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eHarmony Decides to Play Matchmaker to Gay Couples

A settlement has been reached in the case of Eric McKinley, a gay man from New Jersey, who filed a discrimination suit against eHarmony Inc. when the site refused to accept his same-sex personal ad and the online dating site has agreed to accept gay couples. Beginning in 2009, gays and lesbians can join all the desperate straight folk hoping that the site’s patented “love of your life” algorithms will find them the man or woman of their homosexual dreams.

Neil Clark Warren, founder and owner of the site had previously come up with all sorts of fun excuses to exclude gay singles, the most popular being that the site was focused on finding a partner for life, but since most states didn’t allow gay marriage, there was no point.

Chemistry.com, a rival site, poked fun of eHarmony with ads featuring gay guys who were rejected from the site. The terms of the settlement relieves Warren of any personal responsibility and gives the company til March 31st of next year to start accepting gay applicants.

The question remains: Who wants to get hitched via homophobic matchmaker?

By:           Japhy Grant
On:           Nov 19, 2008
Tagged: , , ,

  • 92 Comments
    • Joe Moag
      Joe Moag

      Great! Now I can find some uptight pseudo-closeted self-hating fag for a date. It’s easier than going to a Log Cabin Republican get together…

      Nov 19, 2008 at 1:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller
      Charles J. Mueller

      :-)

      Nov 19, 2008 at 1:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anarchos
      Anarchos

      Yeah, regardless of this, they remain a Christian/faith-based organization, don’t they? No thanks.

      Nov 19, 2008 at 1:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777
      fredo777

      Eff them. They had their chance.

      Nov 19, 2008 at 1:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      I guess it is better than Manhunt where one can see guys with no apparent shame over their homemade porno spreads. You know the type- ass in the air, greased up and leaving personality to the imagination. Wait- I just had a great idea– why don’t we suggest a merger between Manhunt and eHarmony. ManHarmony. GreasedFistHarmony.

      Nov 19, 2008 at 2:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Distingué Traces
      Distingué Traces

      Boo to them. Those phobes are totally going to deliberately set us up with subtly incompatible people.

      Nov 19, 2008 at 2:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ask ena
      ask ena

      @Distingué Traces:
      …and your point is…

      Nov 19, 2008 at 2:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anthony in Nashville
      Anthony in Nashville

      ManHarmony is an excellent name, you should get a trademark on that!

      Nov 19, 2008 at 2:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChicagoJimmy
      ChicagoJimmy

      I never understood the anger with this one. Is there an inclusive alternative? If we can’t find love using eHarmony, are we being denied access to love? If there are no gay men registered there, why would I?

      Do we protest straight bars because we got drunk, spent a lot of money, but didn’t find a hook-up? Do we protest Lane Bryant because they only sell plus-sized women’s wear? I don’t see hoards of bears, hungry for new clothing suing Lane Bryant.

      Different businesses cater to different people. If they don’t want our money why would we care?

      Nov 19, 2008 at 3:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChicagoJimmy
      ChicagoJimmy

      Okay, the last question I posed is a little dumb. I understand why we would care. No one likes to be left out, but wouldn’t it be better to just make fun of them and move on?

      Nov 19, 2008 at 3:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • oneGoodLove Frankie
      oneGoodLove Frankie

      Hello Qweerty Community.

      There already is a gay and lesbian eHarmony-like site called oneGoodLove.com. As Founder & President, I launched the website for this very reason in 2007.

      I used to work at Match.com and they along with Chemistry.com do nothing but window-dress their websites for our Community. Nothing changes after the first few pages on the site. Now eHarmony will do the same exact thing…. “window dress”.

      Check out the article on The Advocate at http://www.advocate.com/news_detail_ektid66529.asp where you can find out more information on the real story.

      Good luck in your search for your OneGoodLove!

      Hugs, Frankie

      Nov 19, 2008 at 3:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John (yet another John)
      John (yet another John)

      I think the point is a failure to accommodate. Under NJ law you can’t discriminate against gays. Even if it is a service or product not many gays will use, we can no longer stand idly by and say nothing. If they offer a service to residents of NJ, but refuse to offer them to gay people they have violated NJ law. They have a choice, don’t do business in NJ or provide their services to everyone. Who cares if not a single gay man or woman uses their services? The point is to end discrimination/differentiation of gay people. We fought long and hard to be protected in NJ and must be vigilant in protecting what has been won. Now, in Alabama. . . .

      Nov 19, 2008 at 3:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe Tracy
      Joe Tracy

      I wonder if the implications are going to be wider than just eHarmony. For example, if complaints are filed in New Jersey against many of the Christian online dating services that do heterosexual matchmaking only, will they also be forced to change the way they operate or will “religious freedom” trump that? It makes for an interesting discussion altogether.

      We have published the actual terms of the settlement at http://www.onlinedatingmagazine.com/industry/legal/eharmonygaylesbiansettlement.html . This includes eHarmony having to pay the person who filed the complaint $5,000 and give him a year’s free membership. The first 10,000 users of the new service will also get free memberships.

      Sincerely,

      Joe Tracy, Publisher
      Online Dating Magazine
      http://www.onlinedatingmagazine.com

      Nov 19, 2008 at 4:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChicagoJimmy
      ChicagoJimmy

      @John (yet another John):

      So are women’s clothing stores in New Jersey discriminating against men for not selling men’s clothing? Are Christian bookstores in New Jersey discriminating because they don’t sell copies of the Koran?

      They are selling a product I don’t want. A straight dating service. Okay, I’ll move on to someone who does want my money. Are they discriminating because they have a bad business model?

      Nov 19, 2008 at 5:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ryan
      Ryan

      Well, the women’s clothing stores are only discriminating if they don’t let men buy those clothes (and trust me, bears can be drag queens too). Christian bookstores are only discriminating if they don’t let Muslims buy a Bible there.

      Sure, they might be selling a product you don’t want, but you should still have the option to buy it. eHarmony was refusing to allow gay people to open accounts simply by virtue of their being gay. That’s discrimination, plain and simple.

      Nov 19, 2008 at 5:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChicagoJimmy
      ChicagoJimmy

      @Ryan:

      What prevents me (a gay man) from creating an account at eHarmony and attempting to find a woman to date? That isn’t what I would want, but I could do it. Same with men purchasing women’s clothing. Bears certainly could buy clothing from Lane Bryant (although when I think of fabulous full-bodied drag queens, Lane Bryant doesn’t come to mind), but would they want what they’re selling? Just like Muslims or Jews could go in the Christian bookstore and purchase the King James version of the bible, but would they want it?

      Nov 19, 2008 at 5:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ryan
      Ryan

      Well, maybe a better analogy would be the women’s clothing store refusing to let you try on their frocks because you’re a guy… telling you, instead, that “their products weren’t made for you.” That’s what eHarmony did by forcing all their male customers to be matched up with female customers and vice versa. I would argue that that is definitely discrimination, in away that a bookstore choosing which books to sell is not. I’m still not sure that eHarmony is ever to be forgiven for their anti-gay ways, but they shouldn’t be allowed to continue their claim that gay unions aren’t long-term, stable commitments.

      Nov 19, 2008 at 6:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • flea
      flea

      hey Jimmy,
      the argument you make – that b/c gay men can look for a woman it isn’t discriminatory – is the exact, precise, word-for-word argument every opponent of interracial marriage or gay marriage. are you a closeted straight?

      Nov 19, 2008 at 6:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • flea
      flea

      hey Jimmy,
      sorry for the typo, my sentence should have said: “…argument every opponent of interracial marriage or gay marriage has made.”

      Nov 19, 2008 at 6:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      Sorry, I have to agree with Jimmy. This was a waste of a lawsuit that solves nothing. The business should have the right to serve who they want. We have many other options to date. You don’t like their site? Don’t use it. Tell your friends not to use it. Simple as that.

      You should all ask yourselves this. If you wanted to start up a business that catered to gay dating, do you think you should be forced to also cater to straight people? Sorry, but I think that decision should be left up to me. I don’t need the government having it’s hand in the matter. We need government OUT of our lives. Not in it.

      Flea, you cannot compare this to marriage. One is a governmental law the other is a private business. Two very separate entities that do not share, nor should they, the same boundaries.

      Nov 19, 2008 at 7:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jasper flat
      jasper flat

      eHarmony sucks less than before. But not enough less to deserve our business. Dear eHarmony: Chapter 11 is in your future, u heard it here first.

