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Xbox Live Now Allows Gender Expression

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the good-on-you dept.

Social Networks 348

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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348 comments

So claim to be a... (3, Funny)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382268)

...transgender lesbian, and let Microsoft try to figure out what that means. They'd probably have to google it!

Re:So claim to be a... (2, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382410)

This discriminates against androgynous, polysexual, pastafarian, anti-nationalists, you insensitive clods!

...heard on XBox Live today. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31382284)

"That decision is like, SO GAY!"

Re:...heard on XBox Live today. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383086)

Not quite: "Dude, that's fuckin' gay! Retards."

Gay rights are civil rights. (5, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382304)

Gay rights are the civil rights struggle of our generation. When you have two consenting adults living and loving each other and then telling them they cannot get life insurance on each other to cover their mutual home in case of tragety is bigotry. This "marriage is between a man and a woman" bit is exactly the same as "coloreds don't drink from the white fountain." I don't even happen to be gay and I can still clearly see this.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31382342)

All the arguments for gay marriage are transferable to polygamous marriage and marriage to physical objects. We abandon irrationality for a new irrationality.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31382376)

All the arguments for gay marriage are transferable to polygamous marriage and marriage to physical objects. We abandon irrationality for a new irrationality.

How exactly to you apply the life insurance argument to inanimate objects?

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382696)

Not to mention the object would be covered by homeowner insurance anyway. ;-) Unless you marry your car, and then it's the auto insurance.

Can I have a polygamous marriage with my car and the Progressive Insurance chick?

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382404)

I did think of that while I was writing my post but the important part is: consenting. We should all agree to not tell each other, as adults, what to do. If a woman has twenty husbands and all the husbands are ok with that: it's none of my damn business. Or are we still stuck with women are property attitudes and lineage must be proven from a male dominated perspective?

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (4, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382430)

Just no. The arguments for gay marriage can transfer to polygamous marriage, sure. I don't really have a problem with that. But how in the hell do you extend that to marriage of objects?

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31382578)

You score 1 point. I should have said, 'Virtually all the arguments for gay marriage apply to polygamous marriage, and many of the arguments apply to marriage to inanimate objects'.

For example, from the post below: "Gay guys who just want to be with eachother doesn't hurt anyone." This applies to marriage to inanimate objects as well.

Gay marriage is replacing old irrational with new irrational.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31382650)

For example, from the post below: "Gay guys who just want to be with eachother doesn't hurt anyone." This applies to marriage to inanimate objects as well.

You can want to be with your toaster, but your toaster can't want to be with you.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (2, Funny)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382808)

For example, from the post below: "Gay guys who just want to be with eachother doesn't hurt anyone." This applies to marriage to inanimate objects as well.

You can want to be with your toaster, but your toaster can't want to be with you.

It can in Soviet Russia!

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382714)

Replacing the old irrational with a new irrational is worthwhile when its real people just trying to find their own path through life. It is iterative, someday life may be fair if new issues never crop up but that doesn't mean we have to give up on making it better right now.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31382784)

You score 1 point. I should have said, 'Virtually all the arguments for gay marriage apply to polygamous marriage, and many of the arguments apply to marriage to inanimate objects'.

Not really, unless you consider inanimate objects to be people.

I mean you argue about how people are wording their arguments, or how there are crazy analogies to inanimate objects all day, but you just make yourself look like an asshole, any reasonable person can see that campaigning for rights for a group of people is different to campaigning for the rights of a lump of plastic.

As for polygamous marriages you're perfectly right, and I'm sure in the future there may be a larger movement campaigning for that right, personally I wouldn't have a problem with it being allowed if everyone involved consented and it applied equally to all partners (not just the men or just the women).

I would find it very creepy and weird, but I, unlike most people opposing such things as gay marriage, am not egotistical enough to think my own personal opinions should be allowed to infringe on people's rights.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (4, Insightful)

imidan (559239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382946)

You may be a troll, but I think this is sort of important. In a further posting, the OP notes that the real deciding factor is consent. Consent is required for a marriage (and many other legal agreements). This is why, for example, I shouldn't be able to marry the Eiffel Tower: it is impossible for an inanimate object to offer consent. This is also a refutation of the common claim that allowing gay marriage inevitably leads to institutionalized bestiality. That's just a gross-out scare tactic. A dog or cat (or any other kind of animal) is not legally capable of consent, so there is no danger of codifying a relationship with an animal as 'marriage'.

