexual orientation in a gamertag and the majority of people on xbox live, and the USA, would prefer not to see it.”

    Because the USA gets to dictate what the rest of the world should do, amirite? Oh, and just because a lot of people think it, doesn’t automatically make it right.

    “And yes, many of us would rather kids be brought up without having to be introduced to a DECISION made by others that is not natural.”

    It’s people like you that set the world back a hundred years. Sexuality is a *decision”? Please, please, please do show me the PROOF of that.

    Knowing many men and woman who are homosexual, and being attracted to men myself, I can certainly assure that it’s no more a “decision” for us as it is for you to decide you’re straight. It’s not our fault that you’re so simple minded that you’re too scared to teach your children about the broad world that is outside your door.

    #24 6 years ago
  25. Michael O'Connor

    “If people want to live this lifestyle, good for them. I won’t be pushing the fact im straight on them as they should be pushing the fact they are bi/homosexual. They can look for attention in other places.”

    One other thing. How the hell is simply stating your sexual preference “pushing” it on you? Are the trying to force it on you? Are they DEMANDING you listen and acknowledge it? No, they’re not.

    My nephew is 10. He understood and accepted what gay people were before he was even 7. I can safely live in the comfort of knowing who the better parents were in this case.

    #25 6 years ago
  26. Blerk

    I’d like to know who decides what’s ‘natural’ and what isn’t.

    I don’t believe humans were ever designed to be able to fly, so perhaps we should all be pretending that aeroplanes don’t exist.

    #26 6 years ago
  27. jeremycafe

    I brought up the fact the USA is overwhelmingly in support of keeping it out of every day life because that is where XBOX Live is developed. You can expect something to relate to where it was created. I understand Europe has a completely different view on sexuality, and if you guys get different terms, great. I wouldn’t care.

    To say I am simple minded because I don’t support homosexuality is outrageous. Yes you are right, because a majority goes with one thing doesn’t mean its right. The hate towards blacks in America was outrageous. However skin color is something you are born with. And I stand by saying your sexual orientation is a decision that is heavily influenced by your childhood.

    Anyways, obviously I am alone on this here and it is getting beyond the intent of this news post. So I will shut up and stop voicing my opinion.

    #27 6 years ago
  28. jeremycafe

    “I’d like to know who decides what’s ‘natural’ and what isn’t.

    I don’t believe humans were ever designed to be able to fly, so perhaps we should all be pretending that aeroplanes don’t exist.”

    You can’t reproduce with a chimp or dog anymore than two homosexual partners can. That is what defines ‘natural’ for me.

    #28 6 years ago
  29. Patrick Garratt

    Your opinion’s welcome, jeremy. Although, I love giant cocks up my ass, and I had a perfectly sedate childhood, to be honest.

    #29 6 years ago
  30. Michael O'Connor

    “I brought up the fact the USA is overwhelmingly in support of keeping it out of every day life because that is where XBOX Live is developed.”

    Actually, quite a significant portion of Xbox Live development, since its inception, has been done in Europe.

    “The hate towards blacks in America was outrageous. However skin color is something you are born with. And I stand by saying your sexual orientation is a decision that is heavily influenced by your childhood.”

    And I repeat, show me proof that sexuality is a *decision*. You can stand by whatever you want, but if you can’t actually back it up with some proof, that just makes you a willing bigot.

    “To say I am simple minded because I don’t support homosexuality is outrageous.”

    No actually, it isn’t. It’s perfectly acceptable. You’re undermining people for what they are, instead of who they are.

    “You can’t reproduce with a chimp or dog anymore than two homosexual partners can. That is what defines ‘natural’ for me.”

    Considering that humans are one of very few species on the planet with higher brain functions that allow them to derive *pleasure* from sex, and don’t use it simply as a procreation tool, that argument holds little weight.

    P.S. I noticed you completely ignored the fact that I debunked your argument about social networks. If its acceptable on other social networks like Facebook and MySpace, it’s acceptable on Xbox Live as well.

    #30 6 years ago
  31. Psychotext

    You tell him Pat. It might not be natural but if it feels good, go with it!

    #31 6 years ago
  32. Michael O'Connor

    Pat: Having read your views on this stuff, I’ve no doubt you’re gonna be the best father to that kid anyone could ever be.

    #32 6 years ago
  33. Mike

    What kid? Me? Pat is like a father figure to me, that’s true. When he isn’t trying to get in my pants that is.

    #33 6 years ago
  34. Michael O'Connor

    Okay, now, that’s just creepy. *laughs*

    #34 6 years ago
  35. Mike

    That’s what I say to Pat, but he’s very persuasive when he wants to be.

    #35 6 years ago
  36. Michael O'Connor

    All those free games must be really hard to resist, huh?

    It’s okay. I wouldn’t turn it down either.

    #36 6 years ago
  37. Blerk

    I think what we need here is a group hug. Who’s got the baby oil?

    #37 6 years ago
  38. Shatner

    IdislikehomosexualityRAMMEDDOWNMYTHROATwhenI’mnotinthemoodforitlol

    #38 6 years ago
  39. G1GAHURTZ

    It’s amusing that every time homosexuality gets mentioned, people start pretending that they are gay.

    It’s quite a strange, sheep-like reaction…

    #39 6 years ago
  40. Blerk

    We’d better hope there aren’t any bestiality fans lurking, then.

