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ADXMatt
Topic Author
Posts: 520
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:07 pm

E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:18 am

http://www.topix.net/news/gay/2008/1...ony-becomes-harmonious-with-queers

It seems that a NJ Judge dismissed a discrimination lawsuit against E-Harmony when the company agreed to allow gay and lesbians to use their service.

My question is this... Why would anyone want to give this company and gay dollars? They're not doing this because they want to, they're doing it to get out of this lawsuit. Wouldn't you want to give your gay dollars to those companies that were there for us all along?


what's your feelings on this?
 
B6JFKH81
Posts: 2303
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:31 am

I have mixed feelings about this for so many different reasons.

1) Obviously, this is a private company and they can discriminate the same way a country club can discriminate who can be a member of their club. But at the same time, why would they do this when they are limiting their client base? Gay people are lookin' for love too...and I don't mean the type you find on craig's list or gay.com, I mean legitimate love.

2) Is doing this just a way to oil the squeeky wheel? Yes, it has to be. That to me also would be a red flag to not use their service. They didn't want my business before, I am not going to give it to them now because they are now providing it to avoid bad press due to court issues. Will they offer the same level of service? Who knows, they may not because of how they were backed into a corner to provide the service.

3) Obviously, gays wanted to make it a point that they wanted the service provided by this company. So ARE people going to use it? If you fought that hard and scared a company enough to make them provide the service to you...somebody should use their services otherwise what was the point of the entire taking them to court thing??

This is one of those cases where I honestly don't think there was a "winner". A company was, in essence, forced to do something they didn't want to do and maybe didn't have built into their business plan/model, and it is a bitter-sweet victory for gay people. In this case, I am so thankful that I am a gay person in a long-term relationship and don't need services like this.

~H81
 
D L X
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:35 am



Quoting B6JFKH81 (Reply 1):
Obviously, this is a private company and they can discriminate the same way a country club can discriminate who can be a member of their club.

Actually, private companies can't discriminate either. Those country clubs that didn't take blacks? Yeah -- illegal.

The real reason why gays couldn't join the service is because it is a Christian (fundamental?) service. As an "expressive organization" where Christianity (or at least Christian-like behavior) is the expression, they can disallow membership to persons who exhibit that they do not share their expression. That means, they can deny gay membership. (Unless they want to get married heterosexually.)

I'm surprised at this ruling.


These aren't my views, this is the state of our law.
 
B6JFKH81
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:46 am



Quoting D L X (Reply 2):
Actually, private companies can't discriminate either. Those country clubs that didn't take blacks? Yeah -- illegal.

The real reason why gays couldn't join the service is because it is a Christian (fundamental?) service. As an "expressive organization" where Christianity (or at least Christian-like behavior) is the expression, they can disallow membership to persons who exhibit that they do not share their expression. That means, they can deny gay membership. (Unless they want to get married heterosexually.)

I'm surprised at this ruling.


These aren't my views, this is the state of our law.

Thanks for the clarification. I never knew that this was a Christian-based thing. That does explain quite a bit!
 
NIKV69
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:51 am



Quoting D L X (Reply 2):
Those country clubs that didn't take blacks? Yeah -- illegal.

Uhhh no.

A private club can exclude anyone they want. Race, gender or creed. They are not a company BTW.

Before you jump all over the Christian thing there are just as many all Jewish clubs that exlude Christians too.


Surprised E-Harmony would exclude anyone. They are in the business of making money and excluding gay or lesbian is a stupid move.
 
travelin man
Posts: 3265
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:08 am

Oh yay. Now I can meet some 40+ single Christian woman with a penchant for cats. Fan-freaking-tastic.

I somehow doubt manhunt will be foregone because the gays are suddenly on eharmony....
 
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DocLightning
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:21 am



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 4):

Before you jump all over the Christian thing there are just as many all Jewish clubs that exlude Christians too.

My parents were members of such a country club. I have no use for such a club. I won't even go there with my mother for dinner. And I think that private companies should be permitted to discriminate. However, any such policy needs to be clearly stated.

J-Date also used to exclude gays. Now it doesn't. However, it censored pictures on gay personals to an absurd amount. I posted a picture of me in which I wasn't wearing a shirt, but only showed up to the top of my shoulders (didn't even show a nipple) and they told me it was "inappropriate." Meanwhile, my straight friends, both male and female, had been permitted to show that much skin.

