Wednesday, December 17, 2008

On the E-Harmony Debacle

I know this was newsworthy weeks ago, but online dating site eHarmony is going to begin rendering its services to gay men and lesbians after settling a discrimination lawsuit.

Previously the site only offered its services to people seeking opposite-sex partners claiming that the founder had not done enough research on same-sex matchmaking and that same-sex marriage is not legal in most states. On not wanting to get into the same-sex marriage business, Neil Warren claimed "We don't really want to participate in something that's illegal." As an aside, I think that illegality argument is sort of lame, personally. Illegality, to many, connotes criminal conduct and technically it means a violation of laws. Yet, same-sex couples who hold private marriage ceremonies do not actually violate the law. The law just doesn't recognize their relationships. So, it seems a bit disingenuous to claim that one doesn't want to provide dating services to gay men and lesbians because one doesn't want to be in cahoots with the "illegal" nature of same-sex marriage. Anyway, Warren, is also a psychologist who has published 3 books through Focus on the Family. Although, for good reason, as of late Warren has been trying to distance himself from his association with Dobson's group.

I have known about eHarmony's policy for many years and have always been annoyed by it. I throw up in my mouth a little bit whenever an eHarmony commercial comes on in all of its cheesy man-and-woman-relationships-are-so-speshul glory. I think it's wrong of companies to discriminate, but given the fact that other dating sites exist that do serve gay men and lesbians, this would not be the battle I would have chosen to fought. I would have just chosen to use a different service rather than sit at home crying about how one heterosexual-marriage-focused site refused to match me with a woman. Now, I still would choose to spend my money elsewhere knowing that eHarmony's recent policy change had arisen out of a settled discrimination lawsuit.

What do you think?

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