EHarmony's GLBT site will alienate gays, not include them
By Alexandra Gury
In 2005, New Jersey resident Eric McKinley took his frustration with Eharmony.com up with the courts. The website, which boasts more successful matches than any other dating website, refused to match same-sex couples and McKinley called them out on it.
Having clearly violated Laws Against Discrimination, Eharmony made the decision to settle outside of court, and agreed to create a facet of their website solely for the gay community. In accordance with their settlement agreement, Eharmony has created a separate site dedicated to matching same-sex couples called "Compatible Partners."
Although this site will use the same questionnaire to match same sex couples, the site comes with a hefty disclaimer warning that this new matchmaking site was not created with the use of extensive data on what makes a compatible same-sex couple.
With the creation of Compatible Partners, EHarmony has made their stance clear. Instead of creating a place in their dropdown menu for man seeking man or woman seeking woman (as seen on Match.com or Chemistry.com) Eharmony has created a separate website for singles seeking same sex matches.
EHarmony’s straight users and their newly acquired homosexual users will remain completely separate. Some liken it to America's pre-civil rights discrimination.
New York based producer Pat Ferarra has much to say on this matter. Having lived north of New York City in a small town in Putnam County called Patterson, Ferarra exclusively dates men via Internet dating sites because “in such a small town, there really isn’t a choice,” he said.
Having spent years of his life endlessly scrolling the pages of various dating sites, Ferarra feels the need for a site that is more based on research that could determine a true good match, but at what cost?
“Sure, you see a site like Eharmony and you think, yeah, that would work great. But if they are saying that they’re going to toss up a site for gays without doing their research, then what’s the point? Why should we give them our business? Why support them if they don’t really support us?" Ferarra said.
Ferarra’s struggle points to a question weighing heavily on the minds of many homosexuals ready for true love: Where should I turn if I’m ready to find a match via an internet dating service, but am not willing to support Eharmony.com.
It is Frank Mastronuzzi, creator of OneGoodLove.com (oGL), who offers a solution. The former employee of Match.com created oGL as an alternative to all of the "hookup sites" available to the gay community.
This excerpt from oGL’s mission statement speaks to their dedication to matchmaking from a place of true knowledge about what makes people compatible with one another, regardless of sex and without reference to the outdated definition of the word marriage.
“Through our team of psychologists, relationship experts and business professionals, oGL is focusing years of online dating industry expertise and our understanding of how relationships develop to provide the gay and lesbian community a place to meet others who share the same ideals and values of a long-term partnership.”
When Compatible Partners goes live this year, so does the hard evidence of Eharmony’s discriminatory views on homosexuality. It has been said that EHarmony’s creator, Dr. Neil Clark Warren, has sited EHarmony’s dedication to marriage as a reason behind their hesitance to match same sex couples.
It seems the predominant defense tactic of those who choose to discriminate against homosexuals is to hide behind the archaic definition of marriage. The reality that homosexuality is as much of a choice as skin color or gender is lost on those who allow their prejudices to control their thought process.
Thanks to people like Erick McKinley, large companies like EHarmony who discriminate against homosexuals are slowly being exposed. Furthermore, Eharmony’s creation of Compatible Partners, a separate but not equal service for homosexual patrons, only serves to further illustrate their preexisting ignorant views of homosexuality.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Out & About Newspaper. Reach Alexandra at firstname.lastname@example.org.