EA hits back at anti-gay groups over same-sex relationships in Mass Effect, SWTOR

"This isn't about protecting children, it's about political harassment."

EA has publicly responded to a letter-writing campaign directed at the publisher by anti-gay groups complaining about the inclusion of same-sex relationship options in games like Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Corporate comms chief Jeff Brown confirmed to GamesIndustry International that it had received thousands of letters from protestors but has no plans to censor its games as a result. One such example is reproduced below.

He also dismissed the suggestion that it is forcing a homosexual agenda on children.

"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," said Brown.

Brown went on to refute some correspondents' claim that it had only included the feature in its games because of pressure from LGBT groups, and addressed allegations that it had deleted any posts discussing the issue on its forums. It has, but only in instances where hate speech was involved.

"EA has not been pressured by any groups to include LGBT characters in our games," he insisted.

"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."

The complaints appear to have been spearheaded by two separate religious groups: Florida Family Association and Family Research Council.

The Human Rights Campaign is currently organising a counter-petition backing EA's progressive stance on the issue.

"Those of us who work toward LGBT equality are pleased with the fair-minded stance EA's taken. EA should be commended for their inclusive approach that reflects the diversity of our communities," commented Michael Cole-Schwartz, the group's director of communications at Human Rights Campaign.

"It's important that companies know these protests represent a fringe interest."

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