Friday, July 13, 2007

Harmony: Only for straights??

This morning during my daily browse of Slate.com (p.s. if you don't read Slate, you should), I wandered over to one of my favorite sections, the Ad Report Card. They reviewed the new Chemistry.com commercials, which actually have caught my attention even during DVR zip-throughs. They all end with a big red stamp on the screen that reads "Rejected." The ads claim that Chemistry's competitor eHarmony.com has rejected over one million applicants.

Apparently there's one ad I hadn't seen before. It's in the "Rejected" series of Chemistry ads, but it's targeted toward the gay audience. I never thought about it before (I guess partly because I've never used these kinds of websites), but I guess eHarmony has a strict heterosexual policy. Homosexuals need not apply. Watch the ad here. (It's very clever.)




What I also learned from Slate is that eHarmony was founded by Dr. Neil Clark Warren, an evangelical Christian tied to the ultra-conservative Focus on the Family franchise. Yikes. I had no idea.

Last month, a gay woman from California filed a suit against eHarmony claiming discrimination. Warren's justification for the eHarmony policy, and his stubborn defense of it in the face of any criticism whatsoever, shouldn't be a surprise. That's Focus on the Family's game. But I still can't believe it. Listen to his interview on NPR's Fresh Air, and see what you think.

First of all, am I the only person who had no idea that eHarmony was so religious? Read Warren's article about eHarmony's mission. I honestly had no idea. I also had no idea that the original marketing plan was targeted to Christians (including the words "Christian values") and that eHarmony's goal is to create marriages. Have I just not been paying attention? How did I miss this??

Secondly, Warren's comments about gay love and gay marriage are just offensive. Even just the fact that he differentiates between gay love and love. As if gay applicants are some kind of alien life form to whom research about love doesn't apply. Gay people can't be in love? Sigh. I won't even get in to any of this, but... it's offensive. And he's completely unapologetic. I can't stand it.

I'm getting too disheartened to write anymore. But the moral of my story is... 1) please don't be hateful, and 2) if you ever sign up for a dating place like this, never choose eHarmony.

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