      Nov 19, 2008 at 10:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chuck
      Chuck

      There was always something that bothered me about an overly happy old fart on a comercial with some lame ’70s song in the background.

      Now we know why. Naff, lame, pathetic. Do we also have permission to now buy tract lighting and K Mart curtains for our mud hut ranch house in Paramus?

      Nov 20, 2008 at 12:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pragmatist
      Pragmatist

      I was never a fan of eHarmony, but I do think it should have the right to operate according to whatever faith-based criteria it wwants, given the personal nature of the service. I’m disturbed somewhat by the prospect of forcing inclusion in this area using legal threat.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 4:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      @Pragmatist:

      Somewhat disturbed? Everyone in here should be seriously afraid of things like this. Whether you agree with e-Harmony or not, they had the freedom of choice taken AWAY from them. This is NUTS!

      The existence of e-harmony in no way prevents any of us from finding love. That’s the one thing that should be signaling to ALL of us that this is scary. The NJ law that made this decision possible needs to either be repealed or altered so citizens are not losing their rights.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 9:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Kevin – so the racially segregated lunch counters are OK with you since the business should be able to serve who they want? Get real.

      The law says they cannot discriminate – PERIOD… it doesn’t matter if we don’t want the service….

      Nov 20, 2008 at 9:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rowen
      Rowen

      My problem with eHarmony was that it took me a while, and I had to set up a profile before I could figure out that they did not match gay couples. The only thing I think they did was a form of false advertising, at least to me. Not enough for me to sue, but there ya go.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 10:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChicagoJimmy
      ChicagoJimmy

      @Ryan:

      I recall a case in the southwest where a landscaping company refused service to potential clients because they were gay. That is discrimination. Being gay doesn’t have anything to do with landscaping.

      @flea:

      No, I’m not in any closets. Happily gay. But I disagree with your notion that this situation equates to marriage. The government gives out marriage licenses and shouldn’t discriminate against loving couples that want to join in. That is much different than a business making a choice about who their customer base is in relation to the product or service they sell.

      @Jaroslaw:

      Again, lunch is something that everyone enjoys and doesn’t have anything do to with one’s race.

      Should we sue gynecologists when they refuse to make appointments with men? Isn’t that sexual discrimination?

      Nov 20, 2008 at 10:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      @Jaroslaw:

      Guess what, the law is stupid! The law in Jersey that caused this needs to be revised or completely taken away. Just because something is law doesn’t mean it’s correct. Shocking notion, huh?

      E-Harmony doesn’t say gay people can’t use the website, it just doesn’t offer them a service that they want. Again, this is COMPLETELY different from a government’s role. A government has to equally serve ALL of it’s citizens. A private business should not have to serve every patron. That should be left up to the business. Let the free market determine whether a business will survive because of it’s decisions. Not the government! Get them OUT of our lives. Stat!

      Nov 20, 2008 at 10:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe Moag
      Joe Moag

      I hate to rain on the confusion parade of all you wannabe libertarians that think you understand some fundamental difference between government, business and equal protection, but the government – including NJ – have had the right to get involved in all manner of private enterprise since the Constitution, and its Commerce Clause, was ratified.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 10:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      BTW, Jaroslaw, the segregation you speak of was coming from the governmental level. Research Jim Crow laws. This is why it was wrong. The government was failing to equally serve all of it’s citizens.

      Do you think Lucille Roberts should be forced to accept men as members of their gym or do you think they have a right to a business model that caters to women who prefer to workout only with other women?

      Nov 20, 2008 at 10:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      @Joe Moag:

      There’s no rain happening, Joe, ratification of a constitution doesn’t mean it was a good choice. The law is stupid. The court, in this specific case, ruled correctly in terms of the law. It’s the law itself that needs to be changed.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 10:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Kevin & others – you’re probably at least partially right – I am aware of Jim Crow laws but the majority’s White populations’ prejudice certainly didn’t need a law to allow them to segregate lunch counters, since there were no civil rights laws at that time. Murder was illegal too, as well as burning of Churches and everything else that happened to ensure White dominance.

      Small minds such as yours tend to see everything in Black & White (and I don’t mean racially) when real life is much more complicated. You ask if a woman’s gym should be required to accept male applicants. I say it is not that simple. There was a college issue about just that thing and the justification for female only blocks of time was to accomodate Muslim women. I’m not saying we shouldn’t respect the religious preferences of Muslims or anyone else, but where do we draw the line? It seems unworkable at a public university or private one for that matter to try to accomodate every religious and personal tenet.

      Ultimately, what is the answer? I don’t know. But I DO know that an average person with common sense knows that Gays are discriminated against, a disliked and often hated minority group and THAT is why businesses tend to discriminate. Which is why we have anti-discrimination laws to begin with.

      I know Black people from my youth, who are now dead, that couldn’t buy ink to run their printing presses in the south. They had to drive several times a year to Ohio or Michigan to buy ink. You are the one who said businesses should be able to decide who they want to serve. And don’t tell me about Jim Crow again – all the company would have to say to the (Black) customer is “the product you requested is out of stock.”

      Nov 20, 2008 at 11:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      So to briefly ask which I failed to do above, why is it okay for businesses to discriminate? And is it ok to not sell ink to Black printers as in my last example?

      Nov 20, 2008 at 11:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      I’ll tell you exactly where the line should be drawn. Food, employment, housing, education, healthcare. Do I feel people should be discriminated against in those realms? No. Dating websites? Not by a long shot. Government completely overstepping its boundaries. And a pointless lawsuit clogging up our courts which, no doubt, managed to use plenty of taxpayer money. I hope this doofus-without-a-date in Jersey is proud of himself.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 11:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      Answer my Lucille Roberts question first and then I’ll be happy to answer yours. They do not provide a service to men. Is that ok?

      Restaurants can also refuse to serve people that are not properly dressed. Is that ok?

      Nov 20, 2008 at 11:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      So you’re saying its okay for the business to discriminate with the ink.

      Well, (a) who appointed you God to decide anti-discrimination only applies to Food, employment, housing, education and medical? (b) do you really think that if people are free to hate and discriminate (legally) under your scenario, they will get equal food, housing, employment, education and medical?

      On a certain level, I understand your point. There were some Christian printers who didn’t want to print Gay wedding announcements because it violated their religious beliefs. I don’t recall if they won or lost their court fight but the printer’s position ignores several things.

      1. printing the announcements does not signify approval of homosexual weddings

      2. do they investigate everything they print ? IE, is the person requesting printing an drug addict, ever been to prison, does he or she pay their child support etc.?

      3. In light of #2 where does it end? You didn’t answer WHY it is in general ok for businesses to discriminate (and I’m not talking about the obvious thorny question of the man in the women’s gym class). Just in general. ????

      Nov 20, 2008 at 11:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChicagoJimmy
      ChicagoJimmy

      @Jaroslaw:

      The way I’m looking at it, the business isn’t discriminating if the product or service is somehow directly related to the “special attribute” which places someone is a distinct group.

      To use your example, no, it would not be OK to selectively choose who to sell ink to based on race, since race has nothing to do with printers ink. I don’t see that as analogous to eHarmony though.

      What if there were a store that sells African related art and memorabilia. Should I be offended because they don’t sell anything that is reflective of my racial background? No, they aren’t discriminating, they are just selling products that (in general) only a specific racial group would be interested in purchasing. What about a store that sells t-shirts that say “white power,” confederate flags, and shotgun racks? I’m guessing they would be catering to a specific racial group. They might be bigots and idiots, and their store might go out of business, but it’s their right to market to a specific group of people. Now, if a black person really wanted to go in and purchase a confederate flag, and they wouldn’t sell him one, that would be discrimination.

      Same thing with eHarmony. Nothing prevents me from logging in and purchasing the service they sell (straight coupling). Only if they prevented me from doing so would it be discrimination.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 11:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChicagoJimmy
      ChicagoJimmy

      @Jaroslaw:

      Another good example. Printing products have nothing to do with someone’s race, sexual orientation, gender, etc. They would be discriminating because they CHOSE not to sell their product to someone.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 11:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChicagoJimmy
      ChicagoJimmy

      The difference is what they choose. Are they choosing what product or service to sell or are they choosing what customers to sell that product or service to? In my mind, the former is a business decision, the latter is discrimination.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 11:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Chicago Jimmy – I don’t know the exact legal particulars about e-harmony, but they are selling a DATING service. It is not their job to determine who dates who. In case you didn’t know, the SCOTUS ruled homosexual activity is not illegal anymore….

