April 13, 2012

Family Research Council Threatens Boycott Of EA Games Due To LGBT Characters


Florida Family Association (With Only 1 Member) Started Boycott Threat

Electronic Arts (EA), the Redwood City, California developer of video games has been targeted by the Florida Family Association (FFA), and the Family Research Council (FRC), for including LGBT characters in their games. According to the trade industry website gamesindustry.biz, the company has received thousands of emails and letters protesting their inclusion of same-sex couples in popular game titles Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic.

EA has publicly stated that they will not bow to the pressure being exerted by these extremist groups, and they will not change the content of their games.

In December of 2011, Zack Ford at Think Progress wrote about the ant-gay Florida Family Association. Zack wrote:

The Florida Family Association (FFA) has attracted national attention.......Claiming a membership of 35,000 individuals, FFA’s only paid staff member is its president, David Caton, and it is not affiliated with any national organizations.

FFA is an organization devoted to manufacturing faux outrage.

Tony Perkins and FRC is an organization that I’m very familiar with - and the Southern Poverty Law Center certified them as an anti-gay hate group - so we know where they stand. It’s no surprise that FRC is involved in this campaign to threaten and discredit EA, because that’s what they do, and their bark is often more rabid than their bite.

In the story posted on the games industry website, James Brightman wrote:

"Every one of EA's games includes ESRB content descriptors so it's hard to believe anyone is surprised by the content. This isn't about protecting children, it's about political harassment," Jeff Brown, VP of corporate communications told us.

"EA has not been pressured by any groups to include LGBT characters in our games. However, we have met with LBGT groups and sponsored industry forums to discuss content and harassment of players in online forums. In short, we do put options for same-sex relationships in our games; we don't tolerate hate speech on our forums," Brown added.

We had suspected that perhaps Focus on the Family, led by James Dobson, was somehow involved, but as it turns out, many of the letters have been coming from Florida, and it's rather apparent based on this call to action for Star Wars that the Florida Family Association is directing a campaign against EA because of the same-sex relationship content.  

The Family Research Council, led by Tony Perkins, is also involved. "In a new Star Wars game, the biggest threat to the empire may be homosexual activists!" said Perkins.

This is much ado about nothing - and it’s gratifying to know that Electronic Arts will not bend to any pressure from these right wing extremist groups. Retailers like Wal-Mart and Target could learn something from EA.

On the popular technology website CNET, Dara Kerr wrote about this story yesterday. She says:

"There were no LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender] characters in any of the Star Wars movies," the Florida Family Association declared on its Web site. "So if BioWare, the maker of Star Wars video games, adds LGBT characters for kids to select as their action character it could be something like Darth RuPaula, a combination of Darth Vader, one of the most popular Star Wars characters, and RuPaul, the renown transgender cross dresser."

However, EA has said it has no plans to eliminate any of its characters or censor any of its games. EA is a wildly popular game maker, whose repertoire includes SimCity, The Simpsons, and Mass Effect. Star Wars: The Old Republic has sold more than 2 million copies. By making the decision to add same-sex characters to its online games, EA has become a pioneer in both the gaming community and the gay rights movement.

It’s surprising that these right-wing extremists are taking on a video game manufacturer during a presidential election year. They read the same news reports we all do, so they  know that Romney doesn’t stand a chance to win in November, and their chosen candidate ‘Sicko’ Santorum has left the race because he wasn't going to win the primary in his own home state of Pennsylvania. Tony Perkins and his minions must be bored and itching for a fight.

I have to cheer Electronic Arts for sticking to their guns, and flipping the bird to these right-wing anti-gay extremists.

FRC and FFA should be spending their time reading the study about anti-gay activists.

People in denial about their sexual orientation may lash out because gay targets threaten and bring this internal conflict to the forefront, the authors write.

AFA and FRC are baring their internal conflict for all the world to see. Do you want to break the news to these homo haters? 

Please support Electronic Arts for being such terrific allies.


straight talk in a queer world.





 


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