So, this argument would seem to permit plural marriage. I don't have a problem with that. As long as all the people in a relationship are freely, understandingly consenting to their arrangement, what's the problem with that? Yes, it causes some trouble with things like spousal medical benefits and taxes and other things that are based on single-partner relationships, but I think we can come up with ways to deal with those problems.

There's kind of an idea in this country that we all know what marriage is, and it's this one particular thing. But is it, really? When we talk about 'protecting the institution of marriage', whose idea of the institution of marriage are we protecting? Many Catholics, for example, would say that there's really no such thing as a divorce; marriage is an eternal bond made before God, and when you swear that oath 'til death do you part, you don't get to change your mind, later. Still, about half of all marriages in the US end in divorce. It seems pretty silly for straight people to beat the 'sanctity of marriage' drum when they can't even get it right, themselves, half the time.

The real key, in my mind, is to disassociate the legal agreement of marriage with the religious ceremony of marriage. I don't see any special reason why religious marriage should be recognized as a special institution by the government. Civil marriage contracts should be required for legal purposes, and should only be potentially coincidental to religious marriage. Why did we make the Mormons give up plural marriage? Their religion defined it as acceptable, but the majority religion in the US did not. For a country that supposedly separated church and state, we have some pretty suspiciously Christian rules in place.

p.s. - I realize that many 'plural marriages' today are little more than excuses for disgusting men to have sex with a lot of young girls. That's not really a plural marriage, at all, because informed consent and freedom to dissolve the contract are completely absent from those situations. I absolutely don't support the practice of enslaving young girls and calling it 'marriage'.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383048)

You are an idiot.

Lets look at marriage to an "inanimate object"(referred to as obj from here out).

Can obj visits you in the hospital?
Can obj make end of life decisions for you?
Can obj inherit your estate?
Can obj have an income, require support and/or file joint taxes with you.
Can obj adopt/bear/raise children together with you?
Can obj love you?

The answer is fuck no to each of these. And for a traditional marriage the answer is fuck yes for each of these. These are the rights/responsibilities that same sex couples want/need to have. This is completely rational, in every respect a same sex relationship is identical to a traditional relationship (where one of the partners is infertile). The only thing irrational here is you mister coward.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (2, Insightful)

SolidAltar (1268608) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382432)

Except polygamy hurts society, especially men in general.
It's better for a woman to have 1/16th of a rich man than all of a poor one.

Gay guys who just want to be with eachother doesn't hurt anyone.

Marriage to objects or animals doesn't make sense since they're not human.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31382486)

Except polygamy hurts society, especially men in general.

High fructose corn syrup hurts society. Cigarettes hurt society. Etc. You cannot simply denounce an idea because it may have some immeasurable negative effect on society. Or perhaps you are the kind of person who would like to do that?

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31382722)

So marriage is a practical thing for our society , lets make it a law then! all have to marry hetrosexually and get 2.3 kids.

other things you can think of that is practical for the society? .. oh wait russia went there , lets just do what they did , try to control everyones lifes to the bettering the society ..

worked like a charm and everyone was so happy .

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1)

darthdavid (835069) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382756)

So now women can't work for themselves? Marriages are all about financial incentives?

If I had to choose between being single and marrying a woman who was only interested in my money I know what I would pick.

PS while you might have had some traction if you had tried to cite social instability due to the imbalanced gender ratios that widespread might cause, but even then that assumes that all the marriages will be 1 man + multiple women there's nothing, however, preventing marriages of 1 woman + multiple men or multiple men + multiple women both of which would push the gender balance of available singles back towards neutral. And there's nothing stopping people from living these sorts of relationships now anyway, they just can't get benefits of having their relationship be legally and socially recognized. So if a woman (or a man) does want 16th of a rich partner vs 100% of a poor one I'm sure she can already find such a relationship today. In fact, I hear Tiger Woods has a few positions open these days...

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382924)

So if a woman (or a man) does want 16th of a rich partner vs 100% of a poor one I'm sure she can already find such a relationship today. In fact, I hear Tiger Woods has a few positions open these days...

He's already played all 18 holes and is in the dog^H^H^Hclubhouse now.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (2, Interesting)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382792)

Except polygamy hurts society, especially men in general.

Er no - his comparison is not logical, but let's not defend gay people by trying to demonise other groups.

