eHarmony Forced to Cater to Homosexuals
Dr. Warren had in past years defended the heterosexual structure of eHarmony as based on compatibility research that dealt only with heterosexual couples.
The settlement ended a 3-year court battle in which eHarmony was accused of discriminating against homosexuals by operating a setup that did not extend searches to include partners of the same sex. In addition to setting up the new website, the settlement requires eHarmony to advertise its new site on gay websites and include pictures of same-sex matches in the "Diversity" section of the eHarmony website.
eHarmony will also pay a settlement fee of $5,000 to the plaintiff and $50,000 in court costs. The settlement acknowledges that eHarmony was not found to have violated New Jersey law.
"Although we believed that the complaint resulted from an unfair characterization of our business, we ultimately decided it was best to settle with the Attorney General since litigation outcomes can be unpredictable," eHarmony explained in a statement, adding that they, "look forward to moving beyond this legal dispute, which has been a burden for the company."
An eHarmony lawyer also told World Net Daily that the legal battle, which began in 2005, had become financially burdensome to the company.
During the dispute last year, Chemistry.com capitalized on eHarmony's exclusivity to male-female couples. The dating site, which is configured to facilitate homosexual matches, ran an advertisement featuring a man flipping through a magazine featuring semi-nude female models. After a while he closes the magazine and declares, “Nope, still gay.” The ad then declares that he was "rejected by eHarmony." "Who knows why eHarmony has rejected over a million people looking for love?" says a woman's voice, adding that people can come to Chemistry.com “as you are.”
eHarmony said the ads were misleading and asked to have them removed, but their requests were denied.
Dr. Warren had in past years defended the heterosexual structure of eHarmony as based on compatibility research that dealt only with heterosexual couples. Warren also argued in 2005 that eHarmony was geared toward legal marriage, and therefore did not pertain to homosexual unions.
The compatibility system foundational to eHarmony was first popularized through Focus on the Family, which gave the exposure that helped launch the website to its current status as one of the most popular dating websites available.
"No one would have ever dreamed that something like this could happen here," said a MassResistance report in response to the settlement.
"This is exactly what the homosexual movement had in mind when they pushed so hard a decade ago for Civil Rights laws to include 'sexual orientation,'" it continued. "It won't end here."
Some pro-family voices are critical of the settlement decision, saying Warren kowtowed too easily to homosexual pressure.
Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth wrote a strongly-worded letter to Dr. Warren chastising him for having "sold his soul (or at least eHarmony's)."
"You could have set an example to Christians and freedom-loving Americans everywhere by fighting on principle for your company’s First Amendment right not to be bullied into submission by a politically correct state bureaucracy," said LaBarbera. "Instead, you capitulated.
"In addition to hurting the cause of Christianity, you have damaged the cause of freedom and particularly religious freedom in America. It appears that eHarmony is no longer a 'match' for Integrity."
To view the official settlement, go to: http://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases08/pr20081119a-eHarmony-SA...
To contact New Jersey Civil Rights Division:
PO Box 090
Trenton, NJ 08625-0090
New Jersey Attorney General J. Frank Vespa-Papaleo:
P.O. Box 080
Trenton, NJ 08625-0080
To contact eHarmony.com:
888 E. Walnut Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101
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