About a month ago or so, there was a series of incidents in homosexuality-related threads in the "News of the World" forum. These incidents got the staff of Bulbagarden to rethink our views of the stance of these forums toward discussions of homosexuality, bisexuality, transgenderism, and so on.
We came to three conclusions.
The first is that, outside of maybe Nicoleta's Campaign Bus (access to that forum is limited to only those who request it and are approved by the staff), we don't want Bulbagarden to be a battlefield of the so-called "culture wars".
The second is that the time for neutrality on this issue is well behind us. We are in 2012, and it's about time to stand up and say that this is not a matter for debate. Homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism are normal and natural, and it needs to be accepted. Homophobia is wrong, morally repulsive, and it, like racism and sexism, serve only to perpetuate injustice.
The third is that we have many LGBTQ members on Bulbagarden. These members may often be subjected to the kind of hardship that the rest of us would find hard to imagine. From the fear of being outed, to the risk of attacks if they are, to the plethora of people who denounce or dismiss them in the news every day. They chose to come here, to this community, to find friends. This community should support them.
We are NOT asking every last member, or staff member, to agree with us, or argue for this point of view. Everyone is free to reach their own conclusions. What we do demand is that people respect the rules and policies we have decided on as a result of our conclusions.
1. "Debate" of LGBTQ (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning) issues.
The only forum where we will tolerate negative views of LGBTQ people (and make no mistake, they will be barely tolerated, not accepted) will be in appropriate discussions in Nicoleta's Bus. Posting that sort of view anywhere else will likely result in significant infractions, depending on the circumstances.
2. Support threads
We will welcome the positive discussion of LGBTQ issues in the support threads over in Serious Business. As the name implies, support threads provide a place for LGBTQ members to discuss their experiences without the worry of facing criticism or misunderstanding. These discussions will allow other members to express solidarity and support, perhaps to offer a helping hand (and just so we're clear, "Have you heard about this way to stop being gay" is *not* helping), or to celebrate happy moments with them. Negative views posted in those threads will be infracted (pointless post, flaming and baiting or abuse and harassement, as appropriate).
3. Nicoleta's Bus
Additional measures will be taken in the Bus to make it easier for victims of homophobia to react to it. Details will be posted in the Bus.
4. Social Groups and blogs
Social groups and blogs advocating homophobia and social groups with homophobic threads will not be tolerated.
5. Other forms of discrimination
Other forms of hatred, such as racism, and sexism, will generally be given the same treatment as above, although some topics may be altogether banned (instead of tolerated) in Nicoleta's Bus; if they are, the rules of the Bus will say so.
(Please note that this thread is not in Nicoleta's Bus. As such, outbursts against LGBTQ people here will be severely punished.)