      That is not the same thing as an African store selling African themed merchandise.

      See my example about the wedding invitations.

      So, even if eharmony is a “Christian” service, who determines who is in good standing, religiously?

      We really don’t want to go down this road of who is worthy, who fits in, who is liked or popular, approved etc. Like I admitted, there will be not so easy questions like the gym membership, but in general, businesses offering services need to keep their personal, religious and political biases out of it.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 11:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChicagoJimmy
      ChicagoJimmy

      @Jaroslaw:

      I simply don’t see it the same way. I think eHarmony is selling a STRAIGHT dating service. That’s fine with me. I don’t care their reasoning for it, I don’t want to be in a straight relationship, their aren’t any other gay men their waiting for me so why would I want their service?

      I agree with your point about the wedding invites. Printing ink on paper has nothing to do with my sexual orientation, and they shouldn’t deny me a service based on that.

      eHarmony isn’t denying me service either. They just aren’t selling a service that caters to me.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 11:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChicagoJimmy
      ChicagoJimmy

      Obviously I’m confused about the words “there” and “their” – sorry.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 11:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      Who appointed me God? Such a silly statement. I’ve listed areas of life where I feel government should be involved because they are areas of necessity. I didn’t realize this made me God.

      The problem is the statement “is it ok.” There are two sides to that statment. One is the ethical, the other is the lawful. Do I think it’s ethical not to sell ink to someone because they are black? No. Of course not. That’s racist. Do I think the law should be involved, however? This is where we get into a tricky situation that even I will admit I don’t have figured out completely. To me, it’s based on “compelling interest.” Emphasis on “compelling.” Does the state have a right to encroach on the rights of a business? In terms of life essentials, it very much does. If we discriminate in areas of healthcare, employment, etc, the state will have insane problems on it’s hands. There is, for that reason, a compelling interest to regulate aspects of these businesses. And sure, once you use the phrase “compelling interest” you again get into all sorts of gray areas. Anyone can make the argument that something is of compelling interest to the state. But a dating website? Completely, 100%, hands down, BONKERS!

      Nov 20, 2008 at 11:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      And, uh, actually it is EXACTLY e-harmonie’s job to determine who dates who. That’s the entire basis of their company!!!!!! It pairs up people IT feels are a match. It doesn’t feel two men are a match. Pretty stupid business if you ask me but I certainly am not going to sue them because of it. I live in an amazing country where, if I can’t find a dating website that believes in gay relationships, I can start my own. Yay freedom!

      Nov 20, 2008 at 12:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777
      fredo777

      I think this is much ado about nothing + agree somewhat with C-Jimmy on this one.

      When NJ-area McDonald’s stop serving customers because they’re gay, I’ll start painting picket signs. If a site wants to cater to gay singles, they shouldn’t be required to alter the service or target market based on the courts intervening to include a hetero date-finding option, or vice versa.

      If someone hetero wanted to join my gay-centric dating service, he/she could do so, but I wouldn’t want to be forced to alter the service itself as a result. We “allow” hetero posters here, but what if a court decided it was discrimination to not have equally as much news that was catered to hetero individuals on Queerty? We might have to do something about that name, too.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 12:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bubba
      Bubba

      You guys don’t get it, do you? eHarmony didn’t “decide” to do anything. They were forced. Some witless asshole who couldn’t find a date to save his life, and with a chip on his shoulder over what he thinks “ought” to be “equality” got his knickers in a not, and sued because they were not meeting his demands. Facing huge legal bills, and an uncertain outcome in the People’s Republic of New Jersey, they settled. they were forced. What the hell happened to the right to property and freedom of association?

      eHarmony has every right to not offer services to gays, or any other group for that matter. If gays feel there is a place for a better dating service than some of the place mentioned above, why don’t they get off their asses, stop complaining about how a PRIVATE business concern owes them something, and start their own business.

      Oh, I know why, it would be too hard. Much easier to play the down trodden, benighted, and agrieved victim and get the gument to force em.

      This is whole story is pathetic.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 1:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller
      Charles J. Mueller

      @ChicagoJimmy: The ansser to the question you posed, is the fact that Lane Bryant caters mainly to women. Most men, with a few exceptions, would not be interested in shopping there.

      Likewise, a straight bar caters to heterosexual men looking for women to make contact with. While there are some gays who like to cruise straight men, the majority of us would prefer to go to a gay bar. And, conversely, would you really want a bunch of homophobic straight huys hanging over your shoulder while you’re trying to pick up a trick at the bar?

      Online dating services? Ah, now that’s another matter. Romance (and a piece of ass) is something both str8s and gays are looking for and is not exclusive to either group. Denying people access to a dating service on the basis of their sexual orientation is discriminatory, no matter how you look at it.

      It is precisely this separate but equal mentality that keeps gays and str8s segregated and supports the ignorance and misinformation of what we are all about.

      For several years during the 80s I visited with friends in Spain who had a business in Marbella on the Costa del Sol. Spain was still a dictatorship during that period.

      Nevertheless, my hosts took me to a number of bars and discos, not necessarily gay or straight, but for the most part mixed. Men danced with men on the dance floor amidst straight couples who loked in our direction and politely smiled at us, as gay men stood at the bar and socialized (and cruised) with straight men. It made no never-mind to anyone in the bar. Everyone was there for a good time, and that was all that mattered.

      Perhaps the time has come to America for such a humanistic, live and let live approach to life?
      Or, do we want to remain in our little enclaves, ghettos and self-made prisons where we feel more secure and immune to being assimilated into society at large?

      Personally, I would much prefer to be referred by my str8 and gay neighbors as Chuck, the nice gentleman who lives next door, as opposed to having some bitchy gay trol living in the ghetto referring to me me as, “Oh, you mean the tired, wrinkled, old queen who lives next door to me?” lol

      Nov 20, 2008 at 3:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller
      Charles J. Mueller

      @Kevin: I am trying very hard to understand where you are coming from Obviously, you are from the Ayn Rand school of capitalism, a place I once dwelt in before the collapse of AIG, Lehman Bros., et al.

      While Ms Rand espoused a lasse faire attitude with respect to the running of a business, the Republican Party has demonstrated to us, admirably, what happens when all government regulations are removed and American businesses are allowed to do whatever they like.

      Power, in the hands of any group of people, whether it be the Church, Government or Corporate America corrupts totally and we are seeing the proof of that daily in our media.

      If we, the taxpaying citizens of this country sit idly by and allow any person or group of persons to exercise discrimination, in any shape, manner or form, then we are sadly lax in exercising the principles and responsibilities of maintaining a republic that is fair and equitable to all of it’s citizens.

      Without the intervention of government, segregation would still be a reality at Woolworth lunch counters; women would not have the right to vote and black people would still have to drink from their own designated water fountains, sit at the back of the bus and attend “separate but equal” schools. Forget about buying ink. That was a minor inconvenience compared to the foregoing.

      A business caters to the public. Dictionary.com defines “public” in the following manner:

      1. of, pertaining to, or affecting a population or a community as a whole: public funds; a public nuisance.
      2. done, made, acting, etc., for the community as a whole: public prosecution.
      3. open to all persons: a public meeting.
      4. of, pertaining to, or being in the service of a community or nation, esp. as a government officer: a public official.
      5. maintained at the public expense and under public control: a public library; a public road.
      6. generally known: The fact became public.
      7. familiar to the public; prominent: public figures.
      8. open to the view of all; existing or conducted in public: a public dispute.
      9. pertaining or devoted to the welfare or well-being of the community: public spirit.
      10. of or pertaining to all humankind; universal.
      –noun
      11. the people constituting a community, state, or nation.
      12. a particular group of people with a common interest, aim, etc.: the book-buying public.

      The last definition of “public” does, indeed, make specific reference to a particular group of people with a common interest. Note, however, that this common interest does not, and should not, give permission to cater only to that specific group of people or condone excluding anyone whose interests do not coincide with the common interest indicated.

