EA, Microsoft, and Zynga Oppose Defense of Marriage Act

| 28 Feb 2013 15:00
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No other game companies signed a brief calling for DOMA's repeal.

Folks on gaming forums see Electronic Arts, Microsoft, and Zynga as punching bags just as often as purveyors of entertainment, but you've got to give credit where credit is due. 278 companies recently signed an amicus curiae urging the United States government to repeal 1996's Defense of Marriage Act. Singling out EA, Microsoft, and Zynga may not make much sense initially, but as it turns out, these were the only three gaming companies that signed the brief. If the brief achieves its desired effect, crossing state lines will become much easier for married same-sex couples in the United States.

The amicus cites both moral and practical reasons for opposing the Act. "[The Defense of Marriage Act] puts us, as employers, to unnecessary cost and administrative complexity," the brief reads, "and regardless of our business or professional judgment forces us to treat one class of our lawfully married employees differently than another, when our success depends upon the welfare and morale of all employees." Apart from the three aforementioned companies, heavy hitters like Morgan Stanley, Facebook, Twitter, Starbucks, and Walt Disney threw their weight against DOMA.

Signed into law by former president Bill Clinton, the Defense of Marriage Act defines marriage at a federal level as a union of one man and one woman. While this in no way compromises the rights of individual states to marry same-sex couples, it can make traveling across state lines extremely difficult. A same-sex couple that gets married in one state and moves to another state that does not recognize such a marriage could lose all of the legal benefits of marriage, including tax breaks, Social Security benefits, and power of attorney.

While the amicus cites chiefly business concerns, EA, Microsoft, and Zynga have still made a firm gesture in support of equal rights for same-sex couples, and by extension, the larger LGBT community. If this doesn't work out, hopefully more gaming companies will join in on the next amicus curiae.

Source: Scribd via GameSpot

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Lieju:

Nicolaus99:
3 of the most abusive, demonized gaming companies desperate for some - any - good PR, pander to the LBGT's with this offering which has nothing to do with their despised business practices.

Bonus hilarity for people insisting anti-homo sentiment is always some kind of religious doctrine. Contempt for disgusting sexual perversion is very widespread. Polygamy. Bestiality. Sexual Scatology. Pornographic snuff films. Pedophilia. May as well team up with the North American Man Boy Love Association. You can exchange high fives. Then wash your hands.

Public tolerance for one perversion or another shifts with time based on the definition of obscenity which is just a widely held cultural opinion. Enough people share the same opinion, they make laws about it. Maybe enough will change their minds and decide X perversion really isn't so bad or vice versa. In 1880 the Age of Consent in most states was 10. 7 in Delaware. Make of that what you will.

However, there are no arguments against gay-marriage that hold any water, and don't amount just to 'my god doesn't like it'.

Whether you consider something a 'perversion' or not, it's not a good enough reason to use law to either outlaw it or make those people's lives more difficult. For example, most people probably think sexual scatology is icky, but it's legal in most countries, and if it isn't it should be, because it hurts no-one, and the government doesn't have the right to judge what goes on between consenting adults, where no-one even gets hurt.

There are laws against murder, so there's laws against snuff films, pedophilia and bestiality (or at least the abuse of children and animals) are outlawed because those who have no power need to be protected.

Why would the law treat homosexual people differently than heterosexuals? Who does it protect? Or is it really a good idea to base your laws on what's 'icky'?

It all comes down to obscenity in the form of group opinion. Let's go with pedophilia for example. What changed between 1880 and the present that 7 to 10 years old became sexually unacceptable? Sure, today that's horrible, hurrah for that but what's the reason behind it? Surely they did not simply wake up one day and declare some divine epiphany in raising the Age of Consent.

Nope. Shifting social standards prodded along by countless life influencing factors. Gay marriage seeks legitimacy. Recognition. Respect. The legal expectation thereof to the degree that those who would refuse to grant such would face fines, loss of property, loss of rights and even imprisonment as a breach of the overall social contract. Those opposed to gay marriage feel it undeserving of legitimacy because they see it as a disgusting sexual perversion and would no more honor/respect such a marriage than one between a grown man and his 7 year old daughter. That they would suffer under force of law for that standard of decency is utterly abhorrent to them. They don't care what vile perversion you're up to but draw the line at you demanding they respect and honor the practice as equal to their own hetero marriages.

The whole shifting social standard thing features prominently here because even the most strident homophobes would likely agree that the father/7 year old daughter marriage is "less acceptable" than the gay marriage. It's just a matter of degrees that shift over time in either direction.

And now comes the 5+ year knock about as the right-wingers try to make the attack on the DOMA into a bigger thing than it is. No, gay marriage isn't an attack on religion. Neither is it forcing people to do anything, in fact it does the opposite.

Not to spark up anti-Americanism, especially a "nation vs nation" flame war, and a religious argument but a Western country that uses religious reasons to settle debate? I believe America may be one of the very few countries, if not the only one, who is in that mode of thinking.