My solution was to vote with my gay dollars. Gay dollars are plentiful because we're a group of men who are mostly college-educated and employed with no wives or kids. I canceled my J-Date account and wrote them a letter as to why.

But the idea of forcing a website to include gays turns my stomach. I hope E-Harmony appeals the suit and I would donate money to a legal fund to try to protect their right. I think forcing them to do this is just as bad as passing prop 8.

Religious folks have no right to force their views on us and we have no right to force ours on them.
 
MaverickM11
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:32 am



Quoting ADXMatt (Thread starter):
It seems that a NJ Judge dismissed a discrimination lawsuit against E-Harmony when the company agreed to allow gay and lesbians to use their service.

Ah, the power of the purse... Wink I've always thought gays' higher than average disposable income and education would open more doors than protests and lawsuits.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 6):
My solution was to vote with my gay dollars. Gay dollars are plentiful because we're a group of men who are mostly college-educated and employed with no wives or kids.

 checkmark   checkmark   checkmark 
 
luv2fly
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:21 am

I love when MAD TV spoofs them it is my favorite part of the show.

There are so many web sites that are gay friendly and support us why would anyone want e-harmony or for that matter to give them your gay dollars.
 
D L X
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:35 am



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 4):
Uhhh no.

A private club can exclude anyone they want. Race, gender or creed.

I'm breaking my usual "Don't reply to NIKV" rule for a moment to say, "uhh.. yes." Country clubs are not "expressive associations", so their first amendment right to assembly is limited to constitutional means.
 
ADXMatt
Topic Author
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:36 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 6):
I hope E-Harmony appeals the suit

E-Harmony agreed to allow gays in order to have the suit dismissed. They will not be appealling. They didn't want it to go to trial.

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 4):
Quoting D L X (Reply 2):
Those country clubs that didn't take blacks? Yeah -- illegal.

Uhhh no.

A private club can exclude anyone they want. Race, gender or creed. They are not a company BTW.

Before you jump all over the Christian thing there are just as many all Jewish clubs that exlude Christians too.

Yes and No.... Gays are not a protected class in most jurisdictions like Blacks, jewish etc.
in most locations a company can fire you for the sole reason of being gay.
I think in NJ they might have gays as a protected class and that was most likely the basis for the suit.
There has been a long drawn out suit in Atlanta over a country club not allowing a Lesbian couple to join as a couple. they would allow them each a single membership but not as a couple. I'm not sure how or if that was ever settled.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:51 am



Quoting ADXMatt (Reply 10):

E-Harmony agreed to allow gays in order to have the suit dismissed. They will not be appealling. They didn't want it to go to trial.

Pity. If they really felt they didn't want to do this, then they should have fought it. In this particular case, they can make a claim that offering a gay section puts a burden on them because they have to develop that entire section.

Either way, I believe that companies should not be forced to offer services to a particular clientele if doing so would force the company to offer a new service.

So, for example, a car rental company shouldn't be able to discriminate against, say, Asians and not rent to them because doing so doesn't cost them anything; just a policy change. But in this case, E-Harmony now has to develop (at significant cost) an entire new section of their website designed around same-sex relationships. And I think that is a dangerous precedent.

I'm glad this was only a settlement, which carries no force of legal precedent. Because while I think I deserve equal rights, I don't deserve special rights.

What next, forcing cruise lines to have all-gay cruises?
 
EWRCabincrew
Posts: 4323
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:02 am



Quoting ADXMatt (Thread starter):
Why would anyone want to give this company and gay dollars?

Bingo

Quoting ADXMatt (Thread starter):
Wouldn't you want to give your gay dollars to those companies that were there for us all along?

Bingo, again. Money talks.

Quoting ADXMatt (Reply 10):
most locations a company can fire you for the sole reason of being gay.

33 states have laws on their books that allow that.
 
TSS
Posts: 3738
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2006 3:52 pm

RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:12 am



Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 12):
Quoting ADXMatt (Thread starter):
Why would anyone want to give this company and gay dollars?

Bingo

Quoting ADXMatt (Thread starter):
Wouldn't you want to give your gay dollars to those companies that were there for us all along?

Bingo, again. Money talks.

Agreed and agreed. They don't want me there, I don't want to be there. Furthermore, with only a handful of gays on the site how good could one's chances be of finding "The One"?

Then again, I'm very cynical in regards to dating/matchmaker services in general. I do, however, feel that everyone should place a personal ad at least once... not because I think anyone has a ghost of a chance of finding what they're looking for out there, but because placing a personal ad will give one a very good (and often downright frightening) idea of what's out there looking for them.
 
EWRCabincrew
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:17 am



Quoting TSS (Reply 13):
Then again, I'm very cynical in regards to dating/matchmaker services in general. I do, however, feel that everyone should place a personal ad at least once... not because I think anyone has a ghost of a chance of finding what they're looking for out there, but because placing a personal ad will give one a very good (and often downright frightening) idea of what's out there looking for them.

That and someone's personal ad is only as good as how far they tell the truth.
 
TSS
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:35 am



Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 14):
That and someone's personal ad is only as good as how far they tell the truth.

I thought those were mutually exclusive terms.  Wink

Cases in point:
When someone says they're "6 feet tall" are they actually 6 feet tall or are they personal ad 6 feet tall, which is anywhere between 5'8 and 5'10?

When someone states their weight, is it their actual weight or their personal ad weight, which is generally 10-20 % lower than what their doctor's scale says?

But I digress. I don't understand why anyone was offended that E-Harmony didn't cater to gays in the first place as that was never their area of expertise, I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone would bring suit against E-Harmony to force them to accept ads from/for gays, and I'm absolutely flabbergasted that the judge in this case didn't throw the case out upon first reading.
 
EWRCabincrew
Posts: 4323
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:39 am

Quoting TSS (Reply 15):
When someone says they're "6 feet tall" are they actually 6 feet tall or are they personal ad 6 feet tall, which is anywhere between 5'8 and 5'10?

Like internet inches.  8 internet is usually 5 or 6 real.

Quoting TSS (Reply 15):
I don't understand why anyone was offended that E-Harmony didn't cater to gays in the first place as that was never their area of expertise,

I certainly wasn't offended. Why would I use a service that didn't cater to my needs? What I really hated was the fact they used that Natalie Cole song. I liked that song before E-harmony used it.

[Edited 2008-11-19 20:39:48]
 
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DocLightning
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:45 pm



Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 16):

I certainly wasn't offended. Why would I use a service that didn't cater to my needs? What I really hated was the fact they used that Natalie Cole song. I liked that song before E-harmony used it.

And why force a service to cater to your needs? If it doesn't, then find another service.

Thanks, but I'd prefer to use a gay owned-and-operated service. Or at least a service that decided to approach my market straight up front without require a lawsuit to make it happen.
 
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scbriml
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:57 pm



Quoting ADXMatt (Thread starter):
Wouldn't you want to give your gay dollars

Wait! Your money is gay as well?  faint  wink 
 
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DocLightning
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:34 pm



Quoting Scbriml (Reply 18):

Wait! Your money is gay as well? faint wink

Why that boy's as queer as a Three Dollar bill!

Gay dollars are pink, not green.

OK, I'll shut up now.
 
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johnboy
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:22 pm

From the news reports I got the impression that they were setting up a separate (but equal, i'm sure  Wink ) division for the gays.
 
NIKV69
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:40 pm



Quoting D L X (Reply 9):
I'm breaking my usual "Don't reply to NIKV" rule for a moment to say, "uhh.. yes." Country clubs are not "expressive associations", so their first amendment right to assembly is limited to constitutional means.

Uhhh No, strike two, if you want to discuss the Boy Scouts of America maybe your argument holds water but a private club on private property operating non for profit can do whatever they want and are not bound by the constitution.

Quoting ADXMatt (Reply 10):
There has been a long drawn out suit in Atlanta over a country club not allowing a Lesbian couple to join as a couple. they would allow them each a single membership but not as a couple. I'm not sure how or if that was ever settled.

This is a whole different issue, the club is not discrimating them entry to the club.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 6):
But the idea of forcing a website to include gays turns my stomach. I hope E-Harmony appeals the suit and I would donate money to a legal fund to try to protect their right. I think forcing them to do this is just as bad as passing prop 8.

Religious folks have no right to force their views on us and we have no right to force ours on them.

Nicely said, one of the best posts we have seen here in a long while!
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:40 pm



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 4):

A private club can exclude anyone they want. Race, gender or creed. They are not a company BTW.

In what nation would this be? Not the USA.

Age, race, gender, creed, and several physical (and even contagious!) disabilities are protected and cannot be discriminated against barring few circumstances (e.g., obviously, a blind and deaf septuagenarian cannot be a commercial airline pilot) by any company.
 