      For that reason, even you, as a gay man, can walk into any Barnes & Noble or Borders Book store in America and peruse any of the merchandise that they offer for sale. You may not legally be barred from entering any of their stores, even if you chose to purchase nothing, based on your color, sex, religion, political affiliation or sexual preference. Period. No further discussion required.

      I can’t make a clearer argument than that against exclusion and discrimination, whatever particular name, excuse, explanation or reason we assign to it it.

      I rest my case.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChicagoJimmy
      ChicagoJimmy

      @Charles J. Mueller:

      Charles, I am not advocating for seperate but equal anything. Your experience in Spain sounds like a wonderful and positive one. I would welcome inclusiveness in all things, and like you don’t wish to necessarily be defined by my sexual orientation or live in some exclusive gay ghetto.

      However eloquent your post, I simply don’t see the difference between Lane Bryant and the eHarmony straight dating service. I could walk into Lane Bryant today and purchase some lovely plus-sized ladies clothing. I could also sign up at eHarmony and look for a potential female that might be interested in dating me.

      I simply don’t want either of those services. Should Lane Bryant cater to my specific needs as a man in need of men’s clothing? No. No more than eHarmony should change their business practices to cater to my specific desire to find a gay man.

      While looking for a piece of ass may be universal, straight men are looking for something different than gay men and eHarmony is simply catering to that specific need.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 4:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777
      fredo777

      @ChicagoJimmy:

      Ditto.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 4:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChicagoJimmy
      ChicagoJimmy

      @fredo777:

      Thanks Fredo, you and I seem to agree on a lot. I thought of another example: Porn.

      I’ve been to shops that only have straight porn. Now everyone wants to get off, and who doesn’t love porn? Should I have sued those folks because they didn’t carry the specific genre of porn that suits my desires? I could have purchased some man-on-lady porn, they wouldn’t have asked my sexual orientation.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 5:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      @Charles J. Mueller:

      Chuck, should a broadway play opening a new musical about the life of (insert any female historical figure) be allowed to only hire women? Should an airline be allowed to tell a disabled person that they can’t sit in the exit row? Should e-harmony be allowed to turn away muslims for their christian based dating website? And, yet again, should Lucille Roberts be allowed to turn away men and have an all vag gym?

      Nov 20, 2008 at 5:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller
      Charles J. Mueller

      @Kevin:

      I don’t get the point of your questions?

      They ring like “Do you beat your wife (boyfriend) often?

      !) Would a play about the life of a female historical figure take place in a world void of men?

      2) A disabled person would, presumably be seated in a wheelchair. Why would they insist on being seated in the exit row?

      3) Why should a Muslim be turned away from eHarmony, simply because his religious faith is not based on Christianity? Religion should have nothing to do with running a dating service. Separation of church and state. Remember?

      4) Exercise benefits both sexes equally. Why should members of both sexes not have equal access to a gym? Are we going to apply seperate but equal thinking to gyms now as well?

      Your questions are baited and therefore flawed.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 6:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      @Charles J. Mueller:

      Flawed?

      The production of a play IS allowed by law to only hire a female for the part. A disabled person CANNOT sit in an exit row because they cannot assist during an emergency. Lucille Roberts DOES exist. What is the bait? I’m showing you true life examples of discrimination and I want you to explain to me why they are wrong or should be changed. There is no trickery in my questions. I’m simply asking you to think and reason.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 6:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller
      Charles J. Mueller

      @Kevin:

      Did you know that there was a time when Jews were not allowed to enter country clubs or golf courses because of their religion? Most of them were Christian, you know?

      And, did you know that there was a time when women were not allowed into men’s bars and private clubs? Today, that sort of thing would be referred to as being sexist and misogynistic.

      I could spend the next hour giving you similar instances, but I think you get the point.

      Despite the Religious Right’s resistance to “redefining marriage”, I think that we can safely agree that the definition of many cherished institutions (discriminatory) have been and will continue to be challenged as they should be.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 6:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      Chuck, you could make yourself a ton of money if you sue Lucille Roberts. You’d never have to work again.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 6:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ryan W.
      Ryan W.

      Can’t this guy find a different service to use? I voted against prop 8 (i.e. I voted in favor of gay marriage in California) , but if gay marriage is legalized we’re going to get a lot more garbage like this which makes me cautious.

      Private individuals should have the same right to free association that gays want, to associate or not associate with who they please.

      Or maybe we should say that gay people are being sexist for refusing to date members of the opposite sex? Standards like that are clearly insane when the situation is reversed.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 9:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller
      Charles J. Mueller

      @Kevin:

      I have no problem with the hiring of a female to portray the life story of a female. That is as it should be. I am simply not interested in seeing a man in drag playing the part of a woman. lol

      However, I do not see how this relates to eHarmony discriminating against gay patronage. The hiring practices of a Broadway show cast is a big leap from barring certain groups ofpeople from obtaining a service being offered to the general public at a fee. While discrimination in hiring practices is certainly an issue (ENDA) it’s not the subject at hand. We are comparing apples to oranges here.

      Likewise with the disabled person. There is absolutely no discrimination issue here. This is simply a sensible and necessary requirement to assure the safety of all the passengers on board. No one is being denied access to a service being offered to the public. The disabled passenger has the same flight privileges made available to him/her, as any other passenger on the plane. Again, we are comparing apples to oranges.

      I will also stick to my guns on the dating service issue for a Muslim or member of any other religious group. Unless eHarmony has a clearly stated policy that they will only allow Christian people to avail themselves of their service, and frankly, I don’t know if they could legally get away with ther either, then refusing their services to anyone but a Christian, would clearly be discrimination and definite grounds for a lawsuit.

      Personally, I would never waste my time with a dating service who refuses to do business with me because I am gay, simply because I fully realize that I am not going to get the best results from people who are that uptight about the sexual sexual preferences of their clients. Like Ryan and several others on this blog, I too would simply move on.

      The Lucille Robert all female gym? That’s a slippery eel. Yes, it does, indeed, exist. But then, so did exclusively male bars/clubs and Christian only golf ranges and country clubs at one time. One could argue that the comfort level of the customers makes baring male customers ok, but that argument didn’t hold much water with the women in bars and clubs issue either and was washed away.

      I will, however, concede that there are many instances where sensibility super cedes political correctness and does not in any way suggest blatant discrimination. For example, I would not argue that a Jewish bakery be required to sell Italian Canollis; a Japanese sushi restaurant be required to offer hot pastrami on rye or that a Hungarian restaurant must offer Lasagna to it’s clientele or face a possible lawsuit.

      I would argue discrimination, however, if a Jewish restaurant open to the public refused to serve me because of my religious difference. I would argue discrimination if a Japanese Sushi Restaurant refused to serve me because I am white and I would argue discrimination if a Hungarian Restaurant refused to serve me because I do not speak Hungarian.

      About a year ago, when I was still blogging on Gay.com, there was a clear-cut case of discrimination that also created a big ado with the gay community in which two gay men who had just purchased a house together in a small town in East Bumfuck or some such place, I forget where, hired the services of a local landscaping firm. After an inspection of the property, the price for their services were agreed upon, a contract was signed and a check deposit was accepted by the landscaping firm.

      Several days later, the two gay couple received a letter from the landscaping firm in which their deposit check was returned, stating that they would not be able to fulfill the contract.

      The reason given? Here’s the link to the “fuck off” letter the gay couple received from the business owners.

      http://www.queerty.com/queer/news/an-antigay-co-grows-in-houston-20061019.php

      This is the text of a blog that picked up the fray that ensued.

      “One of the things that I find really interesting about all of this is that what’s happening to Garden Guy is an expression of public outrage, not a campaign against them.

      If a business announced “We don’t work for black people” or “We don’t work for Jews,” the reaction of the community would be outrage. I would not have expected the kind of outrage we’ve seen when the object of discrimination is gay people. So I’ve been very surprised by how many people have gotten very angry when they heard about this – and it’s not just gay people.

      I think most businesses recognize that there are kinds of discrimination that the community will not tolerate; a racist business owner realizes that while he or she might want to avoid having certain people as customers, that policy had better be quiet and subtly carried out, or there will be some very bad publicity. It’s interesting that people who feel this way about gay people assume that they can just say it – and even more interesting that the reaction from the public is so negative.

      The fact is, most polls show that the average American finds anti-gay discrimination offensive, and that’s what we’re seeing here. Those who want to hang on the that form of bigotry may be learning that it’s not a popular position anymore.