V da Mighty Taco:

Quiet Stranger:
I think one of the FB people said it best "If you drag a person's past sins into everything they do, you will see nothing but monsters" or something like that.

For whatever reason they did it, it's still a good thing! Good on these people!

EDIT: Fixed error

Wow, what a fucking quote. I'm seriously going to have to put that one on my list of important quotes to live by. I have to ask though - who's FB? Facebook?

On topic: Kudos to EA and Zynga here. I don't care that this is likely nothing more than a PR stunt, anything that helps people and fights hatred / intolerance is good in my book. Doesn't mean that I'll be giving a rat's ass about their games or forgetting about their track record with eating devs / stealing games, but combating inequality is substantially more important. Still, I don't think that the government should have anything to do with marriage in general (separation of church and state springs to mind, and marriage is a religious institution), but as long as they are they might as well not be discriminatory about it.

Yeah FaceBook, sorry I get lazy with that one

MagunBFP:

I did notice that the one "perversion" Lieju included but you didn't mention is Polygamy... does that mean you're in favour of Polygamy? And if not I challenge you to give one good arguement against it that can't be used to argue against gay marriage.

I didn't mention polygamy because I felt it would have made the post too long and even more off-topic.
I have no issue with polyamorous relationships, and as long as no-one is deceived, it should not be illegal, at least.
And the big issue in cultures that tend to have polygamy is sexism; it's okay for men to have several wives, but not the other way around. If it exists, it needs to be equal.

But, as for it being legal practise, we'd need to define what it is and what complications rise from it.
For example, let's say a man marries two women. Are those two women then married to each other and should receive the same benefits? Or can those women then be married to some other person, and if they do, is the first man married to that person? What if one partner divorces, what happens to the property and children? how many people can be included in the marriage?

Gay marriage is no different from hetero-sexual marriage, structure-wise.

But polygamy would work differently legally, and it would pose new problems. It doesn't mean it shouldn't exist, but that anyone who advocates it would have to first define what kind of arrangement they are advocating, and how they wish for it to work.

MagunBFP:

Fun Fact for Lieju... in 1880 the average life expectancy in America was roughly half what it is today, so that along with social conditions and the expectations of women had alot to do with age of consent. Give anything context and you'll likely find that it's not as incredible as imagined.

Generally girls started menstruating later, though, than these days.

But women were not expected to grow up and become adults the same way men were, they never had the same rights, their 'career' was just to get a man and have kids, so usually they were married off earlier.

I can't remember the source right now, but I was reading this stuff by some learned guy in Middle ages how you should marry your wife as young as possible so you can raise her yourself to be the kind of wife you want. The extension of the idea that the husband replaces the father as the woman's guardian.

Anyway, what was your point?

Lieju:

Nicolaus99:
3 of the most abusive, demonized gaming companies desperate for some - any - good PR, pander to the LBGT's with this offering which has nothing to do with their despised business practices.

Bonus hilarity for people insisting anti-homo sentiment is always some kind of religious doctrine. Contempt for disgusting sexual perversion is very widespread. Polygamy. Bestiality. Sexual Scatology. Pornographic snuff films. Pedophilia. May as well team up with the North American Man Boy Love Association. You can exchange high fives. Then wash your hands.

Public tolerance for one perversion or another shifts with time based on the definition of obscenity which is just a widely held cultural opinion. Enough people share the same opinion, they make laws about it. Maybe enough will change their minds and decide X perversion really isn't so bad or vice versa. In 1880 the Age of Consent in most states was 10. 7 in Delaware. Make of that what you will.

However, there are no arguments against gay-marriage that hold any water, and don't amount just to 'my god doesn't like it'.

Whether you consider something a 'perversion' or not, it's not a good enough reason to use law to either outlaw it or make those people's lives more difficult. For example, most people probably think sexual scatology is icky, but it's legal in most countries, and if it isn't it should be, because it hurts no-one, and the government doesn't have the right to judge what goes on between consenting adults, where no-one even gets hurt.

There are laws against murder, so there's laws against snuff films, pedophilia and bestiality (or at least the abuse of children and animals) are outlawed because those who have no power need to be protected.

Why would the law treat homosexual people differently than heterosexuals? Who does it protect? Or is it really a good idea to base your laws on what's 'icky'?

I did notice that the one "perversion" Lieju included but you didn't mention is Polygamy... does that mean you're in favour of Polygamy? And if not I challenge you to give one good arguement against it that can't be used to argue against gay marriage.

Fun Fact for Lieju... in 1880 the average life expectancy in America was roughly half what it is today, so that along with social conditions and the expectations of women had alot to do with age of consent. Give anything context and you'll likely find that it's not as incredible as imagined.

OT: So it's a PR move, but it's still the right move and unlike any other game companies that refused to sign the brief these 3 had the balls to accept that while they'll lose some support by people against gay marriage its worth it to support equal rights.

