eHarmony Forced to Create a Dating Service for Gay Singles

In a settlement with the New Jersey Attorney General's Office, the online dating service eHarmony, until now limited to heterosexuals, has agreed to start matching men with men and women with women. The deal resolves a complaint by a gay man who claimed that eHarmony's failure to accommodate homosexuals violated New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination. eHarmony's lawyer said it believed the complaint "resulted from an unfair characterization of our business" but settled because "litigation outcomes can be unpredictable." (Isn't that the main reason anyone settles a lawsuit?) The company's new service for gay singles, Compatiblepartners.net, may also resolve similar litigation in California.

I've never bought the argument that gay marriage—i.e., the government's evenhanded recognition of relationships between couples, without regard to sexual orientation—is a way of forcing "the gay agenda" onto people who object to it. But this coerced agreement, compelling a private business to provide a service it did not want to provide, certainly is. As Michelle Malkin notes, "this case is akin to a meat-eater suing a vegetarian restaurant for not offering him a ribeye or a female patient suing a vasectomy doctor for not providing her hysterectomy services."

eHarmony founder Neil Clark Warren says the company has declined to serve the gay market because the compatibility research on which it relies to match people was done with heterosexuals and may not be applicable to same-sex couples. But even if he decided to focus on heterosexuals because he disapproves of homosexuality, that should be his right in a free society. Potential customers excluded or offended by that choice then would have a right to go elsewhere, instead of forcibly imposing their preferences. Likewise, competitors would be free to take advantage of eHarmony's perceived shortcomings, as they've been trying to do. Speaking of competitors, wouldn't the principle that justifies forcing eHarmony to match gay singles also require gay dating services to match heterosexuals and Jewish dating services to match Christians?

Katherine Mangu-Ward covered the controversy over eHarmony's "straights only" policy in the November 2007 issue of reason.

[Thanks to John Kluge for the tip.]

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  • Citizen Nothing||

    Why not force them to match gay men with heterosexuals? I mean, come on, seperate but equal?

    This could be hilarious.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    or even separate

  • sage||

    As Michelle Malkin notes, "this case is akin to a meat-eater suing a vegetarian restaurant for not offering him a ribeye

    Or a tube steak. Smothered in underwear.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    The ad on this screen offers "Meet Your Lesbian Match!"
    Is this now a binding offer? Given current law, can they possibly turn me down as a customer?

  • Nigel Watt||

    Can we get somebody to defend the settlement? Come on, somebody's that stupid, right?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Maybe. Is the attorney general of New Jersey a Democrat?
    Calling joe...

  • ||

    Finally, Episiarch can have a chance at happiness.

  • SpongePaul||

    They were a private company, they can set the rules and take on any client thy want. they also have the right to refuse service to anyone. The gays and lesbians could have started their own e-harmony style dating service. Now, I am all for gay rights. equal ones, not special. E-Harmony should be free to serve whoever the hell they want. not forced to venture into territiorial waters that the program or the people who run e-harmony are not equipped to handle.

  • Abdul||

    Washington DC has a law against discrimination based on looks. D.C. CODE 1981 § 1-2512.

    I smell a sweet, sweet class action settlment for us fugly people!

  • Kolohe||

    Once this thread runs its course, I'd like to compare it with the pharmacist one.

  • ||

    I agree that eHarmony should be able to do whatever they want. But anything that pisses of Malkin can't be all bad, can it?

  • economist||

    I'm not really surprised by this.

  • D||

    Speaking of competitors, wouldn't the principle that justifies forcing eHarmony to match gay singles also require gay dating services to match heterosexuals and Jewish dating services to match Christians?

    I wish I went to law school.

  • ||

    They deserve it for being mean to homosexuals! They might as well have been going out and beating up gays and tying them to fences!

  • SpongePaul||

    eHarmony's lawyer said it believed the complaint "resulted from an unfair characterization of our business" but settled because "litigation outcomes can be unpredictable."
    _______________________________________________
    so i guess it has become easier to bend over and take it, than to actually fight to enforce your rights. E-harmony was never in the wrong, but setttled because it was easier. wow, and now precenendts have been set, because the legal system is obviously bloated and broken what a sad state we have become!

  • ||

    I don't see the problem. Gay clients can get a list of female matches just like hetero clients do. Everyone's equal!

  • Mister DNA||

    I'm still getting the Bob Barr ad. Is there something you'd like to tell us, Bob?

  • ||

    I am a sock puppet.

  • economist||

    "so i guess it has become easier to bend over and take it, than to actually fight to enforce your rights. E-harmony was never in the wrong, but setttled because it was easier. wow, and now precenendts have been set, because the legal system is obviously bloated and broken what a sad state we have become!"
    Bending over and taking it is a time-honored tradition in statist societies.