      Nov 21, 2008 at 12:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      Hiring only a female actress discriminates against 50% of the population. 50%!!! That’s pretty substantial. But the law allows it. Why? Because the law understands that it is a job whose nature requires that of a woman. And yes, telling a disabled person they can’t sit somewhere is discrimination. Problem is, you always see that word as something negative so you find it impossible to use it in these situations. But you’d be wrong. It IS discrimination. It’s just acceptable discrimination because of reasoning. And in these cases, the public should, in my humble opinion, STFU. A group of christians would like to promote dating amongst themselves. Is that really such a horrible thing? So they set up a website designed to help this cause. By the very nature of the group, the pairing of individuals has to be a man and a woman. I don’t agree with that but I respect their opinion. I have at least 100 other dumb dating sites ready, willing and far more able to help me out if I should so choose. With so many options in the world, why would I be a big loser and sue this one company? Am I really not free? Is the world suffering because I can’t use this one website? Are people in peril? No, they’re not. Not by a long shot. So if I sue this site, it’s either because I have nothing better to do or I’m hungry for money. In which case, I would be the ugly person and not this website. Chuck, I don’t walk around this world with some big chip on my shoulder about having access to every possible thing there is. If I saw a really cool bar and they said to me, hey it’s lezbot night, you know what? I’d keep walking. No worries. No sweat. No tears. Let them have their night. There are 100 more bars that want to serve me. If a group of black men wanted to form an all black “Brothers Association,” I’d say rock on. It’s the same reason I am indifferent to a website that mandates a religion and a sexual orientation. And it’s the same reason I think the law needs to allow exemptions to companies. Were I a lawmaker, I’d probably make a law that said, you can discriminate if you can prove there is another viable alternative to your business. In this case, there are 100s and all at the click of a button. All dumbass in Jersey had to do was type in a different url. Same with Lucille Roberts. Guess what, women are sometimes uncomfortable working out with men. There are no lack of gyms. Let there be one that is for women only. We don’t need a completely perfect world to find happiness. (Please repeat that one) And FAR MORE importantly, we don’t need countless laws to mandate that it be a perfect world. And I don’t believe in forming a perfect world by making laws that mandate that people have to give up their ideals. The christians have theirs. I have mine. I’m losing out on NOTHING because of the existence of this website. NOTHING!!!!!!! Were the problem to become something bigger? Were I turned away from every bar or every gym because I was gay, would I consider the governments help? Yes. But only as a last resort. They are the LAST people you should be turning to. Always. I am so disgusted by this lawsuit and this lawsuit happy nation. Everyone has to sue over every little thing. It’s completely sickening. Fight battles that means something. Spend your time on something important. Let the dating website for str8os be for str8os.

      Nov 21, 2008 at 10:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Kevin – What I meant about you “being God” wasn’t meant as a slam but to try to get you to see that you’re making a decision based on what YOU think is important. Equality either is equal or it isn’t. It isn’t limited by your list or my list or anyone else’s list.

      I think it is past time to find out why E-Harmony lost this suit since even I will agree to a point a dating service probably isn’t the best place to test the equality argument.

      But here’s another thought I’ve only touched on but will expand. E-harmony didn’t want this guy because they dislike Gays. If this one customer is not a threat, then put his ad on and forget about it. Take his money and don’t worry about it. His ad being on there would be no threat whatsoever to the website. But because of dislike or hatred of Gays or whatever, E-H felt they were safe to disregard the equality laws of New Jersey.

      Nov 21, 2008 at 12:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      @Jaroslaw:

      And here’s where you’re missing my point. My list defines the areas of life GOVERNMENT should be allowed to step in. I don’t believe government should be micro-managing our lives. I don’t want them creating absolute equality. I want their role to be as limited as possible. My list defines areas of life that, if not protected, will have devastating effects on a person’s life including death. No food, no job, no healthcare = death. Apart from that, keep out. You see why I made a limited list, now? There is NO such thing as a perfect world or absolute equality. It is an impossibility. Because everyone’s idea of what is perfect is completely different. What we should strive for is balance. A respectful balance, at that. When that balance becomes so tipped to one side that a minority is in jeopardy, I will begin to entertain the idea of government intervention. ONE dating website that does not want our business is a spec sitting on the scales. For this reason, I respect their differences and live my life. To sit there and cry because I can’t use this site, or to feel as if I’ve had my freedom taken away is a joke.

      Nov 21, 2008 at 1:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dee
      Dee

      I have been on the eHarmony website to see what it was all about..

      Anyone saying they are faith based is full of it..they ask you what faith your belong to and accept you even if you are an Athiest…and will match you up with other athiets or other religions, depending on your answers….

      They are no more faith based then a club is…that is just an excuse to be discrimminatory…if they were truly Christian faith based as they say, they would also exclude Athiests, Buddhists, and all other religions from using their site

      Nov 21, 2008 at 3:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Kevin – then I disagree – but for reasonable reasons I think eg: government has a role and big business has usurped it at every turn. If you belong to an HMO and get poor treatment you can’t sue. Medicare part D is a giant giveaway to the pharmaceutical companies. I could go on, but you get the idea.

      I have already acquiesced on a number of points, one of which you have deliberately ignored – I never said absolute equality is a goal- as I acknowledged there are sticky areas such as the man at the woman’s gym class.

      I have also said I would like the particulars of this lawsuit and you have also ignored commenting on why one Gay man would be such a threat to them. I have almost no doubt that he was rejected due to orientation hatred which speaks to the heart of what equality statutes are about, not micromanaging every aspect of our lives.

      Nov 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      If one gay man isn’t a threat to the website, why is one website a threat to gay people?

      Nov 21, 2008 at 4:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller
      Charles J. Mueller

      @Kevin: Geez, guy…like Jaroslaw, I came around to your point of thinking and acquiesced on a number of points as well, yet you saw fit to disagree with me even when I cede the point to you.

      Damned if I do and damned if I don’t.

      Obviously, I am a threat to you, so I think I will just politely bow-out and save you any further upset as it is not my desire to piss you off.

      Nov 22, 2008 at 1:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      Very pleasantly surprised to find that at least a few here are opposed to this decision. There’s hope for sanity in gay politics after all! eHarmony should be free to offer, and not offer, whatever services they want. If you don’t their product, go elsewhere, or create your own.

      Nov 22, 2008 at 9:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      @Charles J. Mueller:

      Charles, firstly, you are of no threat to me. Secondly, if you’ve changed your mind about any of this over the course of your posts, it’s not easy to spot it. What I do spot quite easily is you saying “I do not see how this relates,” “there is absolutely no discrimination issue here” and “I will also stick to my guns.” All 3 statements are in direct conflict with what I’m saying. So, if you’re somehow agreeing with me, I don’t see it. Perhaps I’m just not reading your post incorrectly. But please understand why I responded to your post. I’m not attacking you. I’m trying to have a discussion.

      One of the reasons this entire story is a hot topic to me is because I knew I’d walk in here and see that most people agreed with the courts decision and defended this guy. I honestly think our community has grown this collective consciousness. Unfortunately, I find it very outdated and no longer functional. While GLAAD may have had a big role in our lives at some point, I now see it as old and farty. I also see our political affiliations as needing revision. Sadly, I see the homo-democrat association as a given. We have to get out of this way of thinking that, just because they are more sympathetic to our needs, doesn’t make them world saviors. (If you’re wondering, I did vote Obama) Conversely, just because republicans seem to hate us, doesn’t make them evil. I noticed above how you blamed our current financial crisis on the republicans. I’d like you to know, with a little research, you’d find a large portion of this mess rests on the dem’s shoulders. We need a radical revision to our approach to success. We have the same tired slogans that fall flat on the ears of the other side just as much as their’s fall flat on us. It’s this constant back and forth that gets us nowhere. Our side is so unwilling to even entertain their way of thinking and it is that fact that will forever prevent us from moving forward. It has been my experience that, getting to know the enemy & trying to understand them, is a far more effective tool in our battle. It’s for these reasons that I’m horrified by this ruling. It’s exactly these kinds of cases that makes the other side cling to their ideas even that much more.

      Back to the E-Harmony issue, I read a statement on a conservative news site in which a reader was commenting on this very story. The reader said e-harmony should donate any money collected from it’s new gay members to Ex-Gay organizations. You have to give that guy credit for the genius of that idea!! What a jab. I hope doofus in NJ realizes he’s opening the door for these people to make money off of our community now. Way to go, doofus!

