Regarding a recently removed thread...

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revhtree

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Hello Reef2Reef Family,

First, I want to say that anyone and everyone is welcome here. In fact, one of the main things we value at Reef2Reef is that we want to be a community that welcomes reefers of all ages, beliefs, backgrounds, experience levels, and all of the other wonderful things that make us a diverse group that comes together to celebrate our common love for marine life and enjoyment of the wonderful reef hobby. In fact, one of the reasons that R2R was even started was because we wanted to create a space that was completely family-friendly, warm, and inviting to everyone and that would unite us around our common love for reefing.

Today, we remain committed to the above stated goal. It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from, what your beliefs are, what your color, gender, nationality, or social/political views, you are welcome to be part of this community. We are happy you are here.

We have removed some recent threads because of their focus on identifications of members based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and we are saddened by the idea that this is an attempt to discriminate against any of our members. That certainly is not our goal. We realize that the nature of a person's sexual orientation/gender identity is extremely personal, and so the issue of this thread removal is also necessarily extremely sensitive. However, while we recognize the sensitive nature of this topic and we do agree that these topics are important discussions for our society, we do not feel they are best had on Reef2Reef. The intent of Reef2Reef is to be focused on saltwater reef keeping/aquaria and associated topics, and so we would prefer to avoid detailed discussion of one's personal beliefs, personal values, social issues, or topics sexual in nature.

Because we are a forum for reefers of all ages, we don't want to have threads that dive into the ins and outs of sexual orientation and gender identity since some of our youngest members aren't likely old enough to understand these issues. Additionally, as mentioned above, while there are important social issues that surround these topics (and as a staff we do see these things as important discussions for people to have), we're asking people to avoid threads and images intended to discuss/highlight these topics since these issues are highly sensitive to some (which means threads about these issues would risk people being hurt in the discussions) and those topics are not really related to reefing.

I do want to clarify that this is not meant to say that someone may not identify their gender identity or sexual orientation. So for example, members are certainly welcome to mention their significant others or talk about family events, relationship to spouses as it relates to the hobby (i.e. "my wife doesn't like how much I spend on coral"), etc. We're simply asking that we not have entire threads/discussions dedicated to this type of topic.

We should also point out that we have a similar policy in place for political and religious discussion. So while we don't mind individuals mentioning their religious views (i.e. a reefer who mentions they are Christian or atheist), we do ask that people avoid starting threads to rant or discuss these topics (i.e. a thread intended to raise religious or political questions or persuade individuals of a particular position).

We recognize that not everyone will agree with this decision, and for that we are genuinely sorry. It is not our intent to isolate anyone or make anyone feel unwelcome. However, in an attempt to maintain the unity of our community and to avoid topics that would lead to unnecessary division or discussions that may not be fitting for members of all ages, we feel this is the best decision for our community.

For those that know me, you know that I love everyone and genuinely care about everyone. I have many friends and family from all walks of life, beliefs etc. I'm deeply saddened that anyone would feel like I would try to discriminate against them in any way.

- Revhtree
 
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