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Open Statement from the Eldar: Elf Clan Policies and Rights
Category: Elf Clan News
Tags: marriage policy elf clan

Originally posted Sept 17, 2013

The following document has been unanimously approved by the Elf Clan Eldar and is published here in response to public drama, malicious accusations and falsehoods that have caused some of our members concern.  We trust this will make our position-- and reasons behind such-- completely clear.

 

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STATEMENT OF THE ELF CLAN ELDAR
Lately there has been a number of posts attacking Elf Clan and/or its members on certain issues regarding group policies-- most notably our group position on minors and the hotbed issue of same-gender marriage. We have already sufficiently replied to the first issue.  Herein we reply to the second.

 

OUR RESPONSE TO HATE POSTS AND FALSE CLAIMS:

    It is established history that tolerance has never been brought about through hatred and intolerance.  Calling someone "homophobic" is just as bigoted and prejudiced a statement as slurs against someone because of their sexual preference.

    This recognized:  It is not only improper, but it is against Federal law to incite public hatred against individuals  or a group based on race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual preferences or creed-- regardless of personal beliefs and preferences.  This applies from both directions.  

    No member of Inworldz has the right to attack our group or members because we decide to conduct ourselves differently from their personal beliefs, whims or agendas.  Further, such activity is in breach of the Inworldz TOS, which prohibits public defamation of individuals or groups Regardless of where hate-based activity takes place or by whom, for whatever reason, it is still wrong.

    In everyday practice, no individual or group has the right or privilege to tell another group how to conduct its group or lands.  Every region on Inworldz insists on the concept of "The Sim Owner's word is law".   That applies to Elf Clan lands as well as anywhere else.  Anyone attempting to interfere with our group who is not of our group is considerably out of line.

    These important concepts established, let us discuss the issues at hand.

 

    Statements attacking Elf Clan and its members have been posted without bothering to ask us the reasons behind our policies.  Some individuals have intentionally twisted the meanings of forum posts to promote personal agendas and inflame emotional response. 

    It is evident such defamation is a result of lack of information and even personal hatred-- as well as evident lack of interest in obtaining the truth of these matters.   Such posts have included libelous claims and direct attacks, open flaming and drama.  Most of these are based on what are basically false assumptions in addition to intentional manipulation by specific forum members.  We shall address these issues here.

 

PROHIBITIONS OF SAME-GENDER MARRIAGE

    We were asked by certain indivdiuals if Elf Clan allowed same sex marriage as a public event.  It was later discerned this was with the purpose of forcing their personal opinions on our group by starting an emotional bigotry war.

    When they were referred to the Elf Clan Charter and its prohibition against political and controversial real life issues in Elf Clan, it was charged on Inworldz forums that Elf Clan's Founder (myself) and Elf Clan itself are "bigoted and discriminatory".  Let it be known such decision was not made due to any claimed "homophobic" sentiment.  Charges of bigotry and discrimination are false and slanderous.
    The decision to prohibit same sex marriages as an official event was made unanimously by the Elf Clan Eldar , for several very good reasons:

    1) We are a family-friendly, G-rated group.  Same-sex politics do not fit into that environment.   It turns an aspect of role play into one of real-life sexual commentary and controversy and brings politics into our "no politics allowed" group and as such does not respect the Elf Clan Charter-- the core guideline of our group.  

    2) This is not a matter of homosexuality; it is a matter of sexuality, period.  The Elf Clan Charter specifies open sexuality (thereby, sexually-charged controversy) is prohibited on these lands.

    3) Our group Charter specifically forbids POLITICS, RELIGION and PUBLIC CONTROVERSY on our lands.   Same-sex marriage is a hotbed of all three.  It is a divisive element... as forum posters have proved beyond any doubt. 

    4) Same-gender marriage has no precedent in the Elven lore and theme upon which our group and lands are based.  Recently we have expanded our themes to include science fiction and steampunk, but neither of those themes include such concept as an inherent part of the genre, nor does that alter our G-RATED status, which requires all themes to stay within the sensible boundaries of the Elf Clan Charter.

    5) Regardless of personal beliefs and feelings, same-gender marriage is still illegal in the vast majority of the United States.  (See ammendment below.)  That is a fact Elf Clan opposers have chosen to ignore.  Our group shall not be expected to officially condone and portray something that is still largely illegal in this country.  However, even should such in the future become legal, that does not change or negate the other issues listed above. 

    Real life legal or illegal-- politics, controversy, sexuality and drama are neither welcome nor permitted on Elf Clan lands.  The rule is well-known:  No drama-- zero tolerance.

Regardless, whether one personally agrees with these facts or not is irrelevant to the operation of our group and does not negate our right to exercise our policies on our lands as we deem fit.  Our group policies are not dictated by the personal lifestyles, whims and beliefs of others, nor should they be.  Anyone who attempts to interfere with how we conduct our group and lands is considerably out of line.  This is a principle widely-recognized on the Inworldz platform.

  

ELF CLAN'S VIEW TOWARD BIGOTRY AND DISCRIMINATION

    Most users of virtual worlds are aware of the fact there are men who have female avatars and vice versa.  There are known homosexual and lesbian members in Elf Clan.  They are treated with the same respect as anyone else so long as they conduct themselves in a manner that is required of all members, namely: respect for the Elf Clan Charter and land ratings (G-rated lands).    In short this means:  do not openly practice sexual activities in public nor make other members uncomfortable by bringing blatant sexuality into this group. 