Certain religious groups might hurt society (although even there, I find it laughable that men are harmed - how exactly?), but there is nothing wrong in having multiple relationships, including wanting that to be recognised legally. There are many people who practice this for non-religious reasons (more generally called things like polyamory). I speak as someone who's both bi and poly.

(I also find it ironic that, usually with marriage, doing it for religious reasons is seen as better, or even, the primary reason why marriage should be allowed. Yet for poly unions, religion is suddenly a bad reason. Which is it?

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1)

Alaren (682568) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382922)

Except polygamy hurts society, especially men in general.

Er no - his comparison is not logical, but let's not defend gay people by trying to demonise other groups.

A modern example of how polygamy potentially hurts males can be had in the story of Utah's Lost Boys [childbrides.org] .

Arguably, in a larger pool of individuals this sort of practice would be unnecessary. Other arguments against polygamy include the tendency toward child brides and other forms of child abuse but again--whether these practices are inherently part of polygamy or incident to the marginalization and ostracization of these groups is open to debate.

As I stated earlier, I would like to see less government involvement in marriage, rather than more, so I think we're actually in relative agreement. But it is important not to dismiss valid objections out-of-hand. In spite of its patriarchal overtones (e.g. harem mentality), polygamy is likely hardest on young, unskilled men--who are generally in greater supply than old, wealthy men. The psychological value of marriage to men is well-documented, and the damage done when young, single men are in greater supply than young, single women is also well-documented.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383054)

People marry out of love and consent. If either is missing - which in your example it seems to be - then it is not "marriage." And disadvantging younger "men"? Not their problem, when you decide you love a particular person it is not the states place to step in and say "your disadvantaging young men!"

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1)

Alaren (682568) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383288)

People marry out of love and consent. If either is missing - which in your example it seems to be - then it is not "marriage."

No.

Consent is probably required, though historically consent was so attenuated as to render this moot (i.e. your father or mother or brother might "consent" for you).

Love has never been an important part of the marital contract. In the course of human history, arranged marriages are more the norm than the exception.

Your idea of marriage is an attractive one to someone like me, who was raised with Western sensibilities and Western romanticism and Western individualism. But if this is the "true" definition of marriage, I would be hard-pressed to guess whether even half the marriages in history were "really" marriages.

Your definition fails to describe reality. I'm willing to accept it as an aspirational statement going forward--but as a definition, "love and consent" fails.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383000)

There are many people who practice this for non-religious reasons (more generally called things like polyamory). I speak as someone who's both bi and poly.

Hey, you speak like that Greek guy. What was his name again? Polybius?

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (2, Insightful)

The Grand Falloon (1102771) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382462)

All the arguments for gay marriage are transferable to polygamous marriage

I see nothing inherently wrong with polygamy. Complicated, commonly embraced by cultures that use it as a form of oppression, but it's not wrong in and of itself.

and marriage to physical objects.

Well, that's the stupidest fucking thing I've heard today. It's not noon yet, so there's plenty of time for a challenger to take the crown. Let's see how the day goes.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31382648)

I agree marrying to physical things is what i would call retarded , but why again do we care about what other people do? . let people do what the hell they want as long as they dont harm us ( and no polygami and homosexuals does not harm us in any way , neither does that woman who married the eiffel tower )

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382638)

Marriage is a civil contract. An inanimate object (or animals, for you people who fear it going in *that* direction) cannot sign legal contracts.

As for polygamy, sell them a "mini-group" insurance policy. Seriously, these companies can't figure out a way to profit from a paradigm shift in what we consider marriage? Weak.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382860)

No kidding, I can't imagine how insurance companies could see insuring groups as being a higher risk than insuring individuals. Their entire industry is based on the idea of groups being a better risk for them than individuals.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383034)

But what if the whole family goes on a road trip together in their Toyota van and, due to unintended acceleration, fly off a cliff together and die? That's a whole lotta life insurance. And if those people lived by proper morals, they wouldn't all have been together in the first place!

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382758)

All the arguments for straight marriage are transferable to polygamous marriage and marriage to physical objects.

FTFY.

As it happens, I support poly unions too, but that's got nothing to do with straight or gay. And last time I looked, physical objects can't enter legal contracts (nor can child or animals, before anyone brings that straw man up).

