Campaign supports same sex relationships in SWTOR

A clash over respect for gay rights has reached Star Wars the Old Republic.

In the game, characters slowly put together a crew of non-player characters for their starship. Any one of these Companions can accompany the player in the game environment and are extremely useful. I play a healer, and several of my Companions are “tanks”, strong fighters. I spend much of the inevitable game battles keeping them healthy. Couldn’t survive without them. Other players choose to be tanks themselves, and choose to use Companions who are healers.

There are a number of ways to increase the “affection” of the Companions, which in turn can lead to more experience points (xp) and sometimes side missions. These relationships can remain purely platonic, or in the case of Companions of the opposite gender, the right choices can turn them romantic, and one can even “marry” a Companion in the game.

But so far, only one of the opposite gender. However, Electronic Arts and BioWare have said they have plans to open up the possibility of same sex romances. Note that these would not be forced on the player, any more than the current opposite gender romances are forced. You would have to actively choose to go down that path. Nevertheless, conservative Christian groups are launched protests against the plans.

Towlerroad.com writes that something called the Family Research Council (designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center) claims “the biggest threat to the empire may be homosexual activists,” and EA says they’ve received thousands of hate letters decrying their decision. According to the report, EA’s Vice President of Communications Jeff Brown says, however, that they refuse to back down — and weren’t, contrary to right wing opinion, pressured by gay activists.

Famed comedian Stephen Fry has even entered the fray and has supported a petition by a gay rights group called Allout, which says it submitted 68,681 names to EA before hackers interfered with its site, forcing Allout to temporarily take it down.

The topic has been widely discussed on the game forums, with one suggested option being that in the game preferences players could opt in or out of same sex romance:

In February, then the idea was first mentioned, Conan O’Brian faked what he said was footage from SWTOR with same sex relationships:

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