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Friday, May 12, 2006

 
[The following appeared on my political blog this same date.]
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Wasting People's Time Innocently, or Hidden Bigotry? Most of us have seen those eHarmony commercials in which the founder of that computer-romance site, Dr. Neil Clark Warren, tells how his company can help people find "the love of their lives". What Warren and his website do not tell people is that eHarmony matches only men to women, not also men to men, or women to women, like most other computer-dating services. You can search with a fine-tooth comb thru the introductory materials on eHarmony's website without finding any limitation as to sexual orientation. Only after you have taken the time to complete their online "Compatibility Profile" do you find that you will be matched only to someone of the opposite sex!
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Why would they do that?
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It's not careless. After I got stung, I sent an email complaint saying I have no interest in meeting women, and insisting that eHarmony has an obligation to tell people up front that it is a service for heterosexuals only. So, they know full well that what they are doing is irritating at best and discriminatorily offensive at worst. Yet they have not responded to my explicit complaint by including so much as a footnote to warn gay men and lesbians not to waste their time.
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Even after I specified as the way to contact me, in the process of filling out their forms, the email address "MrGayPride@aol.com", they still started to match me to women. I had to go back into their site and tell them to stop sending me email!
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So the question arises, is eHarmony out to convert gay men to heterosexuality? What other explanation is there?
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Perhaps they're just duly ashamed of discriminating against homosexuals, and don't wish to draw attention to their systematic discrimination by admitting it in so many words. But maybe they're glad to waste gay people's time and raise their hopes of meeting someone right for them, only to dash those hopes afterward, because Warren and his employees feel that gay men "should" want to marry women, and if we don't want to, we should be punished by being induced to lose valuable time — and hope — to a service that has no use for us.
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Well, I have no use for eHarmony, and want all gay men to know that eHarmony holds them in contempt.
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Dr. Warren is entitled to dislike homosexuals — after all, we dislike people who dislike us — but he is not entitled to bait and (try to) switch us to heterosexuality. We're not interested in a heterosexuals-only computer-matching service. Just tell us that eHarmony is for straight people only. Don't waste our time.



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