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Gingersnap
03-31-2009, 10:32 AM
EHarmony launches gay matchmaking service

The heterosexual dating website agreed to start Compatible Partners for same-sex couples as part of the settlement of a discrimination suit.

By David Colker
8:01 PM PDT, March 30, 2009

As of today, EHarmony comes out of the closet.

The adamantly heterosexual dating website, which has accepted only male-female couples since its inception in 2000, is launching a gay matchmaking service called Compatible Partners (www.compatiblepartners.com).

But EHarmony's new relationship with the gay community is more like a shotgun wedding: The company agreed in November to start the dating service as part of a settlement with the New Jersey attorney general in the wake of a discrimination suit.

Dating site consultant Mark Brooks says Compatible Partners will be watched closely.

"This will be one of the most scrutinized products in Internet dating," said Brooks, who hasn't worked for EHarmony. "They will have to introduce an A1 product."

It's not a comfortable fit for EHarmony's founder, Neil Clark Warren, who based the original service -- which requires applicants to fill out lengthy questionnaires -- on his own practice as a psychologist.

"It's what I did for 40 years," said Warren, 74, who is retired but remains on the board. "I never had a gay couple."

Warren is the former dean of the psychology graduate school at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. Much of the early promotion of EHarmony was done by well-known figures in the evangelical community, some of whom preach against gay rights.

As part of the settlement, Pasadena-based EHarmony must make a "good-faith commitment" to promoting Compatible Partners. But the company seems as nervous as the groom at a rehearsal dinner, insisting that the only on-the-record interview be with Chief Executive Greg Waldorf. That interview was canceled when the company learned Warren had spoken with The Times.

So, will Jewish matchmaking sites be forced to cater to Christians? This seems like a horrifying precedent to me. I don't care if gays have matchmaking sites but forcing this accommodation is bad for everybody. Will vegan date boards have to offer a carnivore option? Will sites catering to 20-something clubbers be forced to have a cougar section? A seniors section?

I can see a future where all these sites go out of business because they can't support the massive lawsuits from seniors/carnivores/Christians or whatever who don't find true love in their special sections.


LA Times (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-eharmony31-2009mar31,0,7085909.story)

Odysseus
03-31-2009, 12:38 PM
So, will Jewish matchmaking sites be forced to cater to Christians? This seems like a horrifying precedent to me. I don't care if gays have matchmaking sites but forcing this accommodation is bad for everybody. Will vegan date boards have to offer a carnivore option? Will sites catering to 20-something clubbers be forced to have a cougar section? A seniors section?

I can see a future where all these sites go out of business because they can't support the massive lawsuits from seniors/carnivores/Christians or whatever who don't find true love in their special sections.

LA Times (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-eharmony31-2009mar31,0,7085909.story)

Freedom of assembly implies freedom to exclude, otherwise it's meaningless. This is the same kind of idiocy that forced the Hibernians to cancel a St. Patrick's Day Parade in NYC years ago, when the courts ordered them to let a gay contingent march in a festival devoted to a Catholic saint. The higher court overturned the order, but the damage had been done and the parade had been cancelled for the first time in over a century. Still, if they want to play this out, let them. I think that I'll do a pro-fur float for the next PETA rally and demand that they pay for it, or maybe I'll demand that the various Earth Day celebrations include an Exxon/Mobil display to counter the propaganda, all on Al Gore's dime.

CueSi
03-31-2009, 02:40 PM
This DOES make me uncomfortable.

I mean, for a long time, Eharmony didn't match cross racially. That turned me off the site (plus, ya gotta pay, and I'm broke). . .but I never thought about suing.

~QC

VWkid06
03-31-2009, 04:12 PM
i'm sure there are plenty of sites they could use on the side of that. what point did the lawsuit make? EHarmony is welcome to include or disclude whoever the hell they want. what the fuck is this world coming to when you can't evne run your own business anymore.

Gingersnap
03-31-2009, 04:52 PM
i'm sure there are plenty of sites they could use on the side of that. what point did the lawsuit make? EHarmony is welcome to include or disclude whoever the hell they want. what the fuck is this world coming to when you can't evne run your own business anymore.

So, you were living in this country over the past 10 years, right? :p

Odysseus
03-31-2009, 05:21 PM
So, you were living in this country over the past 10 years, right? :p

Especially the last two months. :eek:

hazlnut
03-31-2009, 08:46 PM
Does megimoo know about the new EHarmony Site?

I mean, considering yesterday's revelation...


Can you envision a cluster of gay Sumo going at it together !

wilbur
04-01-2009, 02:37 PM
The bit thats missing in all this is the fact that eHarmony CHOSE not to fight the suit (which I admit, was quite ridiculous)... and voluntarily settled without going to trial.