  • alan||

    Speaking of competitors, wouldn't the principle that justifies forcing eHarmony to match gay singles also require gay dating services to match heterosexuals and Jewish dating services to match Christians?

    Too the New Egalitarians (can't really use the liberal label here, I know of none personally who would support this lawsuit), freedom isn't a two way street you use for dealing with the traffic in your daily life, it is a one lane road always aimed towards that shining city of Progress (pop. when we get there).

  • .||

    Serious question: When two gay men get "married," how do they determine which one is the "wife"? Is "she" necessarily the receiver, or is there more to it? I'm serious. Anyone know?

  • sapientia est celare scientiam||

    I've never bought the argument that gay marriage-i.e., the government's evenhanded recognition of relationships between couples, without regard to sexual orientation-is a way of forcing "the gay agenda" onto people who object to it.

    So long as you continue to discriminate against relationships between couples who are married to other people, and couples who are brother and sister etc., then it's quite clear that you're pushing the gay agenda, not looking for true equality before the law.

  • ||

    I really, really, really hate the victim-complex thing going on here. eHarmony was pretty much the only dating website among hundreds that did not allow homesexual matching. So the people, homo or hetero, who go out of their way to portray themselves as victims of discrimination suck, a whole lot.

    What kind of crazy jackass do you have to be to go out of your way to make a company miserable and resentful of your existence?

  • cunnivore||

    Gay clients can get a list of overweight, stupid, bitchy female matches whose butts roll when they walk just like hetero clients do.

    FTFY

  • David Ross||

    eHarmony is aware that there will never, ever, ever again be a pro-business government at the federal level in the United States of America. Maybe eHarmony's lawyers could have won this one. But in a few years of appointments, the next case would not be so certain.

    I suspect this also means that eHarmony are afraid of anti-8 hackers taking aim at their site. Which means their system isn't secure anyway.

  • ||

    Once this thread runs its course, I'd like to compare it with the pharmacist one.

    Computer dating service doesn't want to serve homosexuals =|= pharmacists not giving people medicine because Magic Sky Daddy told them not to

  • ||

    eHarmony is looking at this all crabbed. This is the perfect opportunity for lonely, single women, who lack access quality gay men, to connect with gay men to be their GBFs!

    Or the reverse and we can call it eBeard.

  • ||

    This is what happens when you stop abusing minorities, they abuse you right back.

  • sapientia est celare scientiam||

    phalkor, it's symbolism, just like the gay marriage crusade. While 95% of gays are just ordinary people who are content to have freedom to frot with their preferred genitalia, there is a vocal minority that demands social recognition for their inclinations. Quite immature if you ask me.

  • ||

    Gay clients can get a list of overweight, stupid, bitchy female matches whose butts roll when they walk just like hetero clients do.

    What online dating service hurt you, cunnivore?

    Hey, maybe you could sue them for not providing the hot chicks that your sexual orientation requires.

  • The Extispicator||

    eHarmony could really get them back by intentionally mis-matching people with their database. Catchers with Catchers and so on...

  • Douglas Gray||

    In 2007, in the U.K., a row over gay adoptions broke out. The Archbishop of Westminster wrote a letter to the British Cabinet asking the government to exempt Catholic adoption agencies from having to consider gay clients.

    The letter said that because of Catholic teaching, their agencies would not be "able to recruit and consider homosexual couples as potential adoptive parents." It threatened that all 7 Catholic adoption agencies in the country would close rather than submit to the Equality Act.

    Under U.K'S Equality Act Law, no provider of goods, facilities and services "open to the public" may discriminate on various grounds, including the sexual orientation of the customer. Thus a restaurant cannot refuse to serve a group of lesbians having a night out; a hotel cannot deny a gay couple a room if one is available.

    I agree that E-Harmony should have had the right to deny providing services for gays, but their attornies saw the handwriting on the wall. A liberal judge in this Country would most likely buy into the principles espoused by the U.K'S Equality Act, which gives any business who is "open to the public" fewer rights to exercise discrimination than individuals.

    Had this case gone to court in the U.K, my guess is that the ruling would have gone against E-harmony, as they are open to the public.

    I agree with Ann Coulter's position, but I don't think her analogies are correct. Many of the basic principles of compatibility developed by E-Harmony would apply equally to gay couples.

  • ||

    Once this thread runs its course, I'd like to compare it with the pharmacist one.

    bleh, too totally different cases, the main issue was whether hospital and pharmacies were sufficiently joined at the hip to government too be forced to comply like another government agency would, I felt that they were, eHarmony is completely different and is a purely private organization

  • Atheist in Athens||

    Does this settlement (and precedent) also open the door for atheist lawsuits against eHarmony? They are, after all, an openly Christian outfit. Their compatibility questions are openly biased against unbelievers. And their feel-good, real-life Christian actor/testimonials make me gag. I'll bet when they're really cutting loose, they're drinking rum 'n' Cokes.

