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Author Topic: eHarmony update  (Read 1150 times)
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Harkonis
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« on: November 20, 2008, 03:17:59 PM »

Saw this news story regarding eHarmony now offering same-sex matchmaking.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27821393/


Thought the following bit was funny both from the stereotypical and the PeteRock viewpoint

McKinley called the settlement "fabulous" and said he was happy with the outcome. He's considering signing up for the new site once it launches.
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rittchard
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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2008, 09:17:07 PM »

Sweet, now Hark will FINALLY get matched to me as was always foredained.  Well, either me or to his true love Kato  icon_wink
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Lordnine
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« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2008, 09:43:38 PM »

eHarmony told me I was unmatchable.  That’s discrimination!  They should let me match with the other unmatchables!
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coopasonic
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« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2008, 09:53:16 PM »

Quote from: Lordnine on November 20, 2008, 09:43:38 PM

eHarmony told me I was unmatchable.  Thatís discrimination!  They should let me match with the other unmatchables!

Maybe now that the XYs can match up with XYs you should try again. slywink

Personally I think I will sign up as a lesbian.
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Mr. Fed
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« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2008, 10:03:14 PM »

There are fascinating arguments about this.

But they are R&P.
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Teggy
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« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2008, 10:08:44 PM »

Without getting into that R&P discussion (or I guess the thread can be moved), can someone explain to me the legal reasoning behind this? I am pro gay-marriage, etc., but I'm not quite clear on why someone can't set up a site that only caters to heterosexual dating. If everyone in the world used one site on the Internet to get dates, I guess I could understand the discrimination argument, but there are plenty of alternatives both online and offline. Is it specifically because they didn't advertise it as "Eharmony, the dating site for heterosexuals"?
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kadnod
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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2008, 10:15:03 PM »

Quote from: Lordnine on November 20, 2008, 09:43:38 PM

eHarmony told me I was unmatchable.  Thatís discrimination!  They should let me match with the other unmatchables!

I made it into their system by lying.  When I got to the "How often do you think people are plotting against you?" part of the questionnaire, I knew to answer "Never," even though the real answer is obviously,  "Constantly!  My legion of secret enemies never grant me a moment's respite!"
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Mr. Fed
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« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2008, 10:20:47 PM »

Quote from: Teggy on November 20, 2008, 10:08:44 PM

Without getting into that R&P discussion (or I guess the thread can be moved), can someone explain to me the legal reasoning behind this? I am pro gay-marriage, etc., but I'm not quite clear on why someone can't set up a site that only caters to heterosexual dating. If everyone in the world used one site on the Internet to get dates, I guess I could understand the discrimination argument, but there are plenty of alternatives both online and offline. Is it specifically because they didn't advertise it as "Eharmony, the dating site for heterosexuals"?

As I understand it, the suit in question was filed under New Jersey state anti-discrimination laws.  Plaintiffs asserted that under those laws, EHarmony could no more refuse to cater to gays than they could refuse to cater to blacks or Jews.

eHarmony's position was that its magical algorithms were developed based on years of research into the mystery of missionary position sex, and that it had no data on teh buttsex or whatever it is that lezzies do.  It ultimately decided not to take that theory to trial.  I think the theory is a fascinating one and worth exploring.  Can you argue that your product only works for one (racial/ethnic/religious/sexual) group?  I can see arguments on both sides.  On the one hand, eHarmony could be telling the truth that its Master Control Program only understands the mystery that is the heart of a hetero, and that it is not capable of offering equivalent services to gays.  (Note that eHarmony shrewdly bargained for a term in the settlement allowing it to warn gays that it may not know what it is doing).  If that's the case, it seems odd to require a business to offer a service it is not capable of providing adequately.  On the other hand, it would be childishly easy to make this the exception that swallows the rule.  "Black culture is different.  We don't know what makes people in black culture attractive to each other.  So we don't offer services to them."  "Jewish culture is different.  We don't feel capable of offering Jews marriage counseling services."  And so on.