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382794)

I think a binding thread to consider is that these unions are consenting. If everyone agrees to a contract with each other they should not be denied rights that others in contracts that are arguably identical enjoy.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (2, Insightful)

ascari (1400977) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382530)

I agree with you on all counts. But this really has very little to do with TFA and the Microsoft thing. After all, since when is "identifying oneself unambiguously to Microsoft marketeers" an inalienable human right? There are more important battles to fight and win for the gay community.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382592)

The fortune at the bottom of the screen is invaluable right now: "As long as the answer is right, who cares if the question is wrong?"

It's about awareness and exposing injustice in all the forums it even tangentially applies. I point out its a civil rights struggle regularly to my friends and family. Usually they shut right up and change the topic rather than confront their inner demons. Shining a light of obvious truth kills all but the most degenerate evils.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (4, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382580)

Bull crap. They're struggling for nothing then.

In real life, I barely care about you as human. I don't want you to tell me what you do, or who you do it with. I'm simply not that interested.

On a video game network, I'm even less interested. Don't tell me you're gay, or straight, or white, or black, or a hairdresser or a hobbit fetishist. I don't care. Either pull out the BFG and start fragging some bad guys, or stick your head in the way of my shots.

I got enough crap in my own life to worry about. Their gender issues rank about 0.1% on my care-o-meter. The only people I care less about are the ones who hate other people based on stupid crap like this, and them I actively hate.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (2, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382626)

That reminds me directly of a quote I read: "Don't support gay marriage? Then shut the fuck up and don't get one." You're right it doesn't need to be in your face but the issue does need to be in the face of those with that bit of evil in their hearts.

Not all gamers exclusively play shooters (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382666)

Don't tell me you're gay, or straight, or white, or black, or a hairdresser or a hobbit fetishist. I don't care. Either pull out the BFG and start fragging some bad guys, or stick your head in the way of my shots.

You may choose to play first-person shooters exclusively, but not all gamers agree. I don't have an Xbox 360 console yet (I want one for XNA, but I'm waiting for hardware reliability issues to be solved; are they?) and therefore know little about its available games, but I'm certain that at least a couple games revolve around socializing, much like Nintendo's Animal Crossing 3 for Wii.

Right, you're banned (2, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382736)

I got enough crap in my own life to worry about.

Sorry, we don't care that you've "got enough crap in your own life". You're now banned from Slashdot for saying something that isn't approved of, and that no one cares about.

Don't go whining about it - there are more important things to worry about than a Slashdot account, right?

Re:Right, you're banned (1, Offtopic)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382870)

Mod abuse - who the hell got mod points today? It's not redundant.

I see that plover doesn't want people to tell him things, but it's okay for him to tell everyone about things in his life.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1)

Zorque (894011) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382752)

That sounds more like your problem than anyone else's. Just because you're an apathetic asshole doesn't mean people can't talk about themselves, if you don't care then don't read their profiles.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (3, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382630)

It is even more analogous to "marriage is between two people of the same color".

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (-1, Troll)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383132)

The problem with that argument is you could use that for any number of arrangements-- claiming for example that marriage should be allowed to be between a person and a rock.

Marriage has a specific definition, with a specific purpose, which, for the most part, has remained pretty much the same throughout most of human history. Now people want to change that, and are insisting that it is the greatest instance of persecution ever committed that the laws havent changed yet. Never mind the fact that the debate isnt centered on ensuring that civil unions have the same rights as marriage,but on redefining a word and its use. Forgive me if im not terribly distressed over the current situation.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383196)

Marriage is the only contract available. Don't want gays to have "marriage?" Give them civil unions instead: they get their rights and the bigots get to keep their bigotry. Civil unions and marriage are not separate because the people trying to enforce their values on others won't let them be. Puritanical Christians screaming sanctity. I'm not puritanical and barely christian so as long as I'm not hurting someone who doesn't enjoy it then, please, fuck off.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1, Troll)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382786)

This "marriage is between a man and a woman" bit is exactly the same as "coloreds don't drink from the white fountain."

While the entire concept of "marriage" is just societal (religiously motivated) dogma, enshrining of which in law is frankly an unforgivable assault by religious wackos on the rest of us, I cannot exactly stand by your "equivalence" as there is this little problem of sexual reproduction involved that has no place in the fountain drinking you've referred to ...