  • Kolohe||

    I'd say a good portion of the reason that eHarmony doesn't want to serve homosexuals is because the proprietors and managers think the Magic Sky Daddy frowns upon such shennigans (although their official position is that their 'scientific' formula doesn't account for teh ghey.)

    For the record, eHarmony should match (or not), whomever they want to. And pharmacists who own a business shoudl dispense (or not) whatever drugs they want to. And people who work for a pharmacy should dispense (or not) whatever drugs the business owner tells them to.

    Also, wasn't NJ the state where that one douche won an EEO claim against ladies night?

  • ||

    Dagny,

    We could start eHarmotarian.com. 100 sweaty commenters vying for the affection of three real girls and five guys pretending to be girls. We'd be dollar menuaires!

  • cunnivore||

    If you must know, my parents gave me a "hint,hint" gift certificate for a month on eHarmony. It didn't work out so well.

    Even with the predilection from which my name derives, it's a little tough to go all out when you're reduced to picking a random fold and hoping it's the right one. It's like playing Whac-a-mole with your tongue.

  • ||

    Also, wasn't NJ the state where that one douche won an EEO claim against ladies night?

    It was eventually dismissed. What a nimrod that guy was.

  • SpongePaul||

    In 2007, in the U.K.,
    _____________________________________________
    Yeah, But we are not the UK we are a free society, a rep republic. the UK is much more socialistic and the goverment more oppressive. you are comparing apples to sausages.

  • bubba||

    eHarmony is using a different URL for this service?

    Isn't this just like California offering domestic partnerships without marriage?

    Won't eHarmony just get sued again next year for not using the same word for gay matchmaking as hetero?

  • ||

    Speaking of competitors, wouldn't the principle that justifies forcing eHarmony to match gay singles also require gay dating services to match heterosexuals and Jewish dating services to match Christians?

    No no no. Our society already throws rose pedals before the feet of white christian men. You never have to worry about discriminating against them. No amount of private discrimination could drain the sea of privilege we swim in. It's all about fairness.

  • alan||

    The Extispicator | November 20, 2008, 4:31pm | #
    eHarmony could really get them back by intentionally mis-matching people with their database. Catchers with Catchers and so on...


    I had a friend in the early 90's of the Caucazoid persuasion who had a huge fetish for black girls. He tried a dating service to meet this objective, but very few of the attractive black girls were putting down a preference for the pastily inclined, so he changed his racial identification to black and hoped like hell that they did not mind. After a couple of disastrous dates, he realized it wasn't going to work for him.

  • Abdul||

    Many of the basic principles of compatibility developed by E-Harmony would apply equally to gay couples.

    I kind of doubt that. Men form different relationships with other men, and women with women, than men do with women. In some ways, getting a hetero relationship to work is harder because the opposite sex is so opposite.

  • ||

    "Can we get somebody to defend the settlement? Come on, somebody's that stupid, right?"

    I'll give it a shot. Government authority stops only where the government says it does. All businesses are, therefore, extensions of the government, and thus cannot discriminate. After all, if they can't discriminate against people who want mortgages they can't afford, they can't discriminate against any of the government's chosen groups. How was that?

  • cunnivore||

    In some ways, getting a hetero relationship to work is harder because the opposite sex is so opposite.

    And you would know this how? It's not obvious, in other words. There are a lot of situations in which differences in temperament actually help people get along.

  • ||

    We could start eHarmotarian.com. 100 sweaty commenters vying for the affection of three real girls and five guys pretending to be girls. We'd be dollar menuaires!

    I like the cut of your jib, Sug. The libertarian dating market is tragically underserved! Plus, it would only be a matter of time before VH1 optioned the dramatic meet-in-person for a reality miniseries.

  • ||

    Will gays sue when the product does not work as advertise (compatibility research was done heterosexuals)? I bet someone will.

  • ||

    Plus, it would only be a matter of time before VH1 optioned the dramatic meet-in-person for a reality miniseries.

    Next up, on FOX... Excessive and loud screaming followed by a desperate escape to freedom!

  • ||

    so i guess it has become easier to bend over and take it,

    Perhaps not the most felicitous turn of phrase in a discussion of state-enforced gay rights?

    So, a quick scan reveals no one willing to defend this decision?

    Can you condemn this decision and also claim that there should be a law that prohibits, say, a bar from being "straights-only"?

  • economist||

    "Even with the predilection from which my name derives, it's a little tough to go all out when you're reduced to picking a random fold and hoping it's the right one. It's like playing Whac-a-mole with your tongue."
    Thanks a lot for that image, I'm going to go kill myself now.

  • ||

    Even with the predilection from which my name derives, it's a little tough to go all out when you're reduced to picking a random fold and hoping it's the right one. It's like playing Whac-a-mole with your tongue.