    "What you do in your homes is your business.  What you do in the streets is ours"... is one of Elf Clan's oldest tenets.  

TO ESTABLISH FACT

    Not once in our more-than-a-decade history has any Elf Clan Eldar published or uttered “hate-gay” sentiment or posts.  Not once have any of us promoted or condoned such sentiment, nor used any derogatory term in regard to the homosexual community, either in chat, blogs or posts.  Any member promoting bigotry or prejudice within our lands can be banned from our group.  (Note:  this works in both directions, for those who think calling someone a "homophobe" is acceptable behavior.  It is not-- and will be treated as the bigoted hate-term it was coined to be.)

    Members with same-gender real-life lifestyles own regions in our group. Their personal decisions in sexuality do not affect our dealings with them and we certainly are not discriminatory.  
    Claims to the contrary are fabrications and propaganda intended to incite hatred and promote personal agendas-- and are themselves discriminatory and hate-mongering in nature.  They are without basis in fact and reality.  Evidence indicates they originated simply because certain individuals disagree with faith-based beliefs held by other Inworldz members.  We do not tolerate hate-based activity, no matter where it originates or for what reason it is practiced.  Bashing religious people for their faith-based beliefs is viewed the same as bashing people for their sexual preferences.  There is no difference.  It is hate-mongering regardless.
    Our group has never at any time forbidden private activities on Elf Clan lands-- so long as they remained private.   The Charter does state that certain things shall not be allowed as official group events or publicly announced in group notices.  This includes not only same-sex marriage but the practice of politics, religion, the occult or any activities illegal or controversial in real life. 

    Anyone who expects Elf Clan to go against its core tenets and further-- to publicly condone controversial, highly-charged and even illegal issues in our "no real life allowed" lands, is without understanding of the fantasy / recreational purpose of our group and the purpose of the Elf Clan Charter namely: to retain dignity, honor, respect and friendship within these G-rated lands. 

 

HISTORICAL NOTE

    For a number of years marriage of any kind was restricted as Elf Clan official events as it was considered an obvious "problem area".  In Elven lore mating is forever.  It is taken very seriously.  In other groups RP "marriage" was witnessed to cause regular drama and emotionalism, a source of repeated controversy and division when couples broke up, and was often not treated honorably as such warrants-- even in RP. 

    Elf Clan marriage events of any kind were only later allowed when a number of members requested such as a function of role play.  As such, it still had to remain in harmony with the existing tenets of the Charter and was to be treated with all due honor and respect.
    Same-gender marriage has nothing to do with the Elven Fantasy theme of Elf Clan and goes beyond the basic concept of role play, dragging real life sexual controversy into this group.  It is a highly controversial, emotionally-charged subject and does not belong on our G-rated lands. 

    Therefore it was not included as an official event, any more than we would allow any other socially controversial, politically-charged activity on these family-friendly lands.  Personal feelings, beliefs and bias regarding this subject are irrelevant to the operation of our group on our lands.  In addition, to put things plainly: anyone not a member of Elf Clan has no business in this matter.
    Nevertheless some have chosen to improperly make it their business, even going so far as to falsely portray and twist statements of Elf Clan members to achieve their goals.  Such conduct is dishonest and dishonorable-- and certainly brings no respect at all to the concepts such people are trying to promote.  Bigotry and hatred have never fostered tolerance and acceptance.  This is a lesson of history, of which these individuals should be well aware.

 

OUR LANDS, OUR LAWS, OUR RIGHTS
    The Eldar long ago thoroughly considered and discussed this issue and came to unanimous decision regarding same-gender marriage as public events.  It was unanimously recognized as political in nature and real-life controversy that did not fit the Elf Clan theme in any way.

    Anyone still offended by this decision after reading the statements above is reminded that no one is forced to be a member of this group.  Members may join or leave as they please.  If one remains a member of Elf Clan they are expected to uphold the rulings and guidelines of the Elf Clan Charter and honor the G-rated, family-friendly nature of our group.

    If one is not a member of Elf Clan, our affairs and our lands is none of your business.  If someone visits our lands they are expected to conduct themselves according to our visitor guidelines-- regardless of personal beliefs and lifestyles--  and to respect the rules of our lands, as we would when visiting theirs.  If they do not deem that proper-- they are free to enjoy their virtual experience elsewhere.
    Nevertheless in this regard, in order to remove any possibility of misconception or charges of discrimination, we at this time return to our original policies.  Wedding ceremonies of any kind may no longer be presented as official Elf Clan events.  They are henceforth to be private affairs consisting of personal invitation.  In this way we are sure to be fair to all.  We are sorry that some in the gay community have forced this decision, but bigotry and intolerance tends to have negative results, no matter which direction it comes from.
    We trust this explains our position and corrects any misunderstandings in this matter.  We certainly hope this puts an end to falsified posts and propaganda regarding our group and members.

-- The Eldar of Elf Clan

 

Ammendment:   In 2015 (approximately two years after this article was published) the Supreme Court of the United States declared that states are required to issue license for and recognize same-sex marriage.  This of course does not apply to all nations but is a considerable landmark case.  This legal change recognized-- as stated above it does not alter the remainder of the Elf Clan Charter regarding open sexuality on Elf Clan lands.  The decision of the Eldar stands: all marriage ceremonies (regardless of gender) is not of group theme or benefit and thus is to be considered a private rather than official group event.

 

 

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