NIKV69
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:52 pm



Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 22):
by any company

Your not listening. A private country club is not a company. It is like your house, you have the right to exclude any person from entering for any reason. So does a country club. They are not in business and they are not a company.
 
canuckpaxguy
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:14 am



Quoting D L X (Reply 2):
The real reason why gays couldn't join the service is because it is a Christian (fundamental?) service

I had no idea that was an issue at all.

On one hand, the GLBT market was simply not their target market, period. In an interview with the CEO a few years ago (which I vaguely remember) he said that their "personality matching formula" just hasn't ever been tested with same-sex relationships, and they weren't prepared to launch a same-sex version without knowing what they were doing. That was an explanation I could accept as "fair". From a purely business perspective, "It's not our target market" would also be fair and reasonable explanation. I just don't see it this example as discrimination, particularly since there are countless same-sex dating services that don't offer services to heterosexuals looking for a match.

I can understand that, legally speaking, it may be difficult to differentiate a dating service from an exclusive country club when creating a blanket statement about what discrimination looks like; and I can appreciate how some may see this as discrimination.

At the end of the day though, I think the "gay-dollars" could have been spent better lobbying for more worthwhile, meaningful endeavours.

G
 
D L X
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:54 pm



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 21):
Quoting D L X (Reply 9):
I'm breaking my usual "Don't reply to NIKV" rule for a moment to say, "uhh.. yes." Country clubs are not "expressive associations", so their first amendment right to assembly is limited to constitutional means.

Uhhh No, strike two

This is why I have my policy. You don't know what you're talking about. But go ahead, open a country club and exclude blacks, and watch what happens.
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:20 pm



Quoting Canuckpaxguy (Reply 24):
At the end of the day though, I think the "gay-dollars" could have been spent better lobbying for more worthwhile, meaningful endeavours.

Well said, personally myself if a company does not want my gay dollars that is fine! There are a whole lot of companies that do.

IMHO - We don't need to fight all the fights, just the ones that at the end of the day matter the most and work to change our quality of life.
 
ConcordeBoy
Posts: 16852
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:19 am



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 23):

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 22):
by any company

Your not listening. A private country club is not a company. It is like your house, you have the right to exclude any person from entering for any reason. So does a country club. They are not in business and they are not a company.

I'm listening fine, I'm just disagreeing with you completely-- learn to spot the difference (and to spell "you're", while you're at it).

These organizations get away with exclusion because most of it's under-the-table, and completely intangible (thus difficult to prosecute). Show me a single Country Club with "no Jews/Blacks/Queers" in writing...
 
avek00
Posts: 3261
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:56 am

RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:55 pm



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 23):
A private country club is not a company. It is like your house, you have the right to exclude any person from entering for any reason.

That's not necessarily true.

A notional "private organization" that excludes on the basis of protected characteristics may nonetheless find itself in violation of the civil rights laws. American courts perform a multi-pronged test that may examine factors such as: (1) the genuine selectivity of members for the organization; (2) the organization’s control over its operations; (3) the history of the organization; (4) the use of the organization’s facilities by nonmembers; (5) the organization’s purpose; (6) whether the organization advertises for members; (7) whether the organization maintains a nonprofit status; and (8) the formalities observed by the organization.
 
scrubbsywg
Posts: 1097
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RE: E-Harmony To Allow Gays

Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:04 pm



Quoting TSS (Reply 15):
When someone says they're "6 feet tall" are they actually 6 feet tall or are they personal ad 6 feet tall, which is anywhere between 5'8 and 5'10?

When someone states their weight, is it their actual weight or their personal ad weight, which is generally 10-20 % lower than what their doctor's scale says?

in the book "freakonomics", there is a section of a chapter dealing with stats for online personal sites. here are some of the results:

-men and women users both typically reported they were 1 inch taller than the national average
-4% of people said they made over $200k/year, whereas fewer than 1% of typical internet users make that much
-Males generally listed their weight commensurate with the national average, but women typically said they weighed 20 lbs less than the national average.
-72% of women claimed 'above average looks'. 68% of men claimed the same
-a man who doesnt post a photo recieves only 60% of the responses of a man who posts a photo
-a woman who doesnt post a photo gets only 24% of the responses of a woman who posts a photo.


it is an interesting book. looks into the underlying causes of a lot of everyday things, like internet dating. Written by a guy who is one of the US's up and coming economists.

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