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Gay Video Game Players Denied Service? It Could Happen If These Two Bills Pass

Video gaymers to be banned? We examine two impending bills and what they could mean for the gaming community.

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There are two bills being discussed at this very moment which could impact us gamers in a big way. These two bills not only go against basic rights that every U.S. citizen has, but encourages discrimination. 

One of these bills is being drafted by a lobbyist in Washington D.C. The other bill needs only an approval signature from a state governor.

The first bill is what I will call the 'NFL Gay Ban'

It is proposed by lobbyist Jack Burkman who feels that somehow having gay athletes, like the recently outed college draftee Michael Sam, is the reason the NFL is going downhill. He says,

“If the NFL has no morals and no values, then Congress must find values for it”

The second bill, which is even more pressing, is Arizona's Senate Bill 1062

This bill, which has already passed through the Arizona legislature, will allow any business to deny service to gay men and women. The only thing the business needs to do, if action is brought up against it, is say that it is for “religious beliefs.” This bill is only one signature away from approval and it will be up to Gov. Jan Brewer to make the call.

http://a.espncdn.com/media/motion/2014/0210/dm_140210_ncf_nfl_michael_sam_extended_convo/dm_140210_ncf_nfl_michael_sam_extended_convo.jpg

(Michael Sam)

So how does this affect gamers?

Both of these bills allow, no, encourage the discrimination of anyone who labels themselves as gay. If the NFL bill goes through, then it will set a dangerous precedent for other sports to do the same. We could see far-reaching consequences with athletes excluded from game releases like Madden NFL just for being gay.

However, it is the Arizona bill which could cause serious civil rights issues. If the bill passes, gamers in Arizona could see a denial of service at video game stores if they are gay. Then, if more governors follow the lead of Gov. Brewer, we could see other states adopting the same policy. Can you imagine not being able to buy Titanfall just because you are gay? And what about others who are part of the LGBT + group that don’t identify as gay, but have the connotation connected to them?

Let us hope that these two bills fail. If not, we could see a step back in the wrong direction.

Originally Published Feb. 25th 2014

Featured Columnist

Gaming enthusiast. Great at many, master of none.

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Comments
  • 10
    Samuel Smith 8 months ago
    Featured Contributor
    I really have no words for this.
  • 1
    Blue_7453 8 months ago
    It seems as if no one, especially in the media, have actually read these bills. Go read the Arizona bill - it's only 2 pages long. It doesn't even mention gay people or homosexuality in it, despite being dubbed the "anti-gay bill." What a fuss over nothing.
  • 1
    Mongol_7607 8 months ago
    Personally you could take all the gay guys and put them on a boat and sink it. They are nothin but a genetic sesspool and a waste to our society. There is a reason we arent a sexual. Silly fagots dicks are for chicks. Quit crying about your rights and do us all a favor and kill yourselves.
  • 60
    Venisia Gonzalez 8 months ago
    Featured Columnist
    STOP THE DISCRIMINATION NOW AMERICA! I'M SO DISGUSTED AND ASHAMED OF PEOPLE!
  • 20
    Brian Skahan 8 months ago
    Featured Contributor
    This seems to be a bit of a stretch more than anything else. Yeah, businesses refusing service for things as arbitrary as orientation is a jerk move, but I don't really see the whole slippery slope argument of "if they don't let you play football, soon they'll come for your games." Even if places like Gamestop refused gay customers, which I doubt they would, even if they could tell, what's to stop people from ordering online? Also, the Titanfall comparison is kinda weird, since hiding your online identity is easy to do in games, if you're careful.
  • 60
    Fathoms_4209 8 months ago
    Featured Columnist
    I agree. I'm not sure I'm seeing the downward slope correlation here.
  • 1
    Avrys 8 months ago
    We've already been down this road with Jim Crow laws. If you're not able to see a slippery slope argument then you're just not paying attention to history.
  • 41
    Destrolyn.Bechgeddig 8 months ago
    Featured Columnist
    ^
  • 60
    Fathoms_4209 8 months ago
    Featured Columnist
    As I understand it, any business has the right to refuse service to anyone, and they don't even have to provide a reason.

    If that's the case, I don't even get the point of the bill. Unless it's saying that too many businesses are facing lawsuits at the hands of gay individuals, who claim they were denied service because of their sexual orientation. And trust me, right now, there are QUITE a few such lawsuits, especially on the employee side (i.e., prospective job hunters suing a company because they think they weren't hired because they were gay).

    Either way, the bill doesn't sound like a civil rights issue to me. Sounds like it's just reinforcing any business's right to refuse service to anyone.
  • 65
    Katy Hollingsworth 8 months ago
    Former Staff Editor
    I think it's more about making a religious point than a business one. I think problems arise when someone refuses to work with a gay person, or when a company like Hobby Lobby or Chick Fil A refuses to hire a gay person based on religious beliefs (often coined as discrimination).

