Update: Blizzard has apologized! Nice to see them willing to rethink their policy and make amends.
Andrews' original posting read: "OZ [the name of her guild] is recruiting all levels � We are not 'GLBT only,' but we are 'GLBT friendly'! (guilduniverse.com/oz)" In her follow-up letter to the company, Andrews explained that there was an obvious misunderstanding and that she was not insulting anyone, but merely recruiting for a "GLBT friendly" guild.
The response from Blizzard was, "While we appreciate and understand your point of view, we do feel that the advertisement of a 'GLBT friendly' guild is very likely to result in harassment for players that may not have existed otherwise. If you will look at our policy, you will notice the suggested penalty for violating the Sexual Orientation Harassment Policy is to 'be temporarily suspended from the game.' However, as there was clearly no malicious intent on your part, this penalty was reduced to a warning."
So what, Blizzard now has a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy?
Gamer John Blatzheim, who heard of Andrews' situation, e-mailed Blizzard to express his concern of a double standard that game masters would send her a warning that she could not use "GLBT" as an advertisement to express a safe place for gay gamers after an incident a few months ago where a plague occurred within the game and players yelled in general chat, "Don't get the AIDS!"
"Many people are insulted just at the word 'homosexual' or any other word referring to sexual orientation," Blizzard responded to Blatzheim in an e-mail. "Also to discriminate against other players, such as not allowing any heterosexuals into the guild simply because of their sexual orientation, could cause extreme offense to a large percentage of our players and should be avoided."
Stonewall Champions and The Spreading Taint, two large gay guilds are currently formulating a letter they plan to submit to Blizzard requesting a more detailed explanation as to the intent of this reinterpretation and execution of the sexual harassment rule.
"We have determined that advertising sexual orientation is not appropriate for the high fantasy setting of the World of Warcraft and is therefore not permitted" was another of Blizzard's responses.
Sara Andrews has stated that she will not be renewing her World of Warcraft account due to Blizzards lack of support for a GLBT friendly environment, "It seems to be OK for general chat to be flooded with, 'That's so gay!' and 'I just got ganked! What a fag!' yet advertising for a GLBT friendly environment where we don't have to deal with such language is deemed inappropriate."
Just one more reason why you should be able to build your own server emulator and create your own rules for playing the game you want to play.