I think all these "alternate" sexuality types are shooting themselves in the foot when they go on these crusades in the vain of "our two-man family is just like that man-woman one next door!" ... err .. except it isn't. No amount of wishful thinking can hide the fact that exclusively same-sex sexual interaction is simply a genetic deficiency doomed to reproductive failure, or in case of lesbians in the absence of technological insemination. Does this warrant persecution or social shunning? Hell no. But at the same time you cannot pretend that it is not likely to cause all sorts of strange reactions by the sex-controlling circuitry of the brains of those who have the "standard" wiring, ranging from discomfort to outright instinctive (genetically-dictated) hostility.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (2, Interesting)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382830)

You don't need to reproduce to love each other.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383164)

You dont need to have your specific union called marriage to do so either. There are many heterosexual couples which get along just fine without it.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383280)

Justice of the Peace time! Get them civil unions! Wait, what, can't do that either? Back to the root: marriage.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383084)

No amount of wishful thinking can hide the fact that exclusively same-sex sexual interaction is simply a genetic deficiency doomed to reproductive failure, or in case of lesbians in the absence of technological insemination

Splice together Father A's X chromosome with Father B's Y chromosome. Problem solved.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383154)

an unforgivable assault by religious wackos on the rest of us

Wait, which religious wackos are these? Did I miss the recent headline "NEW US LEGISLATION ESTABLISHES 'MARRIAGE'"? Care to tell me when this "unforgiveable" law was actually established?

Marriage as Incentive (1, Troll)

Alaren (682568) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382806)

This "marriage is between a man and a woman" bit is exactly the same as "coloreds don't drink from the white fountain." I don't even happen to be gay and I can still clearly see this.

Analogizing racial issues to sexual preference issues is significantly problematic. If you see them as "clearly" "exactly the same" then you haven't given it sufficient thought and your expression here is demagoguery.

Marriage is an abstraction that bridges inescapable biological facts and society's desire to channel those facts to a particular end. Historically recent romanticization of marriage in the West, for various reasons including a drive toward individualism, does not change the fact that marriage is an ancient practice intended to institutionalize reproduction, subverting basic biological drives into the reinforcement of (ostensibly patriarchal, arguably gynocentric, potentially some compromise between the two) cultural norms.

In the state of Arizona, homosexual marriage was rejected on the grounds that marriage is a legitimate state approach to incentivizing childbearing and the nuclear family. And since no one is "entitled" to state incentives, marriage cannot be claimed by "right." Other courts have found that marriage is an individual right--to recognition of your union with someone of the opposite sex, whether you love them or not. There are sound reasons for these decisions. You don't have to like them, you don't have to agree with them, you certainly don't have to accept them, but you cannot say that this kind of discrimination is based on arbitrary hatred.

The only reasons I've ever heard for segregation boiled down to, "We don't like those people." The only reasons I've ever heard for same-sex marriage boiled down to, "We like these people." Whereas, the reasons I hear in opposition of same-sex marriage are simple: traditional marriage is intended to incentivize childbearing, which is how we perpetuate our species, a practice without which our society will inevitably terminate.

I happen to think that this kind of government incentive is unnecessary. My position has been and continues to be that the government should be indifferent toward marriage in all but a handful of public health circumstances (e.g. marriage within certain degrees of consanguinity). And since I do not perceive an increase in marital legislation as a positive step in that direction, I do not equate "gay rights" with the civil rights struggle of past generations, as the correct approach to the civil rights struggle was not to make more good laws, but to eliminate bad ones.

Re:Marriage as Incentive (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382884)

Cloning will offer a way for people who don't have the compatible equipment reproduce. That is not far off. My indignation comes mainly because of injustice in treatment. Marriage brings a whole host of benefits to a couple mainly in terms of how they can financially manage their mutual lives. Denying these benefits to people who love each other just as deeply may not benefit society but it sure as hell wrongs those individuals. Can't claim each others income together when applying for the mortage? I'll admit I'm inexperienced in the details of what gets denied but the fact remains: I was raised that we are all equals and I will rail against "traditions" that make some less equal than others. Society is defined by individuals not the other way around.

Re:Marriage as Incentive (-1, Troll)

Alaren (682568) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383166)

I want you to know from the outset that I'm trying to be sympathetic. I don't disagree with you in the way many people will, but your position is not strong without strong reasons.

Society is defined by individuals not the other way around.

I would encourage you to rethink this. I think it is manifestly obvious that society and individuals exist symbiotically. In aggregate, each influences the other deeply--but odds are, society has defined you far more than you've defined it.

I was raised that we are all equals and I will rail against "traditions" that make some less equal than others.