      Nov 22, 2008 at 4:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimmy
      jimmy

      I think it’s a great idea. That site is classier than any of the gay matchmaking sites. And guys could actually get to know things about one another rather than top, bottom, cut, uncut, and penis size. It’s a step in the right direction for guys interested in ltr’s and not the promiscuous scene which is the stereotype and why we’re so hated. I’m signing up!

      Nov 23, 2008 at 8:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777
      fredo777

      @jimmy:

      I don’t think our perceived promiscuity would make that much of a difference, mate.

      I mean, think about it, we just lost a battle in Cali to have the right to legal, monogamous wedded relationships at the hands of the conservatives + religious types.

      If someone’s going to hate us for being gay, they’re just going to do it + I won’t waste any of my precious time on the planet trying to make them not hate me.

      Nov 23, 2008 at 8:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller
      Charles J. Mueller

      @Fredo777: Bravo, dude. Well said.

      Why is that so hard for some of the guys on these threads to get that?

      Nov 23, 2008 at 11:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Sorry – I don’t have home internet anymore – had to choose between a cellphone & dial up internet with home phone – can’t afford both right now, so I apologize for the delay.

      Kevin – We disagree and that is fine, but YOU don’t get to make the list of what is acceptable areas for the government to intervene in! Nor do I. The statute says EQUALITY. Do you get it yet?

      As for “one website” being a threat to Gay people – yes it is. If one company can disobey the law then they all can. That is what this is about. Respect and Equal treatment.

      I don’t see why that is so hard to understand.

      I e-harmony was not so arrogant and hateful toward Gays they would have put this man’s ad on and been done with it. PERIOD. But they had to take this to court, they lost.

      Now, if you don’t like equality phrases in Constitutions then take it up with the New Jersey legislature. But I suspect they are there to protect the minority and the majority – the popular and the unpopular. That’s life.

      Nov 24, 2008 at 12:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      sorry, that was supposed to be IF e-harmony….

      Nov 24, 2008 at 12:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimmy
      jimmy

      Fredo777, perception is everything. If you recall, prior to the early 80′s, gays were kind of benign, under the radar. Then AIDS happened, and the gay community was hit hard.

      Not long after that the public got to know things they hadn’t realized: bathroom encounters, bathhouses, multiple partners, rare monogamous relationships. It did damage and is still doing damage today.

      We rarely read about two heteros being arrested at a rest stop or in a bathroom having sex, but it’s still happening with gays no thanks to websites that actually tell you how to do it. We have to clean up the community, get ourselves in control. Control sex…not let it control us. Straights need to realize we want love, marriage, and can actually be monogamous after having a b/f after a few months.

      The vote in CA didn’t surprise me in the least. When you look at a pit like SF which does more damage to gays than good, you can understand why straights, and maybe even gays, feel the way they do.

      Equality is going to take time, but in the meantime we all need to do our share to cleanup the community and condemn those gays who continue to bring us down.

      Nov 24, 2008 at 4:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      @Jaroslaw:

      You need to remember that the constitution of this country was written to LIMIT the power of government. Do you understand the concept of that? And do you understand why it was written in this manner? Are you aware of the governments that our founding fathers came from? Do you know why they were escaping those governments? Do you know why they wanted to make sure that this new government could never be like those? It’s not that I misunderstand what equality is. It’s that I disagree that government should be allowed to force people, people in the private sector, to act a certain way. And, in my opinion, when they do this, they are overstepping their design. Get it?? You still don’t understand my point and I don’t know how much more clear I can make it. You look to government to hold your hand. I am 100% opposed to that. I think we should solve problems on our own. And when that becomes impossible, and ONLY then, do I think we should turn to government. I don’t get to make lists? Yes, I do, my dear. So do you. Because the government works FOR US. I get to vote. I get the right to speak my mind. I get the right to call my congessman and tell him he’s an ass. It’s a pity you pay taxes and don’t get that. And while I think it’s horrible that people discriminate in this world, I don’t look to impose my beliefs on others. If they want to run their business how they see fit, I think they should be allowed to. And I have the right, as a consumer, to avoid doing business with that putrid company. You’ve also failed to read my post in which I described how the law should take into account the “balance of justice.” One, just one, website has ZERO effect on you, me or anyone else. We have so many options that I feel companies should be allowed exemptions. This would also allow for a gym like Lucille Roberts to be what it is. I might add, you call Lucille a “sticky” situation. What’s sticky? You’re the one that keeps saying equality is equality. Why is Lucille sticky but e-harmony isn’t? You can’t even rectify this in your own argument.

      It’s sad to me that you or anyone else feels threatened by this one website. I prefer to look at the big picture. What have we gained and what have we lost?

      What we’ve lost: We have our opponents, those whose votes we may need, hating us even more. They already think we’re trying to take over their lives. This certainly doesn’t help. So the next time there is an important vote, rest assured they will remember this.

      What we’ve gained: We now have 100+1 dopey websites to find us a date. How super duper.

      So you tell me, was it worth it? Don’t worry, I already know your answer.

      The anger from the gay community over this one website is so feigned it’s not even funny. Trust me, if there was a “bears” website that only accepted bears, we wouldn’t be up to post #73. We’d be laughing at it. It’s only because this website was founded by a christian that everyone is up in arms. Pure silliness.

      Nov 24, 2008 at 5:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • chuck
      chuck

      @Kevin:

      I was going to drop out of this discourse and cede the argument to you, since you seem so intense about your positions. When I saw Jaroslaw’s rebuttal, I decided to get back into the fray.

      He pointed out that “As for “one website” being a threat to Gay people – yes it is. If one company can disobey the law then they all can. That is what this is about. Respect and Equal treatment.”

      Jaroslaw hit the nail squarely on the head. Everything in life is exponential from the magic number “one”.

      The one vote that we think doesn’t matter than can tip the balance of an election to a landslide victory.

      The one-dollar that we contribute to a worthy cause that becomes millions.

      The one person who sweeps his sidewalk on a dirty street every day setting an example until everyone on the block is out there sweeping his sidewalk to make the entire block look great.

      The one person who comes up with a great idea and get so many other people involved with that idea that it transforms society at large.

      The one orator who inspires and galvanizes thousands, perhaps millions of people to unite and demand their rights.

      And the one bad apple that spoils the rest of the barrel.

      Kevin, can you see the power of “one”? Never underestimate it.

      You wrote that we need to remember that the Constitution was written to LIMIT the power of government. The arguments you put forth to support that idea was numerous and admittedly, that is a great concept. But, like all concepts, it can be taken to the extreme as we are presently witnessing in our country at this very moment.

      There is an old axiom. “When the cat is away, the mouse will play”. American corporations were so anxious to strip away regulations for the past eight years, aided and abetted by the Republican party, that what we wound up with, was a run away Corporate America, in bed with the very politicians, whose combined greed put us in the mess that we currently find ourselves ensconced in.

      We trusted that these Corporate CEOs would restrain themselves and that an unfettered, lasse faire market would function beautifully without any government regulations or intervention…the mantra of Ayn Rand in her book The Virtue of Selfishness.

      Admittedly, she had some of it right, but when we look around at what is happing today, it’s obvious that it didn’t work out quite the way she had in mind. And now our grandchildren’s grandchildren and we will have to pick up the tab for all those years of everyone doing precisely as they liked without any laws, rules or regulations to get in their way.

      Can you even imagine what a city without designated lanes for the flow of traffic, traffic lights, speed limits, signs and laws to enforce the safe, smooth flow of millions of autos daily would be like if everyone were allowed to drive exactly as they pleased and wherever they pleased? It would be sheer bedlam.

      Big business interests wanted free trade and touted all the benefits we would reap from such a policy. Opening the floodgates of cheap merchandise from Asia, produced with near slave labor wages, would save us untold dollars at our retail outlets and car dealerships, we were assured. And by sending all of our manufacturing jobs overseas (to ostensibly save manufacturing costs), we eliminated thousands of jobs, adding to the American unemployment figures that continued to escalate daily.

      Now unemployed Americans cannot afford the cheaper goods that took away their very jobs to begin with, Very smart. The only people it benefited, was the poor laborers in Asia who are now enjoying a higher standard of living at the cost of a steadily declining standard of living in this country. A prime example of “redistributing wealth”, on a global scale.