    Ha! There's a visual I could've lived without. That you still went through with it is proof you've named yourself accurately. True commitment to your art. =P

  • ||

    The libertarian dating market is tragically underserved!

    Its a classic case of supply far exceeding demand. Market failure! Bail-out! (I almost said "Hand-out!", but maybe not, if you know what I mean.)

  • economist||

    "Can we get somebody to defend the settlement? Come on, somebody's that stupid, right?"

    It's a slippery slope. First you won't let gays use your website, and then you won't let them in restaurants or hotels. And then, before you know it, you're taking them to the edge of town and stoning them because that's what you think Sky Daddy wants you to do. Which is why we have to force a specific dating website, out of hundreds, to open itself to gays.

  • economist||

    "Its a classic case of supply far exceeding demand. Market failure! Bail-out! (I almost said "Hand-out!", but maybe not, if you know what I mean.)"
    Public brothels? With a special libertarian discount?

  • David Ross||

    alan, I had a black female friend about 5 years back who had a thing for tall white guys (I was too short, personally, but good enough to talk to). She hated eHarmony because it wouldn't do interracial couples, at least not bf/wm.

  • Boston||

    I think its just odd they are suing for the opportunity to use an inferior product. This is of course presuming eHarmony isn't lying.

  • economist||

    Free "handouts"!

  • Just Plain Brian||

    I smell a sweet, sweet class action settlment for us fugly people!



    I like the way you think. First we must sue the Attractive Girls Union!

  • economist||

    "I think its just odd they are suing for the opportunity to use an inferior product. This is of course presuming eHarmony isn't lying."
    Boston, I have to explain something to you. In this world, there are some people who must have everyone not only tolerate but actively support every decision they make. These people are called assholes, and they should be avoided at all costs, lest something they do displease you, and they thus become displeased that you do not support whatever it is they did which displeased you.

  • Boston||

    Marc you are a better, faster man than i am.

  • cunnivore||

    She hated eHarmony because it wouldn't do interracial couples, at least not bf/wm.

    Are you sure it's not a case of most white guys not wanting to be matched with black women?

  • the unregistered voter||

    I told you so - all trendy lefty social causes that start out with "It's nobody else's business! I'm not hurting anyone else but myself!", end up becoming your business, like it or not.

  • economist||

    "I told you so - all trendy lefty social causes that start out with "It's nobody else's business! I'm not hurting anyone else but myself!", end up becoming your business, like it or not."
    Which is why I'm always instantly suspicious of "left-libertarians".

  • nonPaulogist||

    Obama temporarily mad me gay.

  • cunnivore||

    I wouldn't say all such causes turn out that way. It only happens when the govt latches onto the cause and writes it into law.

  • economist||

    cunnivore,
    No, that's seems to be a consistent pattern with leftist causes. Everything is either illegal or mandatory.

  • highnumber||

    Can you condemn this decision and also claim that there should be a law that prohibits, say, a bar from being "straights-only"?

    I'm not going to claim that, but you can sort out the differences between the two situations, can't you?

  • ||

    Forcing eHarmony to do same-sex matching is totally gay.

  • Dello||

    abdul,
    "Many of the basic principles of compatibility developed by E-Harmony would apply equally to gay couples."

    "I kind of doubt that. Men form different relationships with other men, and women with women, than men do with women. In some ways, getting a hetero relationship to work is harder because the opposite sex is so opposite."

    Agreed. Which brings up a joke:

    What do lesbians drive to the second date?
    A U-Haul truck.

    What do Gays drive to the second date?
    What second date?

  • economist||

    "Can you condemn this decision and also claim that there should be a law that prohibits, say, a bar from being "straights-only"?"
    No. Which is why I don't think there should be any law concerning it.

  • economist||

    Maybe it's the time to bring up D-Yikes!

  • ||

    So, would it have been wrong for New Jersey to have sent SWAT teams into eHarmony's HQ, snatched Neil Clark Warren, and shipped him off to Cuba to live with Elian Gonzalez and his father? Just checking.

  • SIV||

    Computer dating service doesn't want to serve homosexuals =|= pharmacists not giving people medicine because Magic Sky Daddy told them not to

    Why is it any more ridiculous than that Pharmacists won't give me medicine because the State and it's monopoly licensed Priest-Class hasn't told them to.

  • Urkobold™||

    A QUESTION: HOW ARE ON-LINE DATING SERVICES DIFFERENT FROM PIMPS?

  • Zeb||

    I wonder if they were going to introduce their gay site anyway. I seem to remember seeing an interview with the eHarmony guy some time ago where he said that they had some sort of plans for a gay matching service in the future and the only reason they did not offer such a service was because their software was designed for hetero couples. Makes sense. It is only going to make them more money.

