Linda Carlson, an SF Bay Area resident wanted to use eHarmony but was was unable because they do not cater to gays and lesbians. A lawsuit has now been initiated on her behalf against eHarmony.com for discriminating against gays and lesbians. According to the story, eHarmony's founder, Dr. Neil Clark Warren, is an evangelical Christian with ties to "Focus on the Family", an organization who has tried to defeat every equal rights measure ever proposed in California.
Why would anyone in the gay and lesbian community intentionally want to patronize this business? I am really uncomfortable with this lawsuit. Do I really want eHarmony to offer dating services to gays and lesbians, just to have the gay community's money support people who actively work against us? As a gay man, my personal opinion is: NO ABSOLUTELY NOT.
I'm not a lawyer, so I have no idea if eHarmony is actually breaking any laws, but it just seems to me that this is like suing a company who organizes hiking and mountain biking vacations for not being ADA compliant.
AeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20751 posts, RR: 62
Reply 2, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2757 times:
Quoting PA110 (Thread starter): I'm not a lawyer, so I have no idea if eHarmony is actually breaking any laws, but it just seems to me that this is like suing a company who organizes hiking and mountain biking vacations for not being ADA compliant.
The article implies they are breaking the law, but rather than sue, if I absolutely had to use their service I probably would have had the state go after them, if it's true:
"When she was denied access, she wrote to eHarmony explaining its anti-gay policy was discriminatory under California law but the company refused to change it, according to the lawsuit."
A friend used their service, and he said all the girls were just concerned with the size of his ... widescreen tv. But jeez, it's not like gays and lesbians are going to be holding hen or stag parties on eHarmony's website and taking it over.
Max999 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 1074 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2730 times:
Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 1): Yep, privave website, private company, they can do what they like. No different to a.net dolling out lifetime bans. Linda Carlson needs to loosen up.
Private companies have been subject to government laws and regulations for the longest of time (even anti-discrimination laws).
A blanket statement like that doesn't make sense because a case like this will boil down to the details. One detail I suspect will be juridictional issues. Anti-discrimination laws for gays/lesbians are not uniform in the US, but the website is available everywhere in the country. This lawsuit was filed locally in Los Angeles (which has the proper laws), but the website can argue, if it wanted to, that this lawsuit should be in federal court because of the Commerce Clause. Once on a federal level, gays/lesbians don't get any protection.
[Edited 2007-06-01 02:43:40]
All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal, or fattening.
Walter747 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1440 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2724 times:
Well even though it is a private company it still can be a civil law suit. http://www.match.com offers gay and lesbian singles. All they want to do is find someone who cares about them. My moms freind although not a lesbian is getting married to someone she meet on Match.com.
767noa From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 28 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2677 times:
Plain stupid. Its like a straight man trying to join a dating site for gay men, why would you do it. This breaks no California state laws on discrimination or hate. eHarmony is a private company and has the right to decide the people it caters to. If this was a government owned company then this would be illegal, but sadly it is not and Ms. Carlson should understand that.
DeltaAVL From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1893 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2654 times:
Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 9): I'm pretty sure that there are men talking to men on there arleady. The problem is only one of them knows it.
About the lawsuit - if she doesn't like eHarmony, go to another site that does cater to gays. It's not like there's any shortage of those. And definitely don't throw your money at an organization that is just going to use it to wipe out pro-gay/lesbian laws. That should be a no-brainer.
"We break, We bend, With hand in hand, When hope is gone, Just hang on." -Guster
UH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2646 times:
Why the hell would they want to exclude an entire segment of potential customers?
It sounds like poor business practice.
...But, it's their company... and they have the right to market to whoever/whatever they want. I don't see why we ought to force this company to open their services to people they're not interested in serving.
I'd really like to be part of a near by golf club... but membership is elite and you can only get in once you've been formally invited by the club's committee. What am I gonna do? Sue them because they won't accept me? Get real.
But yeah... it's kinda dumb to limit your business potential.
AeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20751 posts, RR: 62
Reply 16, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2592 times:
Quoting L-188 (Reply 14): I wouldn't it is called the free market, look at that bar in Australia that is now banning straight people.
Not entirely comparable, since the problem the bar was having was being nearly completely taken over by hen and stag parties. If eHarmony was suffering the same fate, I'd say, yeah okay, it's your website, limit it. But that's not happening here.
Gay dating websites sure get their fill of "straight-but-curious" types.
NWADC9 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4898 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (7 years 5 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2520 times:
If she wants to use eHarmony to find a spouse, she's gonna get a straight man. There are other sites out there which cater to homosexuals-use those. Boo-hoo, eHarmony doesn't support homosexual relationships. I guess that's a sure sign that she should just MOVE ON!