      You wrote “It’s sad to me that you or anyone else feels threatened by this one website. I prefer to look at the big picture. What have we gained and have we lost?

      What we’ve lost, is hundreds of thousands of jobs, uncountable numbers of homes that people struggled to purchase and keep up the payments on, the retirement funds of millions of middle class Americans who were trying to be self-sufficient in their old age, our dignity and worst of all, the loss of the civil-rights of one of the largest minority groups in America.

      What have we have gained is public apathy, disappointment, a government that hasn’t given a good shit about us in the past eight years and an every growing movement of religious wing-nuts who are taking over every aspect of our democracy and reshaping it into a theocracy. Read dictatorship. And no one is regulating or stopping them from their horrible agenda of a Christian Nation imposed on every last American Citizen, be they a believer or not!

      Isn’t letting everyone just do their own thing wonderful?

      Kevin, what YOU need to understand is that this no longer the “Old West” where everyone can be “his own man” and do precise whatever he feels like doing and everyone else can be damned”. We live in a very complex, modern world, akin to a beehive or an anthill. Everything we do affects others, one way or another, even thousand of miles away, as California’s Proposition 8 has just reminded us. What happens to just one individual on the other side of the world, can, eventually, have grave consequences all the rest of us. No man is an island unto himself.

      I am the owner and operator of a leather shop in New York City. Established in 1965 when I was just a young man of 27, I thought that I would be catering to a gay clientele, especially since my shop was located in the Village, which was for years, the gay ghetto before Chelsea claimed that title.

      My clientele consists of people from all walks of life and better than half of my customer base is straight. I am exceedingly comfortable with that fact. Straight dollars spend just as well in my store as gay dollars and making money was my one and only reason for choosing to open a leather shop.

      I am not there to promote religion. I am not there to promote politics nor am I there to promote a gay agenda. I leave that shit home where it belongs.

      What I AM there for is to provide a service and fulfill the wants and needs of my customers. My customers are not interested in what church I go to. They are not interested in knowing what political party I am affiliated with. They are not interested in whom I am sleeping with or where I choose to park my dick.

      What they are interested in is being greeted and welcomed in a friendly, polite manner, being assisted in making their purchase and being assured that staff and management alike appreciate their patronage. Our jobs and my good fortune depend on that simple philosophy. And, it is the sole reason why we have been in existence for close to half a century.

      Feigned anger? There is nothing feigned about my anger. It rages inside me like a boiling kettle on a roaring fire. And if you were half the caring human being you should be, you would be just as angry over the wrongs that have been perpetrated on the LGBT community, from the unconstitutional, immoral and illegal Proposition 8 that just passed in California and three other states, to the shit-assed eHarmony dating service that could not resist putting sand in our Vaseline jar.

      One grain of sand doesn’t seem like a big deal. But, when you put enough of them together, they make a beach.

      Nov 24, 2008 at 10:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777
      fredo777

      @jimmy:

      “Fredo777, perception is everything.”

      Only if you give a shit whether people “accept” you or not. Or if you think our rights + liberties should be put to popular vote.

      Nov 24, 2008 at 11:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      @chuck:

      A world without laws? I’ve never come close to saying that. In fact, I clearly stated that rules and regulations are of extreme importance. Without them? Anarchy. I love the law. I’m actually fascinated by it. I love the concept of fairness. So much so that I think I have a wonderful ability to remove my own needs when trying to find balance so that my own desires don’t tip the scales in any one direction. For that reason, the fairness that I often see goes against what could ultimately benefit me in this life. I believe the fathers of this country believed in fairness, as well. And that is our freedom. It’s one hell of a beautiful thing. For this reason, you will never convince me that, in order to give a person freedom, it is ok to strip another of theirs. I find that concept laughable and find it unbelievably hard to understand how anyone can support that. And this is what you are all advocating. You advocate removing the freedom of choice from a business owner.

      Your “slippery slope” argument (if one business can do it, they can all do it) fully ignores what I have repeatedly said in this thread. And that is that I believe in exemptions for businesses provided they can prove a viable alternative exists for the consumer. Do you see how that works? It’s about the most fair you can be to everyone. And fairness is my game, baby.

      Jaroslaw says I can’t draw lines. You know something, apart from a statement by Ryan at #17, that’s probably the second most scary statement in this whole thread. Do you mean to tell me that there are no lines that can be drawn with government intervention? They can do anything they want? I drew a line at where I felt they could intervene and I was told I can’t do that. That’s nothing short of lunacy.

      Chuck. I’m happy you’ve been able to run your business as you see fit. I’m glad that you are smart enough to realize that you shouldn’t limit your clientèle. Clearly, your business has been a success because of your openness to everyone. And I applaud that. Sincerely. But can you imagine that the way you run your store was dictated to you? Chuck, seriously, I find that thought horrifying. And I hope you would, too. Now, I’m not talking a big free for all. Surely, I believe in some rules that you have to follow. But where should it end? It has to end somewhere, right? I don’t believe that it extends far enough to force you to offer services that you don’t want to. Especially when there are alternatives to the public available at the click of a button.

      As for the feigned anger. If you’re boiling up so much, please go picket outside of Lucille Roberts starting tomorrow. Will you do that for me? Because they don’t allow men in their gym. Can I get a promise that you will battle them before you boil over? I want to put your rage to good use. That all vagina gym needs to be stopped. If that one gym can do it, why not all of them. Soon, there will be no gyms for men anymore. Then where will we all go for sex??? :)

      The marriage debate has nothing to do with this at all and should not be a part of this discussion. We’ve already covered earlier that the equality we seek in marriage is on the governmental level. Not in the private sector. Two COMPLETELY unrelated things.

      As for the financial crisis, as I’ve told Charles already, do yourself a favor and read up a bit more on it. Your notion that this is all the doing of the republicans is wrong. Seriously wrong. So much so that I can give you video links to congressional hearings where republicans were asking for regulations and the democrats were saying it was unnecessary. But ultimately, it doesn’t matter whose fault it was. And no, you’re wrong, the free market didn’t fail. It’s failing because we’re bailing it out!!!!!! We should let them all burn. THAT, is a free market. Instead, our democratic leaders are pumping these nitwits full of money so they can do it all over again. Wow, can’t wait for part 2!

      Finally, your eloquent “power of one.” I get it. And it’s all so lovely. And I FULLY agree with it. Seriously. ***BUT*** and here we go folks, this is what no one seems to get in what I’m saying. I DON”T WANT THE GOVERNMENT MANDATING IT. I believe in causing this change on our own. Get it?? Contribute one dollar that becomes part of a million? BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Make me contribute that dollar? UGLY!!!!!!

      Nov 25, 2008 at 12:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Kevin – NEW INFORMATION – I did some more checking – E-Harmony was given the OPTION to accept this man’s ad or form a new service to cater only to Gays.

      They chose to form a new service – so it confirms what I suspected all along – they don’t like Gays, which hits to the heart of the equality thing.

      In your last post – you said I didn’t read it – I did and even responded to your point.

      I might as well hit myself over the head with a 2 x 4 as continue debating with you. You deliberately misread things. When I said “you don’t get to decide” I didn’t mean you couldn’t have an opinion – but with you it is all or nothing. Obviously the majority of the legislature felt equality was an important concept to put in their constitution. And the court agreed.

      I never said I want the government to hold my hand or be involved in every aspect of my life. As I already suggested, though, you might want to look at The Nation, Mother Jones or check out some independent media in your area. Business has a lot of unchecked power and influence over our lives – by some accounts Corporate CEO’s have more power than the President. (Nafta, Gatt?) So, to repeat – the government has a role – limited yes, but a role. And your protests that government is too much would ring more true to these ears if companies like Walmart didn’t use the democratic process and the courts to do things like crush unions or use fake citizen’s committees to influence the voting process and abuse their own employees. So the Congress works for you? I suppose you were in favor of the 700 Billion bailout – after which AIG immediately spent 400K on a retreat?

      Nov 25, 2008 at 8:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      I had a long comment typed out and this system often says it is a duplicate – why I don’t know. But here is the NEW INFO –

      E-Harmony had the choice to include Gays or start a separate service. THEIR CHOICE. So, the fact they did a separate one and DID NOT include this man’s ad proves what I suspected all long – they don’t like Gays. Which hits to the heart of the equality issue….

