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Friday, November 21, 2008

eHarmony settles lawsuit by launching same-sex matching service

From our friends as feministing.com....

Oh eHarmony, you shouldn't have! Actually, you wouldn't have if your asses weren't brought to court for discrimination.

While this should be considered a victory, it still pisses me off to no end. After the New Jersey Attorney General's Division on Civil Rights (DCR) brought eHarmony to court for their discriminatory policy that doesn't match same-sex couples on the site (not surprisingly, the online dating service has ties to Focus on the Family), eHarmony settled by agreeing to launch a same-sex matching service, Compatible Partners in 2009. eHarmony attorney Theodore B. Olson said:

"Even though we believed that the complaint resulted from an unfair characterization of our business, we ultimately decided it was best to settle this case with the Attorney General since litigation outcomes can be unpredictable. eHarmony looks forward to moving beyond this legal dispute, which has been a burden for the company, and continuing to advance its business model of serving individuals by helping them find successful, long-term relationships."

A day after the New Jersey settlement, a woman in California was ok'ed to file a class action lawsuit against the company.

Salon's Rebecca Traister conducted an interview with Christian evangelical founder Neil Clark Warren a while back where she asked him why he wouldn't include same-sex marriages in eHarmony. He first claimed there wasn't adequate research on how to match same-sex couples, then got into rhetoric about the Bible, yet followed that with a story about his best friend's daughter being gay, where he concludes: "She's a dear person to us, and a very strong spiritual person . . . And when I start seeing things like that, I think we've got to start to think about that maybe this can work."

Apparently not; this interview was three years ago. So three years and a lawsuit later, yay for eHarmony?! What also irks me is that they're creating a new site rather than integrating same-sex matches into eHarmony.com. Obviously having an online dating service just for same-sex matches is not a bad thing, but I don't doubt eHarmony decided to go through the trouble of building a whole new site rather than integration to avoid the infection o' sins of their beloved hetero online service.

With all that being said, would you use Compatible Partners once it launches?

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