Flying an aeroplane with only a single propeller to keep you in the air. Can you imagine that? -Capt. Picard
Garnetpalmetto From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5413 posts, RR: 53
Reply 21, posted (7 years 5 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2491 times:
What's unbelievable here is the stance so many people are taking and I think in some cases homophobia and anti-gay sentiment are getting in the way of common sense. Were this an instance of a dating website not catering to one racial or ethnic group, I should hope that more people would be less quick to dismiss the lawsuit out of hand. eHarmony is a business engaging in interstate commerce and it can be argued that a logical extension of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would be to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation (indeed, lest we forget, the Civil Rights Act protects against discrimination based on sex as well as race). Rather than a frivolous lawsuit, I think this could be an excellent test case to explore the bounds of the Civil Rights Act. I'm not exactly optimistic for the success of such a test case, but it is, IMO, a needed test.
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
Thats an interesting stance but this is not a violation of the Civil Rights Act. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (1968, and 1991) is protection from discrimination or race, color, national origin, sex, and religion. And Ms. Carlsons statement that eHarmony's policy "is illegal under California law" is un-true and by law eHarmony has the right to decide on who it wishes to serve and according to the LA Times eHarmony its services are secluded to heterosexual relationships currently only because it has not done research on matching a homosexual couples.
767Lover From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (7 years 5 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2437 times:
Quoting 767noa (Reply 22): according to the LA Times eHarmony its services are secluded to heterosexual relationships currently only because it has not done research on matching a homosexual couples.
That is probably very true. I have never used it but friends who have say that the questionnaires are painstakingly long and detailed. I even know one person who was told that no match was available!
One thing that sets eHarmony apart from other dating sites (which are really nothing more than bulletin boards) is their matching software.
I'm all for gays and lesbians hooking up and would like them to be able to legally marry, but let's put this in perspective. This is a business set up to bring heterosexuals together for marriage (the company's marketing promotes marriage as the end result). There's nothing wrong with catering to that demographic specifically -- especially when there are many other avenues for g & l to find each other.
What's homophobic about that?
: Well gee, I guess Emirates not offering Kosher meals, when they offer special meals for nearly everyone else, doesn't make them anti-semitic then, ri
: This website is set up by the right-wing christians.
: Who the hell needs E Harmony when we have A.Net Meets?
: Have you ever been to a bar where there is a sign posted behind the bar that says something like "The management reserve the right to refuse service
: Meaning.....? You're not making a sweeping generalisation, are you? I supposed one could find evidence of ___phobia and discrimination in a lot of th
: This is one of those things that most people, including most in the gay community, at first glance just groan and think WTF? But in all fairness, it
: You know, Google is your friend: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4803877 There's lots more out there on this guy.
: What a tempest in a teacup! In eHarmony's defense, isn't this a bit like a strict vegan showing up at a steakhouse and screaming culinary discriminati
: And if the bar chose to deny service to someone just because they were black or a woman you and I both know the result, no matter what the sign says.
: Because people like her don't seem to understand the fact that the world doesn't revolve around them. There's gay websites, gay bars, there are sever
35 D L X
: Best post of the thread - bringing the conversation back into some important realities that had been missed. Yes. I've also seen bars that say "No Do
: EK offers Kosher meals on their JFK-DXB flights. Which proves what? Comparing apples and oranges.
: eHarmony just aren't including them = eHarmony is excluding gays.
: Again, being Evangelical Christian doesn't automatically mean you hate gays. Which is what the term "homophobic" has come to mean in current vernacul
: Wishful thinking here...but I hope his values include forming stable relationships for gays/lesbians through same-sex marriages.
: How so? Its a given that in today's society you cannot deny service or otherwise discriminate based solely on membership in a protected class. If its
: The thing is, I don't really care if Neil Clark Warren is pagan, athiest, christian, jewish, muslim, or hindu, it's obvious from what he's offering t
: My colleague just brought up an interesting point (she asked what I was looking at.) If it is assumed that this guy and his company are homophobic thr
: Some people have no scruples. Believe it or not, there is no gay "group think".
: So all right-wing Christians are homophobic? Some of you who keep saying this is a matter of civil rights seem to be missing the fact that datin
45 D L X
: Not bull. If you feel strongly enough, why don't you sue them? (You'll lose just like this person suing eHarmony will, but you'll be known as a great
: Gay.com is gay-oriented, but not gay-exclusive. Their personals section includes female-to-male and male-to-female hookups. Check it out yourself: ht
: How is not providing a service a source of discrimnation? If I went over to a resturant and ordered some Halal or Kosher dish knowing well that they
: I appreciate the correction, but that's really besides the point. I'm sure there are indeed gay establishments which cater only to gays. I would be k
: I've yet to run across one, but if you can find one, go right ahead and post it.
: Personally I'm no expert on the subject, but off of mind wasn't there a topic recently about some bar banning straight people? -NWA742
: Yes, to deal with the situation of straights conducting "hen" and "stag" night parties at the pub, which changed the entire character of the establis
52 D L X
: Come now, let's compare apples to apples. This is not analogous. Southwest is not discriminating against Europeans when they don't serve Europe. They
: Read what I wrote - In the example you give, no its not discrimination. But if you went into the same restaurant and you were denied service because
: And how can you prove that they do not like gays?
: Would it make a difference to you if it wasn't?
: What this thread needs is a good gay joke: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJnmkSyU-5k
: How do you prove any discrimination case? Good question but one for the lawyers.