Seems to me that they were provided the perfect excuse to profit from a new market, while not getting any of the ill will from people who would have a problem with those who cater to that market.

FlaGator
04-01-2009, 02:42 PM
I believe that Eharmony is run by some who are of the Mormon faith. It light of the harassment Mormons took over the No Same-Sex Marriage Amendment in California, I wonder how Eharmony management feels about this.

Gingersnap
04-01-2009, 05:08 PM
The bit thats missing in all this is the fact that eHarmony CHOSE not to fight the suit (which I admit, was quite ridiculous)... and voluntarily settled without going to trial.

Seems to me that they were provided the perfect excuse to profit from a new market, while not getting any of the ill will from people who would have a problem with those who cater to that market.

Their management explained a few months ago that fighting the suit wasn't a financial option for them. Whether they won or lost, the sheer numbers of suits lined up against them would have ruined them financially. EHarmony has to pay for all of its legal work while the costs of the other side were picked up by pro bono lawyers. They volunteered to settle in the sense that they decided to stay in business.

In my mind this kind of thing is a lot like the college groups who try to force Christian student clubs to allow atheists in leadership positions. Eventually, enough precedents will be set and gay organizations will be forced to accommodate heterosexual members, women's groups will have to include men in power positions, and the various black (Asian, Hispanic, etc.) ethnic organizations will have to spend resources promoting other ethnicities.

This actually creates less diversity. The entire human population will have to be treated as one beige, androgynous, mixed ancestry, "interest" group with polysexual issues common to middle age. Sounds fun, doesn't it?

FlaGator
04-01-2009, 05:15 PM
Their management explained a few months ago that fighting the suit wasn't a financial option for them. Whether they won or lost, the sheer numbers of suits lined up against them would have ruined them financially. EHarmony has to pay for all of its legal work while the costs of the other side were picked up by pro bono lawyers. They volunteered to settle in the sense that they decided to stay in business.

In my mind this kind of thing is a lot like the college groups who try to force Christian student clubs to allow atheists in leadership positions. Eventually, enough precedents will be set and gay organizations will be forced to accommodate heterosexual members, women's groups will have to include men in power positions, and the various black (Asian, Hispanic, etc.) ethnic organizations will have to spend resources promoting other ethnicities.

This actually creates less diversity. The entire human population will have to be treated as one beige, androgynous, mixed ancestry, "interest" group with polysexual issues common to middle age. Sounds fun, doesn't it?

I can't wait to join NOW. I've got a few ideas and concepts for them that evolve kitchens, vacuum cleaners, washers, dryers and skimpy sleeping apparel. They will probably be very impressed with my thinking.

Odysseus
04-01-2009, 05:51 PM
The bit thats missing in all this is the fact that eHarmony CHOSE not to fight the suit (which I admit, was quite ridiculous)... and voluntarily settled without going to trial.

Seems to me that they were provided the perfect excuse to profit from a new market, while not getting any of the ill will from people who would have a problem with those who cater to that market.
You keep ignoring the fact that the state of New Jersey initiated an investigation of eHarmony that threatened to subject them to fines that could be levied regardless of the merits of the court case. That was why they decided to quit the lawsuit. Even if they won it, they'd have still been under attack by the New Jersey Civil Rights division, not to mention similar government agencies in California, and just about anywhere else that gays could get a bureaucrat to initiate an attack. This, BTW, is the model that was established by the state lawsuits against the tobacco industry, which turned out to be a cash cow for the states that participated, and the downside, if any, was the cost of filing the investigations. EHarmony didn't knuckle under because they didn't believe in their case, or out of a desire to crack a new market, they knuckled under because they would have been bankrupted by a bevy of state attacks. This was state-sanctioned extortion, pure and simple.

I can't wait to join NOW. I've got a few ideas and concepts for them that evolve kitchens, vacuum cleaners, washers, dryers and skimpy sleeping apparel. The will probably be very impressed with my thinking.
I know what you mean. I'm thinking that Code Pink could benefit from my insights on national security policy and I think that I could probably run a pretty good barbecue for PETA.

Gingersnap
04-01-2009, 05:53 PM
I can't wait to join NOW. I've got a few ideas and concepts for them that evolve kitchens, vacuum cleaners, washers, dryers and skimpy sleeping apparel. The will probably be very impressed with my thinking.