    To be honest... These companies have the right to do that, especially since they're very widely known as Christian companies. We can't fight for equal rights for only one subset of people and ignore the rights of everyone else.

    Kids have a right to not play with each other on the playground.
  • 41
    Destrolyn.Bechgeddig 8 months ago
    Featured Columnist
    "The bill doesn't sound like a civil rights issue to me" Are you KIDDING ME!? It's the same as a business saying they refuse to serve black or Jewish people. If that's not a civil rights issues, then I guess we should tell Dr. King that he was barking up the wrong tree.

    If you're providing a public and secular service, then sexuality cannot be a reason to refuse services. In the UK, this has been enshrined through common law after some B&B owners refused to let a gay couple sleep in the double room they booked. This went all the way to the Supreme Court, and the gay couple won. And quite rightly so.

    Business have the right to refuse service, but it has to be a damn good reason and not one that infringes on human rights.
  • 41
    Destrolyn.Bechgeddig 8 months ago
    Featured Columnist
    "often coined as discrimination"

    Sorry Katy, it IS discrimination. It's out-rightly illegal to do that in the UK, and human resources have to monitor candidates race, religious beliefs, gender, marital status, and sexuality to ensure that this doesn't happen.

    Just because a company has Christian values, does not mean they're allowed to impose them through secular services. Unless Chick Fil A starts giving out rosaries and "Hail Mary"s with every milkshake, then whilst the company are allowed to have an opinion of a religious ilk, they have no right to refuse LGBT persons service or employment. It's kind of against human rights.

    The only exception I can get behind is when going for the job of say a priest or pastor etc. And even then, some churches make exceptions. I can't see how that measures up to someone putting a chicken fillet between two pieces of bread, and for that type of role, why someone's sexuality is even relevant! Just like the colour of their skin...
  • 49
    Corey Kirk aka xTHEFIZZx 8 months ago
    Featured Columnist
    I can see where the argument can be made that a church or religious company, which deals with people spiritual needs, are able to deny something to a certain group. However, companies like Chic fil a or Hobby Lobby are public, secular companies that are providing a service. There is no reason to deny someone service other than misconduct and public endangerment.

    Private companies, whatever, that is up to the owner I guess. But, If we allow public companies to deny service to gays, what is to stop them from denying service to blacks, transgenders, jews, muslims, or even chrisitans. What if I walk into an Indian restaurant and I am denied service just because I am white and a Christian? What if my black friends are denied service because they are black? The issue goes WAY beyond just the gay and lesbian groups. This issue extends to every group.
  • 60
    Fathoms_4209 8 months ago
    Featured Columnist
    Destrolyn: Don't freak out.

    A person's personal life shouldn't ever be relevant for any form of employment. Nobody is disagreeing with you. The point is that a business has the right to refuse goods and services to anyone, that's all.

    Apparently, what you want is to force all businesses to cater equally to everyone on earth. Not only is it unrealistic, it's exceedingly dangerous...business owners already face a gauntlet of red tape and legislation that have a negative impact on their business.

    You're operating on the assumption that every single person who claims to not have been hired for a personal reason is correct. That indeed, the company didn't hire them for that purpose, so we need to take action to stop it. In the real world of business, this is almost never the case, primarily BECAUSE employers are petrified of having to deal with such lawsuits.

    Business has the right to refuse service and no, you don't have to know the reason.
    Last edited 8 months ago
  • 60
    Fathoms_4209 8 months ago
    Featured Columnist
    There should be no social "groups" in business. There are buyers and sellers, employers and employees, and that's it. That's the way it should be but unfortunately, it isn't...we've once again over-complicated a very simple system.
  • 65
    Katy Hollingsworth 8 months ago
    Former Staff Editor
    So the story behind what prompted all of this, apparently, is that a gay couple sought out a photographer and a banker for their wedding--both the photographer and the banker refused service because the couple was gay. So I may have misunderstood the bit about hiring.

    However, most photography companies are not publically traded and are owned by one or two people. If that person/people have religious beliefs against gay marriage, suing them because they won't photograph your gay wedding is a pretty shitty thing in and of itself to do. I don't like that this couple can't just find another photographer.

    Not sure about the banker--it could have been a big bank, or a small local chain.
  • 1
    Avrys 8 months ago
    there are 6 admonishments of homosexuality in the bible and there are 362 admonishments of heterosexuality in the bible. The people who put these bills are so blatantly cherry picking their arguments that this could be nothing more than ignorance and hate wrapped up in the name of jesus by hateful people. This is something I find to be disgusting.