But absent that twist, it's a rather straightforward application of state antidiscrimination law.
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2008, 11:16:30 PM »

I find that argument to be disingenuous.  To my knowledge, a fair number of pastors/preachers/etc. are paid for their services to marry individuals.  Since this is the case, they are in a business.  Would the same argument not allow them to be sued if they were to refuse to perform their paid services to a couple that they do not approve of such as a location where gay marriage was legal?  Can I sue the mohel for refusing to perform a bris on a Palestinian child at request?
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Mr. Fed
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« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2008, 11:58:41 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on November 20, 2008, 11:16:30 PM

I find that argument to be disingenuous.  To my knowledge, a fair number of pastors/preachers/etc. are paid for their services to marry individuals.  Since this is the case, they are in a business.  Would the same argument not allow them to be sued if they were to refuse to perform their paid services to a couple that they do not approve of such as a location where gay marriage was legal?  Can I sue the mohel for refusing to perform a bris on a Palestinian child at request?

Religious services are generally covered by the free exercise clause and are not treated as a public accommodation (dire warnings about how teh gays are going to come and take away your rights notwithstanding).  There are some gray areas -- for instance, if a church rents out a non-religious locale (in one case, a boardwalk) to the public -- but there is no authority suggesting that a religious official can be forced by law to perform a religious rite against the rules of that religion.

If eHarmony were a service of the Catholic Church offered only to Catholics, it might be a different case.
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Jeff
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« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2008, 12:20:07 AM »

Quote from: Lordnine on November 20, 2008, 09:43:38 PM

eHarmony told me I was unmatchable.  Thatís discrimination!  They should let me match with the other unmatchables!

I'm unmatchable too!  The Weghted Companion Cube will never threaten to stab you.
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Moliere
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« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2008, 12:24:02 AM »



I guess this doesn't apply? It is unfortunate (and strange) when customers are forced upon businesses.
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2008, 12:27:19 AM »

You can refuse service to anyone for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all ... as long as it's not an illegal reason.  And in many locales, sexual preference has become an illegal reason. 
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Mr. Fed
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« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2008, 12:28:49 AM »

Quote from: Moliere on November 21, 2008, 12:24:02 AM



I guess this doesn't apply? It is unfortunate (and strange) when customers are forced upon businesses.

Well, that's the strict libertarian position.  Strict libertarians would say that the social ills of businesses refusing to serve, for example, black people should be addressed by social consequences like boycotts and shunning.
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Moliere
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« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2008, 01:44:39 AM »

Hmmm, where can I find a woman who doesn't mind being subservient? Its always better to get the roles established early on so I have to find someone that wants to be yoked up. The site better not reject me because I'm an atheist or I will sue their ass. And if you're straight you should apply here and then sue if they don't find you a heterosexual match.

Companies should not be punished for specialization or for the desire to associate with like-minded individuals. We all do it on a daily basis. This forum is a prime example.
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Harkonis
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« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2008, 01:02:47 PM »

Quote from: Teggy on November 20, 2008, 10:08:44 PM

Without getting into that R&P discussion (or I guess the thread can be moved), can someone explain to me the legal reasoning behind this? I am pro gay-marriage, etc., but I'm not quite clear on why someone can't set up a site that only caters to heterosexual dating. If everyone in the world used one site on the Internet to get dates, I guess I could understand the discrimination argument, but there are plenty of alternatives both online and offline. Is it specifically because they didn't advertise it as "Eharmony, the dating site for heterosexuals"?

I agree with this.  Baffles me a bit as well.  I don't even see it as discrimination in the legal sense since you can prety much cater to whoever you want your clientele to be.

If someone wanted to start up a Danish only matchmaking service, would they get sued?
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Harkonis
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« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2008, 01:05:17 PM »

Quote from: Moliere on November 21, 2008, 01:44:39 AM

Hmmm, where can I find a woman who doesn't mind being subservient? Its always better to get the roles established early on so I have to find someone that wants to be yoked up. The site better not reject me because I'm an atheist or I will sue their ass. And if you're straight you should apply here and then sue if they don't find you a heterosexual match.

Companies should not be punished for specialization or for the desire to associate with like-minded individuals. We all do it on a daily basis. This forum is a prime example.

That reminds me, I don't desire to associate with Moliere anymore.  slywink
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