You're a diverse kind of dude. They could really benefit from a strong dose of patriarchy. I'll bet they don't have even one patriarchal guy in the entire organization - let alone the lobbying side. :D

wilbur
04-01-2009, 06:37 PM
You keep ignoring the fact that the state of New Jersey initiated an investigation of eHarmony that threatened to subject them to fines that could be levied regardless of the merits of the court case. That was why they decided to quit the lawsuit. Even if they won it, they'd have still been under attack by the New Jersey Civil Rights division, not to mention similar government agencies in California, and just about anywhere else that gays could get a bureaucrat to initiate an attack. This, BTW, is the model that was established by the state lawsuits against the tobacco industry, which turned out to be a cash cow for the states that participated, and the downside, if any, was the cost of filing the investigations. EHarmony didn't knuckle under because they didn't believe in their case, or out of a desire to crack a new market, they knuckled under because they would have been bankrupted by a bevy of state attacks. This was state-sanctioned extortion, pure and simple.


Little more than speculation & scaremongering

Gingersnap
04-01-2009, 09:49 PM
Little more than speculation & scaremongering

No, this has all been reported clearly in the media. Even now, the settlement is still not enough:

Separate Isn't Equal (http://www.socialmediaportal.com/PressReleases/2009/03/Separate-is-Not-Equal-Class-Action-Charges-EHarmony-Continues-to-Marginalize-Gays.aspx).

There are a lot of dating sites out there and a lot of them specialize in niche markets: married cheaters, observant Jews, vegetarians, Catholics, pagans, older women, swingers, rural people, etc. None of those people are interested in meeting any of the others. They sign up for a narrow dating pool because they have narrow dating parameters. Observant Jews aren't interested in wasting an evening on a gay pagan. Moral vegetarians have no interest in becoming involved with hunters or burger-eaters. And why should they?

If I was in the dating game and I wanted to use a dating site, I'd only be interested in a site that catered to heterosexual traditional Christian women who were looking for marriage or remarriage. Why would I want to weed through a large number of unsuitable men (or women) or rely on a match-making system designed for lesbian women?

It's insane.

Speedy
04-02-2009, 03:41 AM
I'm sure gay.com is all about finding a hetro partner.

FlaGator
04-02-2009, 08:31 AM
You're a diverse kind of dude. They could really benefit from a strong dose of patriarchy. I'll bet they don't have even one patriarchal guy in the entire organization - let alone the lobbying side. :D

I am the poster child for diversity!

Odysseus
04-02-2009, 12:28 PM
I am the poster child for diversity!
You can expand your diversity quotient by coming out as a lesbian. Since gender is an artifical construct, any person who prefers women must meet the criteria. :D

Little more than speculation & scaremongering
Exactly what am I speculating on? That the New Jersey DOJ initiated an investigation based on the existence of the lawsuit? That's documented, but their own admission. That these lawsuits could cost the defendent a fortune and that they will be filed in multiple jurisdictions, amounting to fifty-fold jeopardy? EHarmony is incorporated in CA, but the lawsuit and DOJ investigation took place in NJ, and there is now a lawsuit in CA, which is seeking not only injunctive relief, but "plaintiffs’ claims for damages on behalf of all gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals who have attempted to use eHarmony.com at any time from May 31, 2004 through March 1, 2009." Of course, the court noted that "such individuals would not need to demonstrate actual injury to obtain damages, but just that they visited eHarmony.com to seek a same-sex match and were unable to do so." Which means that anyone can claim that they were denied the right to hook up on eHarmony. Again, not speculation, but fact. That this was the same way that the state AGs ganged up on tobacco? Show me the differences. That we live in a nation in which the rights of freedom of association and freedom of conscience are now subordinated to whatever feel-good cause a petty bureaucrat supports and is willing to enforce his personal beliefs in support of, in lieu of actual law? That's not scaremongering, it's a fact.

VWkid06
04-03-2009, 03:41 PM
So, you were living in this country over the past 10 years, right? :p


i'm barely 21, so forgive me if i don't know about things entirely that happened when i was 11 :p

Gingersnap
04-03-2009, 04:47 PM
i'm barely 21, so forgive me if i don't know about things entirely that happened when i was 11 :p

I'll forgive you for going to crappy schools where the teacherbots failed to disclose how your liberty has been stolen over the past few years.

I'm not forgiving you for being a kid; that's totally your own fault. :D

PoliCon
04-03-2009, 05:50 PM
I'm sure gay.com is all about finding a hetro partner.

you must remember - it's about US accepting them nothing less.

Sophie
04-04-2009, 12:32 PM
Another issue making the present "tea parties" a priority!

mcintire1029
04-05-2009, 10:11 AM
I thought gay hookups were what Liberal rallies and protests were for? Unfortunatly Eharmony didnt have a conviction but a slight preferrence. They will be teaching homosexual sex ed in our elementary schools next. Just watch!

mcintire1029
04-05-2009, 10:13 AM
Amen, conservatism is no place for sissys.