    You forget one thing: this country was founded on freedom of religion, but by that same coin it is founded on freedom from religious persecution. Sure, you can deny services to anyone you want, but that doesn't mean you don't need to have a good reason for it, if you do not have a good reason for it (and looking gay is NOT a good enough reason for it) then you should face the legal ramifications of this. Jim crow laws are dangerous, and they are a civil rights issue because these types of laws are meant to have the government condone or at least be complicit in the hatred and discrimination of a specific group. They breed fear and ignorance and anger, and they create dangerous environments for those being persecuted in everyday situations that are normally supposed to be safe.

    You're operating on the assumption that the law is not able to figure out whether a person bringing lawsuit to a company for unlawful hiring practices is incapable of finding justice. If THIS is the problem, then making it easier to discriminate against others is NOT the solution.

    I like that you say there should be no social groups in business, only buyers and sellers and employers and employees. I think that's what we all want. I don't want to walk into a store minding my own business, with money as good as anyone else, and be harassed for something that is no one's business but mine, I want to buy my game and leave without being made to feel unsafe.
  • 41
    Destrolyn.Bechgeddig 8 months ago
    Featured Columnist
    You DO have the right to know the reason, it's actually law in the UK that should be provided with a reason should you be refused service. And that reason has to be a damned good one, and not one of discrimination.

    Yes, I do want to make all business cater equally. Why is that a bad thing? Shall we go back to putting blacks at separate lunch counters because integrating them is too much of an administration headache? Red tape is a governance issue, not an equality one. If, as a business, you're not prepared to handle legislation, then you should't be running a business. It's a pain, yes, but it's a poor excuse to shirk off equality issues.

    And I'll freak out as much as I like when cretins like you have the audacity to state that this isn't a civil rights issue to the point I find offensive. It's hideously small minded and arrogant.
  • 41
    Destrolyn.Bechgeddig 8 months ago
    Featured Columnist
    Privately or publicly owned, if the photographer is offering a public service, then religious beliefs have no grounds to refuse a secular service. Religious texts have been used to discriminate against interracial marriages in the past. If the same photographer refused to photograph an interracial marriage, then I suppose the couple involved wouldn't be doing a "shitty thing" by suing them?

    If you're going to offer a public and secular service/product, then you must acknowledge that your personal views or beliefs cannot be allowed to affect how you treat customers. The photographer can continue to have a low opinion of homosexuals, they have a right to it. But they can't use it to deny service.

    I suppose Rosa Parks could have just waited for "another bus" instead of standing up to staying in that front seat. The couple have every right to combat this type of discrimination. Just ignoring it and going elsewhere just gives arrogant people like that photographer free reign to practise their prejudice without being challenged. Given the modern history and continuing bullshit that the LGBT community are still having to fight, I don't blame them.
  • 12
    Cortalia 8 months ago
    Contributor
    Sometimes I'm glad I'm Canadian where anyone can marry anyone, as long as you both watch hockey.

    Jokes aside, this just seems like grand homophobia. Many sports have had gay athletes for over a decade now, what makes this case so special? As long as everyone behaves appropriately in the locker room and on the field then what does it matter, I mean it would be a different story if gay athletes were making sexual remarks, or doing inappropriate touching, stuff like that, but I don't have a memory of anything like that hitting major news headlines (not saying that it hasn't I'm not the most avid newsreader after all).

    I just don't see how you can deny someone service just because their gay, I know some gay people, their really nice people and if you ever feel uncomfortable with a subject, or just about anything and you say something they'll do their best to accommodate. Theirs been times they've hopped out of a line up and used a different cashier because the one they went to was obviously uncomfortable serving them.

    This isn't always the case but at least with the gays, both guys and girls its more or less been that way, they know some people are uncomfortable with their lifestyle, but that doesn't mean we can't all get along.

    As for the religious viewpoint, Maybe I'm more understanding of the gay community because I have a completely non standard "religion" ... its not so much a religion as just a set of spiritual beliefs. But I've had to find a middle ground with the part of my family that's Jehovah witness, and co-workers that are very christian, and yes I've found that some people take their religion very seriously and can be outright inflexible borderline on discriminatory but even so I think this is going too far.

    If you'll respect me I'll respect you.
  • 49
    Corey Kirk aka xTHEFIZZx 8 months ago
    Featured Columnist
    Exactly, I'm not gay and label myself as a Christian, but that is no excuse to accept these kinds of bills. Denying someone service based on discrimination is just plain wrong.
  • 41
    Coatedpolecat 8 months ago
    Featured Correspondent
    I think either Kansas or Kentucky just passed the "gay ban" as well.

    I won't even begin to describe how much these bill upset me, but hopefully it doesn't gain anymore traction.
  • 60
    Amanda Wallace 8 months ago
    Associate Editor
    As a Kentuckian, not us! That was Kansas.