Saturday, March 3, 2007

eHomophobia?

Did you know that eHarmony doesn't provide matches for gay or lesbian couples? Seems innocuous, but did you also know that the founder of eHarmony has had most of his books printed by Focus on the Family?

Warren said eHarmony struggled in the beginning until the evangelical
Christian leader James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, gave
the company its big boost by hosting Warren on his national radio
broadcast. Warren describes Dobson as eHarmony's biggest supporter,
and the appearance on the show reaped 100,000 subscribers, he said.


It gets even better--check out this letter to Salon.com:

I was glad to see public recognition of the fact that eHarmony does not serve the gay and lesbian community. I originally heard of them while watching the reality TV show "Boy Meets Boy" on the Bravo network. "Boy Meets Boy" was essentially a gay version of "The Bachelor" and sought to find a mate for an attractive gay man. EHarmony was advertised heavily on several episodes of the show, and I made the assumption that it would be a useful tool to help me find a gay mate. I invested about half an hour answering all the compatibility questions, during which time my hopefulness grew that I would find someone with whom I could enjoy spending time and that I would eventually find a partner. At the end of the survey I was asked to describe my mate. It was impossible to register as a man looking for another man.

After searching the Web site for an explanation, I came across the FAQ section where, as described in the article, they said that because gay relationships are so different and gay compatibility is not the same as straight compatibility, they would not match gay people.


So they actually advertised on a "gay" show, but then didn't offer a match?

And from Neil Clark Warren himself:

It "calls for some very careful thinking. Very careful research." He adds that same-sex marriage is illegal in most states. "We don't really want to participate in something that's illegal."


Aside from all of the other questions (is he trying to convert gays to being straight?), I think this illuminates something very important about how marriage and love are viewed in some quarters--namely, that marriage and love are inseparable. And therefore, if you're in love, you need to get married. And in a weird conflation, that if you can't get married, then you obviously can't be in love.


1 comment:

Andrew said...

Wow . . . I've never heard that about eHarmony. Heterosexist at best, but Dobson getting into the mess makes things a whole lot worse.