This is sophomoric. What do you mean by "equal?" If I am allowed to marry any woman I choose, and my gay friend is allowed to marry any woman he chooses, how are we unequal?

Well, you say, I am allowed to marry the person I love, while my gay friend is not allowed to marry the person he loves. That's a compelling point (and pretty much the only point the same-sex marriage movement ever succeeds in making saliently). But, to quote that famous song, what's love got to do with it? Love does not appear in the statutes--heck, love does not necessarily appear in actual marriages, let alone stick around!

Denying these benefits to people who love each other just as deeply may not benefit society but it sure as hell wrongs those individuals.

Let's say you own a road-paving company called "Pavement Gods." You are passionate about your paving, and you own ten million tons of commercial grade asphalt, but you insist on paving everything by hand. Your competitor, "Paving Devils," owns all kinds of heavy equipment for paving roads a million times faster than you. The state never awards you any contracts because you offer no benefit to society--you lack the proper equipment.

Has the state wronged you?

Now, a company is not an individual, and paving highways is not the same as bearing children... but from the perspective of state resources, who gets certain benefits and who doesn't has to be based on something more tangible than love or passion.

Should the state grant marriage licenses to any two men or two women who walk into the county office? Why should two men or two women who do not love each other be allowed to benefit from tax breaks or financial conveniences intended to incentivize childbearing? How is the state to differentiate between those it is wronging, and those who are looking for incentives they haven't earned and do not deserve?

Well, you may counter, a man and a woman might do that very thing already! I admit, it's true. But at least a man and a woman engaged in such fraud are potentially able to start a family. Homosexuals in the same position cannot even claim that they "might" have children--it is a biological impossibility from the get-go.

Your argument re: cloning is relevant but speculatory--let's set this one aside until there's a viable fetus on the (operating) table, so to speak.

Hopefully I've illustrated not simply why I think the same-sex marriage debate is not as simple as you make it out to be, but also why state involvement in marriage generally is ill-advised. I happen to enjoy the perks of being married and appreciate the government incentives it has provided, but I do think we'd be better off, culturally, without so much government interference. It's statism, really--excessive entanglement in personal lives including matters of love that statutes cannot hope to regulate properly. And the call for same-sex marriage recognition is a call for more statism--so your argument for individual rights ends up devouring itself.

Re:Marriage as Incentive (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383252)

How deep do you think the roots against gay marriage go into Christian values? I believe they do go quite far and therefore assert freedom from religion.

Re:Marriage as Incentive (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383168)

Can't claim each others income together when applying for the mortage?

I was under the impression you could apply for a mortgage jointly, regardless of marital status. I base this solely on the fact that when I was applying for my mortgage, they knew of my girlfriend (and that we were not married) and asked if I was applying jointly or singly.

Re:Marriage as Incentive (2, Insightful)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383152)

Whereas, the reasons I hear in opposition of same-sex marriage are simple: traditional marriage is intended to incentivize childbearing, which is how we perpetuate our species, a practice without which our society will inevitably terminate

If this is our intent, we could gather a lot of extra taxes from those people who are married but unable or unwilling to conceive. Why should they get the benefit when they have no intention or are unable to fulfill the requirements of the incentive?

Re:Marriage as Incentive (1)

Alaren (682568) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383234)

If this is our intent, we could gather a lot of extra taxes from those people who are married but unable or unwilling to conceive. Why should they get the benefit when they have no intention or are unable to fulfill the requirements of the incentive?

I expect you are being facetious to make a point, and it is not a bad one. It does ignore certain basic facts (e.g. that a diagnosis of infertility is not always accurate) as well as other complicating factors (e.g. if a couple is "trying," does that count?) and more elegant solutions (e.g. don't give any benefit until actual children are born), and it is basically just a slight change of the scenario that I mentioned as an exception swallowing the rule, but it is an interesting conundrum.

But this is why I suggested that government should be getting out of the marriage business, rather than deeper in.

Not even fucking close to race (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31382856)

I hate when people compare the trials of someone claiming to be 'gay' to the trials of the black populace. Not even in the same ballpark. A white or Asian gay male won't have NEARLY as many obstacles (both perceived and real) on the way to success in the United States and abroad as a gay OR straight black male.

Guess why.

There's always some asshole on this site who likes to compare some topic (usually ANYTHING) to race issues, or being called the n-word.

Do us all a favor and please stop comparing apples to fucking Land Cruisers.