  • ||

    I went to a WM/BF wedding in Tennessee. The groom's family didn't show up, but boy it was some party. Unfortunately, the marriage only lasted a couple of years.

  • ||

    How long will it be before the gays sue because their site doesn't get as much advertising as the other?

  • ||

    A QUESTION: HOW ARE ON-LINE DATING SERVICES DIFFERENT FROM PIMPS?

    PIMPS DELIVER. AND WITHOUT A LOT OF FUSS. PLUS I LIKE THE WAY THE LARGE PEACOCK FEATHERS IN THEIR FANCY PURPLE HATS TICKLE MY EAR WHEN WE CUT A DEAL.

    YES, I SAID PEACOCK.

  • rhywun||

    Stupid. I remember wasting my time on this sort of thing a few years ago, looked into eHarmony, found out they don't serve my kind, said "Fuck 'em", and moved on. What the hell is wrong with people?

  • tim||

    I kind of doubt that. Men form different relationships with other men, and women with women, than men do with women. In some ways, getting a hetero relationship to work is harder because the opposite sex is so opposite.

    Spare me. Same sex and opposite sex relationships are equally as hard to get working. But dating between same sex couples is a different dynamic than opposite sex couples. EHarmony's model could very well work with same sex couples but like any model - it won't work for everyone.

  • ||

    "A QUESTION: HOW ARE ON-LINE DATING SERVICES DIFFERENT FROM PIMPS?"

    Hookers occasionally service winners.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Dello,

    Did you know that joke has spawned its own Wikipedia page?

  • ||

    I remember wasting my time on this sort of thing a few years ago, looked into eHarmony, found out they don't serve my kind, said "Fuck 'em", and moved on

    I would guess that a lot of non-Christian, non-loser people did that in general. It's not all about you, rhywun! Just because you're a vegisexual doesn't mean the world revolves around you.

  • fyodor||

    "I told you so - all trendy lefty social causes that start out with "It's nobody else's business! I'm not hurting anyone else but myself!", end up becoming your business, like it or not."
    Which is why I'm always instantly suspicious of "left-libertarians".


    So this is the fault of "left-libertarians"? And we should be suspicious of the argument that "It's nobody else's business! I'm not hurting anyone else but myself!"?

    Me, I'm suspicious of both anyone who isn't moved by that argument AND anyone who can't tell the difference between it and government intervention on behalf of what should be nobody else's business!

  • Crow Eating Dumbass||

    There's a logic to this I guess. If Wal-Mart decided not to offer its services to black people then a state that had an anti-discrimination clause would logically have to act against them. And if the anti-discrimination clause in NJ includes gays then eharmony is doing something very similar.

    But I have to say it seems very sucky in this case. I'm not sure why.

  • ||

    eHarmony is aa cyberplace of cyberpublic cyberaccomodation.

    Fuck cyberproperty rights. Wait until somebody eminent domains their URL to give to a wealthy barbershop quartet aficionado who is a big political donor.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    looks like CED is awakening...

    go for broke, MNG! Say that "It's sucky because business owners own their property and should be able to discriminate how they please!"

    Say it!

  • ||

    TAO
    I won't say that. I kind of think the whole civil rights thing was actually a good thing.

  • ||

    One group physically enslaves another group, gives them no or little property, contract, electoral or criminal rights, enriches themselves off their labor, actively encourages (both through persuasion and by creating a disadvantaged position for these people by the above) racist attitudes among the members of the former group, then frees them and says "hey, sorry about all that, by the way, property rights are sacrosanct and we can discriminate against you through them at will."

    Uh, yeah, libertarian justice!

  • cunnivore||

    Crow Eater,

    eHarmony was not denying gays access to its service. It was just not offering the service gays would typically want. (There's no equal protection issue either, before someone throws Loving v Virginia at me, since Walmart is a private entity)

    A better analogy would be if Walmart refused to stock black Barbies, could black people sue for discrimination.

  • ||

    "Now that we've enslaved you denying all basic rights and giving members of our race amazing advantages over yours for literally hundreds of years and created conditions that would foster the belief in our people that you are lazy, criminal and stupid by nature, we now end all that and say that, of course, if any of us (who just happen to have all the capital now!) want to discriminate against any of you for any reason then we can."

    And the libertarian answer to all this? Well, they are now free to work hard to overcome and dispel the racism! To give any more help than that, why that would violate the sacred magic property rights...

  • cunnivore||

    I should say, since eHarmony is a private entity there is no equal protection issue...

  • CED||

    Cunny
    Are you arguing because gays were free to pursue heterosexual matches on eharmony that they were'nt being discriminated in the same manner that I spoke of?


    Like gays are free to marry too, just not other gays.

  • cunnivore||

    CED, the libertarian answer is that groups don't do things. People do.

    No American alive today enslaved anyone else.

