Xbox Live No Longer Bans Gay People From Describing Themselves

One of Xbox Live’s more irksome policies has been that if your gamertag happens to mention that you are gay or lesbian, that’s not permitted. (Or if you use your real name, which happens to contain the letters G-A-Y in that order.) But Microsoft has changed their code of conduct, and this policy is no more.

In an open letter/press release, Xbox Live General Manager Marc Whitten tells gamers:

The Xbox LIVE Terms of Use and Code of Conduct are designed to create a place where people can safely enjoy all of the ways to interact on our service, be it online multiplayer gaming, photo sharing, Netflix parties, or social games such as 1 vs. 100, without fear of discrimination or harassment. As the service evolves and our customers provide us with feedback, these rules evolve to incorporate new features or changes in how people wish to interact.

With that in mind, I’d like to announce an update to the Xbox LIVE Terms of Use and Code of Conduct which 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.

I truly believe that our diversity is what makes us strong: diversity in gaming and entertainment options, and diversity in the people that make up this amazing community. I look forward to seeing you on LIVE soon.

A Letter from Marc Whitten: Update to Xbox LIVE Code of Conduct [Press Release] (via GamingAngels)
LIVE Code of Conduct

PREVIOUSLY:
Microsoft’s Policy Regarding Identifying Sexual Orientation On XBOX Live
Identifying Yourself As A Lesbian Gets You Banned On XBOX Live
XBOX Live Decides Your Surname Is Offensive Because It Contains The Letters “G-A-Y”
“Gay” Player Name Banned By Xbox Live