Thinly veiled PR move go!

I mean it's good that the community is getting support I suppose...but I can't get this image of three kids writing on the blackboard at the front of the room after class, finishing and going 'Okay, can we go home now?'.

Now waiting for angry replies, getting ignored and so forth.

So they are pro gay marriage... great.

This doesn't change the fact they are scummy money grabbing thieves.

Nicolaus99:
3 of the most abusive, demonized gaming companies desperate for some - any - good PR, pander to the LBGT's with this offering which has nothing to do with their despised business practices.

Bonus hilarity for people insisting anti-homo sentiment is always some kind of religious doctrine. Contempt for disgusting sexual perversion is very widespread. Polygamy. Bestiality. Sexual Scatology. Pornographic snuff films. Pedophilia. May as well team up with the North American Man Boy Love Association. You can exchange high fives. Then wash your hands.

Public tolerance for one perversion or another shifts with time based on the definition of obscenity which is just a widely held cultural opinion. Enough people share the same opinion, they make laws about it. Maybe enough will change their minds and decide X perversion really isn't so bad or vice versa. In 1880 the Age of Consent in most states was 10. 7 in Delaware. Make of that what you will.

However, there are no arguments against gay-marriage that hold any water, and don't amount just to 'my god doesn't like it'.

Whether you consider something a 'perversion' or not, it's not a good enough reason to use law to either outlaw it or make those people's lives more difficult. For example, most people probably think sexual scatology is icky, but it's legal in most countries, and if it isn't it should be, because it hurts no-one, and the government doesn't have the right to judge what goes on between consenting adults, where no-one even gets hurt.

There are laws against murder, so there's laws against snuff films, pedophilia and bestiality (or at least the abuse of children and animals) are outlawed because those who have no power need to be protected.

Why would the law treat homosexual people differently than heterosexuals? Who does it protect? Or is it really a good idea to base your laws on what's 'icky'?

I have to wonder if had companies like Valve or Obsidian signed this, whether people would be just as dismissive and apathetic.

I'm gonna lean towards no. In fact, I think people would be singing their praises from the rooftops for 'taking a stand for equality'.

Long story short, these companies made a motion to oppose an obviously stupid law, while the more favoured ones on this site did not. Quit making excuses for them just because you hate the former's business practices.

Mr.K.:
What the fuck do companies have to do with this... does your whole legal system really only run on money or something.

what, you didnt knew that in the free land of america it is moeny that makes the laws?

Quiet Stranger:
I think one of the FB people said it best "If you drag a person's past sins into everything they do, you will see nothing but monsters" or something like that.

For whatever reason they did it, it's still a good thing! Good on these people!

EDIT: Fixed error

Wow, what a fucking quote. I'm seriously going to have to put that one on my list of important quotes to live by. I have to ask though - who's FB? Facebook?

On topic: Kudos to EA and Zynga here. I don't care that this is likely nothing more than a PR stunt, anything that helps people and fights hatred / intolerance is good in my book. Doesn't mean that I'll be giving a rat's ass about their games or forgetting about their track record with eating devs / stealing games, but combating inequality is substantially more important. Still, I don't think that the government should have anything to do with marriage in general (separation of church and state springs to mind, and marriage is a religious institution), but as long as they are they might as well not be discriminatory about it.

...These companies did something good?

I'm at a loss as to what to make of this. Make no mistake, I still don't like any of them. But... yay for doing a good thing? I guess I ought to celebrate that. :)

But EA is still evil!

While it is good that they did so. Why do we care? Should we be upset at the companies that didn't sign it? They are video game companies. Shouldn't they be more concerned with, you know, making video games?

Adam Jensen:
Good move. Still not buying a $60 game with microtransactions, though.

Why do you have to have such extreme standards?

/EA PR rep

This is pure publicity on a subject they feel will win them points, maybe a increase in their own stock price.

Hell yeah! Thank you EA, Microsoft, and Zynga!

And yeah, to those saying that this is a bad thing... sigh. Just... sigh.

Edit: Wow. Really people? I've added four of you to my ignore list. I am seriously disgusted right now.

I don't give two fucks if it was a PR stunt. They did a Good Thing. End of discussion.

It always saddens me to see stuff like this. People have really lost touch with their sense of morality these days. Companies too now, it seems.

Quiet Stranger:
I think one of the FB people said it best "If you drag a person's past sins into everything they do, you will see nothing but monsters" or something like that.

For whatever reason they did it, it's still a good thing! Good on these people!

EDIT: Fixed error

It seems nice until you realize they are still condemning homosexuality as somehow harmful, which it is not.

rvdm88:
Strange that VALVe isn't part of this...

Valve makes video games, why should they get involved in politics?

Entertainment industry is always fighting for equal rights. After all, they don't want to alienate people from their products. Just look at Hollywood for an example of equal rights advocation.

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