  • cunnivore||

    CED, you just got prebutted. Read my disclaimer about eHarmony being a private entity and thus not subject to the equal protection clause.

  • cunnivore||

    So do you think Walmart would be suable under anti-discrimination laws if they didn't offer black Barbies?

  • ||

    "No American alive today enslaved anyone else."

    Duh. But many Americans today benefit from the conditions created by slavery, and many have disadvantages.

    "CED, you just got prebutted."

    I did? I'm talking about anti-discrimination laws, like the Civil Rights Act.

    "So do you think Walmart would be suable under anti-discrimination laws if they didn't offer black Barbies?"

    No, I don't think your analogy works. See above.

  • economist||

    CED,
    Since we're talking essentially about reparations, I'd like your house. I know, there were no Cherokees in Virginia, but logic never seems to be a ubiquitous part of victimology.

  • ||

    I have to agree with CED @6:01pm on this ... state's rights, and all. Also that it feels weird. Is there a Godwin's equivalent to using a negro reference? This is a good place to insert one, as CED did.

    The bottom line for me reads that developing any service that specifically excludes a whole class of person is discriminatory, and not good business in some senses. I can easily see that it would make good business sense for a Christian book seller to preclude stocking any Satan-worshipping tomes, for one extreme example. If they stocked Satanic books, it would dim the view their loyal customers had for the company and probably ruin them.

    With the gay bar example, though, I think it's perfectly acceptable to run the establishment by targeting gays without expressly discriminating against non-gays as a business, and then let non-gays wander in freely. There would end up being very little non-gay business; not because the business excluded them as a matter of its charter, but rather because the business environment became uncomfortable for most non-gays, and they stopped wandering in.

    eHarmony intentionally excludes gays, non-Christians and people interested in establishing interracial relationships from their services, and that is what seems to have been attacked by the lawsuit.

    My analogies aren't perfect, for sure.

  • economist||

    Also, MNG, exactly what have Americans today inherited from the era of slavery that is of particular value? Most of the country's industrial base grew after the Civil War, and that has been the primary source of American wealth during the twentieth century.

  • ||

    economist ... um ... railroads? That portion of the country's industrial base that grew before the Civil War?

  • economist||

    James Butler,
    The country's industrial base was relatively small before the Civil War. The majority of railroad track was in northern states. And it should be noted that cotton prices fell dramatically after the Civil War.

  • cunnivore||

    I did? I'm talking about anti-discrimination laws, like the Civil Rights Act.

    The civil rights act doesn't say anything about sexual orientation. And the specific example you brought up was gay marriage, which is claimed to be required by the equal protection clause, not any anti-discrimination ordinance.

    And anti-discrimination laws do not require every business to offer services that appeal equally to all races, religions, sexual orientations etc. Rather, they require businesses to offer whatever services they offer to members of one race, etc., to those of any other race, etc.

  • CED||

    economist

    I think any specific reperations beyond the interested parties are unworkable and perhaps unust.

    I do think though we can create programs that provide remedies to the conditions created that currently still harm members of harmed groups.

    For example, many people think black people are inferior and many people inherited this idea from a time when black people were indeed kept in an inferior position, through force. A black person has to try to do all the things we do, get a job, pay the bills, get loans, hail taxis, etc., but faces more challenges on this than we might because of beliefs about them that were fostered and encouraged by wrongs perpetuated in the past. In addition, the average black person will be born into a family with less wealth, less educational background, etc., and a lot of this, all which helps one succeed, can be directly traced to their ancestors, not even that many generations ago, being denied many basic rights (again, often through force).

    Now, I don't favor something like affirmative action, because now we are committing more wrongs, sending the wrong message to blacks, and maybe making race relations worse in the long run.

    But I do favor anti-discrimination laws. It removes the stain of the past created by government injustice of the past and makes the chances of that black guy getting that job, loan, etc., more equal to me and others whose ancestors did his wrong (a phrase btw, I have no evidence my ancestors did any of them wrong, for all I know they fought for the North and volunteered for the Freedman's bureau, but the point still stands).

    In doing this the only "liberty" we've trumped is the "liberty" to discriminate against a person. Not bad exchange I'd say.

  • economist||

    But if we want to talk about reparations, I'd be very glad to have a few thousand acres granted to me. Not sure what I'd do with it (I'll probably just sell it to someone else), but I never turn down free stuff.

  • economist||

    You say that you're not talking about reparations, and yet you use reasoning that would logically lead to reparations if you didn't have a specific with that conclusion.
    You say po-tay-toh, I say po-tah-to. Or is it the other way around?

  • economist||

    You also haven't explained why generalized socialism isn't unjust.

  • cunnivore||

    There was a time and a place where anti-discrimination laws helped remedy massive social injustice. I don't think the laws were the best way to do this, but what's done is done.

    However, in 2008, the vast majority of businesses throughout the US would not discriminate even in the absence of such a law. It's simply bad business. It was also bad business in Montgomery in the 1960s to discriminate, but the racism was so pervasive that it overrode business concerns. That is not true today.

    So at this point, anti-discrimination laws really have outlived their usefulness. As another commenter pointed out, the vast majority of dating services DO match people with others of the same sex. So it's not like gays are unable to get these services in the absence of the law forcing eHarmony to offer them.

  • ||

    economist, you asked "what" not "how much".

    BTW, you're starting to stretch your arguments with CED beyond the "making sense" point ... logic does not dictate whatyou think it does, in this case. And I believe the deal was for "forty acres and a mule", not "thousands of acres".

  • economist||

    Yes, but there's fewer of us, and by reparations logic we rightfully own all the land in the U.S. (If you want to get tribe-specific the area is smaller). So our share is bigger.

  • economist||

    cunnivore,
    Prepare to have the goalposts moved...

  • ||

    Again, with the logic.

  • Robert Goodman||

    Could eHarmony have settled the suit simply by buying an existing same-sex matchmaking service?

  • cunnivore||

    "logic" is the new "DemandKurv!"

  • ||

    Reperations would mean taking the actual benefits from the group that benefited and giving the actual benefits to those that were wronged.

    I don't think my logic demands this. The specific persons are indeed dead, and we really can't work out who owes who exactly what.

    But what is not dead are the conditions fostered by the wrongs. The discrimination is still around, and I support measures that would combat it at the small price of preventing bigots from discriminating against people.

    "It was also bad business in Montgomery in the 1960s to discriminate, but the racism was so pervasive that it overrode business concerns. That is not true today.

    So at this point, anti-discrimination laws really have outlived their usefulness."

    Well, I have to give credit here. Many a libertarian will argue that the business norms and market forces would have magically eradicated and overrode the racism in 1960 Alabama. And I think that's flapdoodle.

    Now, I actually agree with you that discrimination is much less of a factor in the average black guy's life than in 1960, and I also agree that there be a point where blacks or whatever group does not need any anti-discrimination laws. But we ain't there yet.

    And, I really don't give much of a rat's butt for the "liberty" of a person to discriminate.

  • ||

    I think generalized socialism is wrong because some people in fact deserve to have more than other people (those who work harder for example, or those who delay gratification to enter into a later lucrative profession, etc). And more importantly I think this kind of inequality fosters overall utility.

    Having said that, I don't have any fetish for "property rights." When they get in the way of the general utility of society they must bend.

    Also, much inequality is the result of past injustices, and so to that extent I don't care about the "property rights" involved

  • cunnivore||

    And, I really don't give much of a rat's butt for the "liberty" of a person to discriminate.

    Then you and I will never agree. Liberty is pretty useless if it's only liberty to do things I approve of.

  • ||

    Today has been an excellent demonstration of (some of) the left's general commitment to using any means necessary to achieve goals they find laudable. And they wondered why we libertarians viewed them with a jaundiced eye during the Bush years.

    Liberty is the means and the end.

  • cunnivore||

    Many a libertarian will argue that the business norms and market forces would have magically eradicated and overrode the racism in 1960 Alabama. And I think that's flapdoodle.

    Don't get me wrong, I think that would have happened eventually, as the nation became more economically interconnected. But the anti-discrimination laws undoubtedly made this process much quicker. That doesn't make such laws just; there are many things that have helped liberty in this country that were themselves unjust, such as the conquering of the Indian tribes. Notwithstanding the lefty image of Native Americans as universally peaceful, benevolent flower children, there's no way America becomes what it is today if Europeans don't take it over.

  • economist||

    Damn, I get up to use toilet and 10 posts suddenly spring up.

  • economist||

    I forgot, what was the argument about again?

  • ||

    "I think that would have happened eventually, as the nation became more economically interconnected. But the anti-discrimination laws undoubtedly made this process much quicker."

    I agree on both points, and I do think the loss (bigots being prevented from discrimination in employment, loans accomadations, etc) was well worth the gains (blacks not suffering from discrimination in those areas). Imagine the alternative: sorry blacks, you're going to have to suffer horrible depravations in the area of employment, consunmption, loans, college admissions (private), etc., but at least we allowed some bigots to do what they wanted with property that they may well have gained by oppressing your ancestors with force and fraud!

    "Liberty is pretty useless if it's only liberty to do things I approve of."

    Oh, that's flapdoodle. Preventing a bigot from discriminating in employment and accomadations is only going to hurt his feelings at most. He's still free to do most anything important in life.

    Besides, I'm sure you are all for restricting some people's liberty at some times for doing things you don't like, like welching on their contracts or squatting on your land.

  • concerned observer||

    It's nice to see that you libertarians are still a bunch of callous, immature, rightwing nutjobs.

