Friday, May 25 , 2018, 9:45 am | Mostly Cloudy 63º

 
 
 
 

Michelle Malkin: The eHarmony Shakedown

Is coerced tolerance really the basis for a lasting relationship?

Congratulations, tolerance mau-mauers: Your shakedown of a Christian-targeted dating Web site worked. Homosexuals will no longer be denied the inalienable “right” to hook up with same-sex partners on eHarmony. What a landmark triumph for social progress, eh?

Michelle Malkin
Michelle Malkin
New Jersey plaintiff Eric McKinley can now crown himself the new Rosa Parks — heroically breaking down inhumane barriers to Internet matchmaking by forcing a law-abiding private company to provide services it was never created to provide. “Men seeking men” has now been enshrined with “I have a dream” as a civil rights rallying cry of the 21st century. Bully for you, Mr. McKinley. You bully.

Neil Warren, eHarmony’s founder, is a gentle, grandfatherly businessman who launched his popular dating site to support heterosexual marriage. A “Focus on the Family” author with a divinity degree, Warren encourages healthy, lasting unions between men and women of all faiths, mixed faiths or no faith at all.

Don’t like what eHarmony sells? Go somewhere else. There are thousands upon thousands of dating sites on the Internet that cater to gays, lesbians, Jews, Muslims, Trekkies, runners, you name it.

No matter. In the name of tolerance, McKinley refused to tolerate eHarmony’s right to operate a lawful business that didn’t give him what he wanted. He filed a discrimination complaint against eHarmony with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights in 2005.

To be clear: eHarmony never, ever refused to do business with anyone. The company broke no laws. Its great “sin” was not providing a politically correct service that a publicity-seeking gay plaintiff demanded it provide. For three years, the company battled McKinley’s legal shakedown artists — and staved off other opportunists as well. The dating site had been previously sued by a lesbian looking to force the company to match her up with another woman, and by a married man who ridiculously sought to force the company to find him prospects for an adulterous relationship.

This case is akin to a meat-eater suing a vegetarian restaurant for not offering him a rib-eye, or a female patient suing a vasectomy doctor for not providing her hysterectomy services. But rather than defend the persecuted business, the New Jersey attorney general intervened on behalf of the gay plaintiff and wrangled an agreement out of eHarmony to change its entire business model.

The company agreed not only to offer same-sex dating services on a new site, but also to offer six-month subscriptions for free to 10,000 gay users, pay McKinley $5,000 and fork over $50,000 to New Jersey’s Civil Rights division “to cover investigation-related administrative costs.” Oh, and that’s not all. Yield, yield to the grievance-mongers.

Additional terms of the settlement include:

» eHarmony Inc. will post photos of same-sex couples in the “Diversity” section of its Web site as successful relationships are created using the company’s same-sex matching service. In addition, eHarmony Inc. will include photos of same-sex couples, as well as individual same-sex users, in advertising materials used to promote its same-sex matching services.

» eHarmony Inc. will revise anti-discrimination statements placed on company Web sites, in company handbooks and other company publications to make plain that it does not discriminate on the basis of “sexual orientation.”

» The company has committed to advertising and public relations/marketing dedicated to its same-sex matching service, and will retain a media consultant experienced in promoting the “fair, accurate and inclusive” representation of gay and lesbian people in the media to determine the most effective way of reaching the gay and lesbian communities.

I have enormous sympathy for eHarmony, whose attorney explained that it gave in to the unfair settlement because “litigation outcomes can be unpredictable.” The recent mob response to the passage of Proposition 8, the traditional marriage measure in California, must have also weighed on eHarmony management’s minds. But capitulation will only yield a worse, entirely predictable outcome: more shakedowns of private businesses that hold views deemed unacceptable by the Equality-at-All-Costs Brigade.

Perhaps heterosexual men and women should start filing lawsuits against gay dating Web sites and undermine their businesses. Coerced tolerance and diversity-by-fiat cut both ways.

Michelle Malkin is author of Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild. Click here for more information. She can be contacted at [email protected]

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >