For Amazon, this isn't the first controversy to flare up over workplace diversity.
Last year, a transgender employee in Kentucky's warehouse filed a lawsuit against Amazon, claiming workplace discrimination and pay inequality. Roy Price, the former chief of Amazon Studios, also stepped down after being accused of sexual harassment.
Earlier this year, a group of Amazon shareholders demanded more diversity at the board level, proposing a new requirement to consider women and minority candidates when selecting new board members. (Amazon later agreed to the change.)
Amazon also has very little female representation in the upper ranks. As of last year, CNBC reported that just 2 out of the top 38 executives directly reporting to Amazon's three CEOs were women.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, meanwhile, has been a vocal supporter of the LGBT community in public forums. He's previously made donations in support of gay marriage, and is reported to have made gay rights a priority in the selection process for Amazon's second headquarters.
In last year's speech accepting the Human Rights Campaign's National Equality Award, Bezos said Amazon has been "committed to equality in our workplace" from the earliest days of the company, and that "every Amazonian should seek out the perspectives of others."
Some of the employees suggested in the email thread that installing security cameras in Amazon's elevators would help spy and catch the perpetrators. Others suggested a more targeted poster addressing the unacceptable behavior would have been a more productive approach. A few of them argued that Amazon's response was actually a good start to tackling a complicated issue.
Still, many employees are searching for a better answer as Amazon hasn't clearly communicated its plan on how to respond to the hatred shown towards LGBT employees.
"A clear message of 'we don't do that here' might not change the opinions of bigoted individuals," one person said. "But I would be happy with just making it clear that bad behavior won't be tolerated at work."