58 D L X
: That was an interesting story. If that had been in the US, I think it would have been perfectly legal under the First Amendment right of assembly. Yo
: They are refusing service to them that they offer to others. Fair enough - If you're going to sue a dating service for not catering to gays, why not
60 D L X
: No, because they're not flying anyone, European or otherwise, to LHR. Well, most Christian organizations I know will preach to any Muslim that will l
: Oh jeez. Southwest isn't refusing service to Europeans. My lord. If a European wants to buy a ticket on Southwest, they are more than welcome to. Jus
: I tried their free personality profile on two separate occasions and I believe it took me close to 45 minutes each time. I was 0 for 2 in finding a m
: Fair enough, bad example anyway. And eHarmony allows anyone to set up free personality profiles. A vegan entering a steakhouse and ordering a steak i
64 D L X
: It's not? Before Brown, there were countless schools taht catered to Blacks. Didn't make segregation any better. (Devil's advocate here.) It's defini
: Just want to add some questions here: Isn't this discrimination to straight people who only want to go to a straight couples website? Straight couples
: As I pointed out in the example above, gay.com offers heterosexual hookups right along with homosexual hookups. I've never seen a gay dating site ref
: I thought thats what those white parties you told me about are for?
: Shhhh! LOL, don't open up that can of worms again, you scoundrel.
: BET discriminates not on who's allowed to watch, but to whom the show is geared for. If it's no, why isn't it Anyone'sET? Black history is discrimina
: All Christians are not homophobic. However this 'right-wing' thing is a different matter. It depends on how you define right-wing and how you define
: You keep repeating this, so could you explain what "benefit" that a gay-oriented site could provide to straights it doesn't already?
: Ha, I KNEW there was something wrong with him. I've always joked he had that slighty sinister, predatory smile whenver those commercials come on.....
: YES! I thought it was just me. I've heard that eHarmony is very successful financially - but I think they'd DOUBLE their business if they'd get rid o
74 D L X
: Oversimplified, but on the right track. not all discrimination is impermissible. You can't lump all forms of discrimination into the same bucket beca
: That's exactly my point - NO benefit. You keep trying to defend the existance of gay-oriented sites yet condemn eHarmony solely on the basis that the
: If you're straight, and you're interested in gay culture, gay.com offers you the same "benefit" it does to someone who's gay. I really don't understa
: Its a double edged sword. On one hand, gays and lesbians should be allowed to use such services to find potential mates.... on the other hand, if the
: Did anyone ever see an eHarmony commercial? They focus on the marriages that came about because of the website. If gays were to join the website, the
: Quoting Diamond- reply 73 Quoting Johnboy (Reply 72): Ha, I KNEW there was something wrong with him. I've always joked he had that slighty sinister, p
: I certainly have, and you know what I noticed? It seems like most of the couples featured consist of (i) one pr!ck who thinks he is God's gift to wom
: And that's the opposite of what I did. One could argue that they are also discriminatory in the sense that they dedicate their establishment to only
: Dude, get a grip and re-read what I've said. I've no interest in beating this issue into the ground with you if you can't accept what's going on. Pic
: I started this post yesterday. Since then, the news media has been all over the Castro interviewing anyone who would stop and talk. Everyone they inte
: And I'd say you're getting too fixated on that single site that I mentioned. There are others, and I realize the consequence: -NWA742
: If they don't want to offer a matching service for same-sex couples, than that's their perogative. Kind of stupid, and distasteful IMO but for god's s
: I've said this before so many times...I'm this way, and my best friend is gay. Not only that, but this is in a small town in Montana where the most c
: That's exactly what this is. It's a litmus test for Federal discrimination laws not her attempt to find her one true love on eHarmony's patented matc
: Im a right-wing Christian Anywho I still support E-Harmony. Great website. Who cares if they dont allow gay and lesbians....next thing ya know August
: I think that what this situation boils down to is whether eHarmony's focus on heterosexuals arises because of its product or because of some artificia
: Does this mean there might be more than shooting going on at the next BHM meet?
: I'd agree to this as well. They may very well argue that it's a different type of service for them to provide, that it's not a type of service of whi
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: No. This case is being tried under california law. Not federal. DAMMIT, why do people continue to believe this shit? There's no such thing as a priva
: My beef with EHarmony is I used to like the song (Everlasting Love). The real sad thing about any dating service is that it relies on the integrity of
: So she was not actually denied access to the site, but eHarmony simply didn't offer the match (presumably female+female) that she wanted? I don't see
: How so? Just because the religious community has a difference in opinion?
: I don't even understand your question here. I was responding to someone else. There is not just "a" difference of opinion within the relgious communi
: I've never looked at eHarmony, but assuming you really only have one option to input i.e. whether you are male or female, then I'm assuming the comput
: I'll hop on that bandwagon as well. ...um, you're a couple years too late on that one. Oooh boy, does this one hit close to home...!
: I'm willing to bet True will get sued next. Hunter
: If you work for a company that fires you for not being gay, will you fight against it because it is a private entity?
: I disagree with it, but I'm pretty sure in some (most?) states you can be fired for being gay.