      I’ve already addressed the women’s only gym – it is all or nothing with you, Kevin so I don’t see any point to discuss this further.

      I will only repeat – government has a role, limited perhaps, but they do. The legislature of New Jersey felt equality is an important thing and it was upheld by the courts.

      Read Mother Jones, The Nation, any non-mainstream media – and you will see the incredible raw power of corporate America and the millions put into lobbying etc. There needs to be a counterforce – and government is it. This does not mean that I want the government to hold my hand 100% of the time. I just hope you never get screwed over by a business and need the courts!

      Nov 25, 2008 at 8:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      sorry for the second post – I hate this duplicate comment thing….

      Nov 25, 2008 at 8:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      @Jaroslaw:

      1. Confirms what you’ve suspected all along? This was not some big mystery. OF COURSE, that was the reason why. Problem is, the reason why they did it is completely irrelevant. Laws don’t regulate motives, only actions. We are debating the action and the action only.

      2. The passing of a law, by majority, doesn’t make it right.

      3. It is my opinion, that this law needs to be revised because I think it is too restrictive.

      4. No, you have not addressed Lucille Roberts, you only called it “sticky.” Please address it. With a definitive answer.

      5. All or nothing? If you have a sound argument, all examples should be able to fit within your argument. Otherwise, your argument is not sound. Notice how EVERY example you can think of finds a place under my argument. Quite neatly, I might add. Almost with a little bow on top!

      6. I, yet again, for the umpteenth time, will repeat that I do not think there should be no laws and regulations against businesses. This entire debate is about one specific law. A law that attempts to define the nature of a particular business. Listing examples of other areas that need regulations is therefor pointless. Nor should the validity of this one law stem from the fact that other laws exist.

      Nov 25, 2008 at 10:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      1. Nothing I read so far on this site or numerous others stated flat out that e-harmony had a choice to include or start a separate site. It was new info to me and I so stated. So get over yourself already.

      2. Lucille Roberts – I’m not a lawyer but I do read a lot. When SCOTUS overturned Bowers vs. Hardwick, they talked a bit about equal rights and penalties applying to all citizens, even those whose lifestyles (and I’m paraphrasing) are out of the ordinary or even distasteful to the majority. (So they are cognizant the real world doesn’t conform to social platitudes etc.)

      So from that, I would conclude that Lucille Roberts gym would be allowed to “discriminate” as is not intending to exclude for the purpose of furthering a religious or social agenda but rightly recognizes that women in our society are objects of sexual desire and require a certain amount of decorum in a gymnasium setting where modesty is not always able to be exercised while exercising. Pun intended.

      Now, this is NOT what e-harmony did, so YES motive IS important.

      6. I never said you don’t believe in laws and if examples are cited, it is to get you to possibly see that maybe your views are not based on using all available information? I’d need the specific example.

      Nov 25, 2008 at 11:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      I may just end up spending the rest of my life trying to figure out how you just brought up a case, in which both you and the Supreme Court believe people have a right to privacy, in order to explain to me how the business owners of E-Harmony should NOT have a right to privacy.

      Am I on candid camera or something?

      Nov 25, 2008 at 1:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Kevin, DUH, the business is operating in the PUBLIC sphere…….

      Nov 25, 2008 at 1:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Kevin, DUH, the business is operating in the PUBLIC sphere…….

      this is what I mean by deliberate distortion and deliberately misunderstanding what I mean. No more posts from me.

      Nov 25, 2008 at 1:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      No, please, more, more. This is HILARIOUS!! A person’s right to privacy is stripped once stepping outside of their front door and into the public sphere? FASCINATING! I’m one post away from literally falling on the floor. I know you can bring me there. DO IT!

      I’m not deliberately misunderstanding you. You are deliberately not making any sense.

      Nov 25, 2008 at 1:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      “I would conclude that Lucille Roberts gym would be allowed to “discriminate” as is not intending to exclude for the purpose of furthering a religious or social agenda” … “YES motive IS important”

      So, it’s clear then. You advocate punishing eHarmony because of its beliefs.

      Nov 25, 2008 at 3:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • chuck
      chuck

      @Jaroslaw:

      “No more posts from me.”

      Ditto. Head. 2 x 4. All. Nothing.

      Meh!

      Nov 25, 2008 at 3:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • chuck
      chuck

      Hey Kevin, you want something to rag about?

      How about writing a letter to Mr. Bush voicing your objections to the government strong-arming of private American Citizens in it’s recent energy policy that mandates that all incandescent bullbs be phased out and replaced with CFLs.

      http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2008/07/18/top-25-things-vanishing-from-america-incandescent-bulb-sales-di/2

      Clearly, this is a blatant case of government intrusion into our private affairs and our right to do buy whatever products we wish to use in our homes. Wouldn’t you say?

      And it certainly violates the rights of the companies who produce lighting products, being told by Big Brother what they MUST manufacture, if they know what’s good for them.

      What say you on this?

      Nov 25, 2008 at 5:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      Chuck, this is awesome. It’s the kind of stuff I live for. Thanks! I’ll admit this is news to me and would very much like to read up more on it. Unfortunately, the article you linked to doesn’t provide much insight. It’s mostly just an overview. In addition, I’d like to read arguments on both sides before making a decision. But in the interest of giving you an answer sooner rather than later, I’ll point you to my post at #43 which talks about “compelling interest.” I advocate laws such as these when this interest exists. However, and I need to be very clear on this, this interest has to be either for economic reasons or public safety reasons. So, does the state have a compelling interest to phase out these lightbulbs? I can imagine an argument being made about the economic well being of our country (in terms of energy usage) that would indicate it does but would need far more details to verify if that is true. After determining whether that interest exists or not, I would have to weigh that against what effects it would have on the industry itself. In terms of the actual banning of a product, i consider that pretty severe and in order for that to ever move forward, would need a mound of evidence to make me feel it was ok.

      On that note, I want to be clear about what I don’t advocate. And that are laws designed to force morals and values on the public. Hence, my fierce opposition to this e-harmony ruling which is a thinly veiled way to to shape public opinion on homosexuality. While that law would ultimately benefit me as a gay man, I see it as unjust to the those whose rights are encroached upon. Does the state have a compelling interest to intervene? I can understand a law that is created to shape the economic climate of a state. The state has an interest in being a competitive market as well as a place that is profitable. In this day and age, in order to be competitive, a business needs to be open to all people as you have wisely learned yourself, Chuck. So I can agree with a law that mandates businesses act in this manner. However, as I have maintained, I believe a business should have the right to focus it’s market excluding certain groups. I believe that in order for a company to do this, it must prove a couple of things. 1. It has to prove that consumers have a viable alternative (viable meaning the product of comparable quality is easily obtained elsewhere). In the case of an internet business, that’s easy to prove. A consumer can sit in a chair and receive the same help from another website. 2. The company would have to prove that it has a viable reason for focusing on one group. Example, maybe I can cut men’s hair very well but I don’t know anything about cutting women’s hair. I have a reason to exclude women as my clients. In the case of E-Harmony, whether you agree or not, they don’t feel they know the first thing about gay dating. You know what? I agree. They think we’re perverts. Do you think they understand what we need? I sure as hell don’t!

      An unfortunate downside to my ideas is that one can masquerade the desire to shape morals and values under the guise of an economic policy.

      Nov 25, 2008 at 7:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert
      Robert

      @Joe Moag:

      Yoa! Joe! What don’t you just pop out of the closet and learn to live and let live. (Those who protest too much … PRE-JUDGED!)

      You must have no life of your own to speak of if you’re so consumed by how others love, if different than yours.

      Fag is derogatory and hate fueled.

      Bringing a political party into the equation, I take it you weren’t exactly the “top of your class.”

      Everyone has the right to find a compatible mate for a lifetime of growth and enjoyment together – keep your KKK values in Jerry Springer Country, where you belong.

      Mar 17, 2009 at 9:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Suresh Nair
      Suresh Nair

      Online matchmakers are a great help for single people who are in search of a life partner. The main benefit is that they match your profile with other free dating sites profile and find out whether the compatibility factors are favorable or not. They conduct compatible tests with the help of experts in relationships. I have read this interesting topic about right direction for online matchmaker are blog here :
      http://freedatingtipsonline.bfora.com/2010/01/25/right-direction-for-online-matchmaker/

      Jan 25, 2010 at 4:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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