Re:Not even fucking close to race (4, Informative)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31382984)

Yeah, it's bullshit my roommate and I can't combine our insurance plans. . .

1. "Gay rights" is not an issue in America because every right granted by the constitution applies equally to straights and gays

2. Comparing "gay rights" to the civil rights struggles of African Americans is insulting to African Americans. Show me a school that has denied a student an education because of their homosexuality, show me a business that has a "straights only" sign posted, show me economic disparity between gays and straights. Just demonstrate one example of this parallel.

3. If gays don't like current life insurance programs then they should start up their own life insurance companies. The gay community throws money around for lobbyists to complain about these things, lawyers to sue any case of homophobic bigotry, and rainbow-tastic parades in major cities when that money could be spent on resolving the problem. Cry me a fucking river.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (-1, Troll)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383068)

Noone has ever been able to explain adequately why there is such a push to call such a union a marriage.

And btw it is NOT exactly the same as racism, 90% of the people on either side of the debate are not out to persecute those in homosexual unions. Making that comparison belittles just how serious the race problem was. The current "travesty" being committed is that homosexuals cannot form a union that is recognized as marriage by the federal government (which AFAIK would be a first in human history)-- oh the horror! Call me when you have an actual problem with homosexuals being denied service at businesses, or physically harassed. Otherwise, cut the hyperbole.

Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383148)

Denied services? Shit beat out of them? Doesn't happen? Where do you live cause gay people will flock there.

Sure... "Feedback from our customers" (3, Insightful)

SvnLyrBrto (62138) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382368)

Yeah right. Try "Feedback from our lawyers".

Even though protection is still wholly inadequate at the federal level; microsoft does business in a number of states where anti-gay discrimination is very illegal and very actionable. I don't believe for a second that they've had a sudden change of heart in the direction of equality and fairness. More likely, legal and PR informed the decision makers that they were about to be on the losing end of some pretty hefty legal action and bad press.

Re:Sure... "Feedback from our customers" (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382460)

Nah, all of these policies are caused by lawyers and fearmongering. I don't think any Microsoft exec cares how you call yourself on Xbox live, as long as you pay your yearly fees. However, Lawyers probably said that "inappropriate" words in the Gamertag could result in a lawsuit - which is why they were forbidden in the first place.

Actual result (1)

Rijnzael (1294596) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382394)

It's a great change, but I'll be curious to see how many LGBT users actually opt to specify such in their profiles. Knowing the user population of Xbox Live, it's pretty reasonable to assume that such users would be subjecting themselves to severe denigration by other users on the service. Likewise, I fully expect LGBT users who identify themselves and who receive such responses from other users to cry foul at Microsoft for not doing enough. That isn't to say Microsoft is doing enough to police Xbox Live (the service is a festering cesspool of bigots and homophobes), but I don't feel as though there are many more policing options open to Microsoft on the service, and I don't see this move making good business sense. More importantly, I see the new freedoms of expression to be lightly used at best for the previously mentioned reasons, and it's most likely it'll be used by trolls and bigots in an effect to mock LBGT users, effecting the opposite of the intended result, and stymieing users' desire to express themselves on the service in the process.

Re:Actual result (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382496)

Bah, you'll never know whos on the other end of the line.

Whenever there's communication on the internet, my first assumption is that i'm talking to an overweight, 40 year old male that sits naked in front of his computer or Xbox - alternatively, a 13 year old boy that just discovered the word "faggot".

There are so many trolls or people pretending to be girls or gays or whatever, that any deviation from the above norm requires extraordinary proof.

I'm heterosexual. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31382416)

What's with the urge to tell people that you're homosexual? I don't go around telling people that I am heterosexual and usually find it inappropriate when somebody tells me their sexual orientation. What do I care? When I make a move, shoot me down when you are not interested because you're homosexual or when you're just not interested. When we work or play, I don't need to know.

Re:I'm heterosexual. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31382586)

I don't get it either. I don't tell the people at work or on Xbox that i'm a pedophile.

Re:I'm heterosexual. (0, Troll)

FrostDust (1009075) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382588)

I'm sure you'd feel different if heterosexuality was in the minority.

Re:I'm heterosexual. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31382916)

Let's troll.

You are a FAG!

They are participating in a virtual enclave (3, Insightful)

ph0rk (118461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382618)

The information isn't really for you, it is for other homosexuals.

Re:I'm heterosexual. (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382826)

"I'm heterosexual."

