Ban on gay-friendly guilds attracts queer-rights group warning

Lambda Legal, a queer-rights group, has sent a letter to the lawyers at Blizzard asking them to stop discriminating against gay players.

World of Warcraft's moderators have been shutting down banning in-game advertisement gay-friendly guilds in the game on the tortured grounds that letting people mention that they're gay will encourage jerks to say nasty things about gay people, and since saying homophobic things violates WoW's policies, ignorant jerks shouldn't be tempted into being homophobes.

The Lambda Legal letter takes Blizzard to task for this bizarre ruling and warns them that this is a legally and morally dubious stance to take:

In order to avoid any similar incidents in the future, we ask that you inform all of Blizzard’s system administrators that they are not to discipline any players for mentioning or discussing sexual orientation or gender identity in a non-insulting fashion. We also ask that Blizzard confirm that LGBT-friendly guilds are allowed to announce their existence in the same manner as any other guilds. Of course, Lambda Legal would be more than happy to offer any advice we can to assist Blizzard in crafting a nondiscriminatory clarification of the terms of service for W.O.W., or in providing guidance to the administrators enforcing Blizzard’s anti-harassment guidelines. We ask that you respond within thirty days of the date of this letter to avoid the need for further action.


(via Wonderland)

Update: Josh sez, Shimmre, the original founder of the GLBT friendly guild in World Of Warcraft posted this on the official forums today:

Blizzard Apoligizes to GLBT Friendly Guild!!!
That's right! I have received an email from the head of Global Customer Service which included an apology for the way that their staff characterized my conduct, and that it was an unfortunate interpretation of their policy. They have removed the warning from my account. I will be posting the letter that Blizzard sent me on the guild website sometime this week so that you can see that advertising for your glbt friendly guild is NOT violating the TOS!!!

However, they say that their current policy (which I actually DIDN'T violate, thank you very much) is under review. What this means. . . we don't know. Are they reviewing it with their employees to make sure they don't make this awful mistake again? Are they reviewing and re-writing it? Whatever the case, Lambda Legal has sent them a letter offering to assist them in making sure the policy stays glbt friendly.