    #40 6 years ago
  41. Syrok

    Who says anyone is pretending?

    #41 6 years ago
  42. G1GAHURTZ

    I can tell. Real homosexuals aren’t as crass as you guys.

    #42 6 years ago
  43. Mike

    They are.

    #43 6 years ago
  44. Blerk

    Someone get PESFanboy over here, stat! :-D

    #44 6 years ago
  45. Michael O'Connor

    “I can tell. Real homosexuals aren’t as crass as you guys.”

    Who exactly is pretending?

    #45 6 years ago
  46. G1GAHURTZ

    Exactly.

    #46 6 years ago
  47. SERAPHEMZ

    They should just leave that off. I dont have anything against homosexuals, and that person that said that it was a “decision” is an idiot obviously.But I dont see the relevance to putting your sexual orientation on a game tag.

    Someone said that myspace and facebook did it, so why should LIVE do it, well Myspace and Facebook is kinda a place where you go to MEET people. LIVE is to play games. Not hook -up so who cares what your maritial status is, zodiac sign or if you are gay/lesbian bi or whatever.

    Leave that where it belongs… on EHARMONY.

    #47 6 years ago
  48. Blerk

    But if we don’t care, why should we worry if they put it in their gamertag?

    Of course, we are missing the point a little here – she didn’t put it in here gamertag. It was in her profile, probably under the ‘bio’ bit. Where you’re supposed to write stuff about yourself.

    #48 6 years ago
  49. G1GAHURTZ

    My bio says:

    “Stop looking at my profile!!!”

    Nothing more, nothing less.

    #49 6 years ago
  50. SERAPHEMZ

    Ok, well thats what i meant. Im saying NO ONE should put it. Straight or Gay. I mean come on. If a person put something like that, you know that the person is expecting a reaction. Why put it? What is the relevance to gaming?

    #50 6 years ago
  51. G1GAHURTZ

    I wonder if anyone has ever put: “I’m a paedophile on a grooming mission.”

    #51 6 years ago
  52. Whizzo

    Paedophilia is illegal, being gay (in most places) isn’t and they’re only comparable if you’re an idiot.

    #52 6 years ago
  53. SERAPHEMZ

    I dont think that he was comparing the two.. just making a funny comment… at least i think he didnt compare them.

    #53 6 years ago
  54. G1GAHURTZ

    I wasn’t comparing the two, in the way that you suggested… I was comparing the relevance to gaming that both posess.

    Anyway, if I was being pedantic, I’d say that it’s not actually illegal to be a paedophile, rather, it is illegal for an adult to have sexual relationswith a minor, or possess sexual content containing minors.

    So as far as I’m aware, a paedophile would have just as much of a legal right to boast about his/her sexual preference as any homosexual.

    As many of them do.

    #54 6 years ago
  55. theevilaires

    G1GAHURTZ said:
    February 26, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    It’s amusing that every time homosexuality gets mentioned, people start pretending that they are gay.
    It’s quite a strange, sheep-like reaction…

    trust me psychofag and morriss are not joking ;)

    #55 6 years ago
  56. Mike

    “So as far as I’m aware, a paedophile would have just as much of a legal right to boast about his/her sexual preference as any homosexual.”

    No. Because it’s illegal and advertising that you fancy children is offensive 99.99% of the world’s population.

    #56 6 years ago
  57. G1GAHURTZ

    It’s not illegal.

    That’s why you have organisations such as MANBLA.

    It was only the other day that I watched Tanya Byron having a long interview with a paedophile who was openly claiming that all of his sick fantasies should be treated as ‘normal’.

    So actually finding yourself sexually aroused by looking at young children in itself, sick as it is, isn’t actually illegal at all.

    Acting on that arousal is.

    Equally, I could argue that being homosexual is offensive to 85% of the worlds population, as it’s mostly only the west where gay rights are such a big issue. Even then it’s mostly only the media and far left that make such a big song and dance about it.

    Like it or not, in most countries on the earth, homosexuality is seen as evil, so if you’re going to use the ‘majority card’ with paedophilia, then why not with homosexuality? You can live in a small city of 500,000 people where everyone agrees with you on a particular issue, but it doesn’t mean that the other near 7 billion people in the rest of the world do.

    Anyway, the point is that people (I’d even go as far as to say that it’s the vast majority) don’t want to have to turn on their 360 and see people boasting about their sexuality, no matter what it is.

    #57 6 years ago
  58. Patrick Garratt

    When it comes to rights, though, you can’t pander to the majority. You’d end up living in a non-tolerant society. This is precisely the reason why politicians don’t hold referenda on key emotive issues, like currency policy and capital punishment.

    Just because some people may find the fact that other people are gay offensive is no reason to stop gay people saying they’re gay. In fact, Microsoft created the T&Cs in the way it did precisely to stop people using illegal harassment on Live. It tried to do the right thing, basically. It’s just backfired a bit.

    People are gay. Xbox Live is used by 17 million people, and some of them are gay. That’s a fact. If the only reason they’re not “allowed” to say they’re gay at the moment is because bigots use the relative anonymity of Live to behave as though they were living in the fucking Lord of the Flies, then something has to change.

    And, thankfully, from the sound of it that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

    #58 6 years ago

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