You just did tell us.

(More generally, you don't need to because people can assume it by default. You don't have to worry about getting a fist in the face when you chat up a member of the opposite sex, for example.)

Plus, since you're happily posting as Anonymous Coward, I think it's kind of obvious that you don't see the point in having any kind of profile! But not everyone is like that, straight, bi or gay.

Re:I'm heterosexual. (1, Insightful)

GnomeChompsky (950296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382892)

I bet you're also male, and probably also white. You probably never think about your gender or your race, because they are viewed by you and the rest of society as the default - you are presumed straight until proven otherwise.

The fact that you never have to critically assess your gender, sexuality or race are all reflections of privilege. Minorities, especially of the non-visible kind, need to disclose the information that they fall into a particular minority group - because otherwise, it's very easy to demonize them. If you don't know several gay men, it's easy to believe that all gay men are pedophiles.

You don't "need to know" that people you know and love are gay; *they* need you to know that.

Re:I'm heterosexual. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383216)

I honestly don't care if someone I know is homosexual. I don't feel offended, threatened or uncomfortable around gay people. It just doesn't affect me. It's like a heterosexual coworker suddenly telling me about a fetish: I just find it weird when I'm in a completely asexual situation and out of the blue I'm being told about sexual preferences. If I know someone well enough for that information to matter, I probably know if they're homosexual, unless they're actively hiding it.

Yeah, but they leave out Bigender (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31382582)

Bigender, being a subset of Transgender.

Re:Yeah, but they leave out Bigender (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31382620)

Bigender, being a subset of Transgender.

I'm personally a fan of Latin Trance Funk Housegender.

Honestly, why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31382674)

I fail to see the need for this and I also fail to understand the need of certain people to announce their sexual orientation to the world. You're a lesbian. That's fine, but I don't care and I don't need this particular piece of information. I can't believe that you're looking for potential partners on XBL, and if you are, you need to examine your methods. The only possible reason I can see for this is to state your orientation for the express purpose of having others mock and ridicule you so you can then complain and make a bid deal out of it.

Some people are gay. Who cares?

Re:Honestly, why? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382838)

Evidently Microsoft cared, if they decided to ban someone for it.

(And again, I find it amusing to have Anonymous Cowards saying "I don't see the point in putting info about yourself online". Well duh - we kind of figured you guys don't see the point.)

Well, duh. (Go Microsoft!) (2, Informative)

oasisbob (460665) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Exhibitionism? (4, Interesting)

BoppreH (1520463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382836)

[...] it inadvertently excluded a part of our Xbox LIVE community [...]

How come? Did gay people avoid joining because they couldn't state that they were gay?

Re:Exhibitionism? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31382998)

[...] it inadvertently excluded a part of our Xbox LIVE community [...]

How come? Did gay people avoid joining because they couldn't state that they were gay?

If a guy complained "my wife is making me go shopping for new curtains tomorrow" nobody would blink an eye. On the other hand if a guy said "my boyfriend is making me go shopping for new curtains tomorrow" is that "stating they are gay"? Is that "exhibitionism"?

I don't think the point is that the majority of normal, reasonable gay people want to interrupt Halo games to discuss the wicked cool anal sex they had last night - I think the point is that they don't want to have to conceal perfectly routine stuff about themselves in case it "gives them away". Also, how can you realistically deal with the annoying 11 year olds shouting "faggot" at people when the official policy is that being a homosexual is something that has to be concealed?

Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31382886)

Hopefully, Microsoft reinstates thoses that were banned.

Gender expression? (2, Insightful)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382906)

Lesbian and gay are not genders. They might imply one, but they aren't genders themselves.

Re:Gender expression? (1)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383112)

Correct, that is why the article describes them as "sexual orientation". It never states anything about gender.

O SHIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383008)

Pandora's closet has been OPENED

GNAA? (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383060)

more freely express their race, nationality, religion and sexual orientation

Race, nationality and sexual orientation are totally covered by the GNAA. So will they be allowed to express themselves freely on XBox live?

One more reason to stick with PC games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383078)

I can join a game on-line with my PC and have whatever name I like. I can tell people that I am a male (or female) on the game server and not have Nazis ban me! Also, my on-line games will likely still work five years from now, when the X360 on-line features will be disabled.

Long live the PC and on-line PC games, where Servers can be run by the community and not placed in the control of people who have an interest in forcing us to buy the latest game!

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