  • ||

    Now before you say "but I'm not against that because it's something I don't like, it's because that is a violation of rights" you should know that to many people there is a right not be discriminated against by business owners because of your skin color (or gender or sexual orientation etc)

  • economist||

    Actually, I don't care that much about squatters, as long as they stay out of my house*.

    *Since I live in a condo, this is a moot point. I might feel differently if I had a house.

    Oh, yeah, and CO: f*** you.

  • ||

    "It's nice to see that you libertarians are still a bunch of callous, immature, rightwing nutjobs."

    Now, see, that is what I call a troll. Someone who posts on here simply to insult the people to whom the thread caters to.

    I disagree with libertarians. Sometimes in ways that makes me angry at them. But I always try to argue why I disagree, because I enjoy the intellectual back and forth and I often learn a great deal, at the very least what libertarians as a movement and school of thought think about some things. But to just post to say "libertarians suck!", that's the essence of the troll imo.

  • economist||

    MNG,
    Why don't we turn the situation around and also tell people that they can't discriminate on which stores they patronize. After all, a lack of customers will hurt a business just as badly as a lack of employment hurts a worker. And some of those workers might have some of the their money because of something their ancestors did to the ancestors of the owners of particular stores.

  • ||

    Back to under the bridge with you!

    Later dudes, ACC football is coming on ESPN. Good night.

  • concerned observer||

    @CED,
    Statements of fact. Not insults.

  • concerned observer||

    In any case all libertarians ever do when somebody presents a diferent viewpoint from their s is say "OMGF a leftist troll. Evil. Back away!"

  • concerned observer||

    @economicst-YOur argument makes absolutiely no sense. WHo are you calling atrool?

  • economist||

    I will not be reduced to arguing the "teh concerned observer". I'm out.

  • Troll Math||

    Edward = Lefiti = concerned observer

  • the unregistered voter||

    The specific persons are indeed dead, and we really can't work out who owes who exactly what.

    That's why the concept of a statute of limitations exists in the law. It's a recognition that after a sufficient amount of time passes, justice just isn't possible.

  • perilisk||

    [Insert standard libertarian disclaimer about Jim Crow being the racist analogue to smoking bans, promoted by bigoted patrons afraid of secondhand Negro]

  • Neu Mejican||

    economist,

    If you got up to use the toilet, why didn't you do it BEFORE pissing all over this thread?

    8^p

    James Butler...I think you get at the crux of the issue.

    To me the reason this feels wrong is this.
    Anti-discrimination laws are about forcing reasonable behavior on businesses...they say you can't exclude/refuse to hire/refuse to serve this person for some reason X that has nothing to do with the job/service. In this case, however, eHarmony is refusing to provide services based on a factor relevant to the service they provide. So, to link back to an example brought up in the pharmacy thread, wanna-be fire-fighters in wheel chairs CAN be excluded if their impairment prevents them from doing the job.

    In this case, even if you buy into the logic of anti-discrimination laws, this case doesn't pass muster because eHarmony is not excluding for an irrelevant reason.

    imho.

  • ||

    "Oh, that's flapdoodle. Preventing a bigot from discriminating in employment and accomadations is only going to hurt his feelings at most. He's still free to do most anything important in life.

    Besides, I'm sure you are all for restricting some people's liberty at some times for doing things you don't like, like welching on their contracts or squatting on your land"

    Umm, actually, welching on contracts is not "liberty," it's "fraud." A contract is a voluntary agreement, and a binding promise. And squatting on someone's land is not "liberty," it's "trespassing." Neither of those examples restricts the person's liberty. And why do you get to decide what is important to business owners? Some people hold their bigotry very dear.

    Although I do understand the argument for anti-discrimination laws, they have gone way too far. If someone is accused of discrimination, it's up to the accuser to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was no good reason for the accused's refusal of service, loans, whatever. And I think most Libertarians wouldn't mind anti-discrimination laws if they weren't accompanied by entitlements. End the drug war, social security, welfare including government-mandated loan approval, farm subsidies, and the income tax, and we'll grant that there is some justification for anti-discrimination law.

  • BlueBook||

    Nitpick alert: the closest thing to a female equivalent of vasectomy would probably be tubal ligation, not hysterectomy.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    eHarmony Forced to Create a Dating Service for Gay Singles

    So, the Yes on 8 people were right?

  • economist||

    "End the drug war, social security, welfare including government-mandated loan approval, farm subsidies, and the income tax, and we'll grant that there is some justification for anti-discrimination law." But then you'd be gutting teh safety net!

  • ||

    The ACC has football? I did not know that. Division I?

  • economist||

    I'm not really an economist I just like to go on threads and get pissed at people for no reason and talk down to them on economics like I'm an expert. And I drink too much. And I seriously need cock.

  • economist||

    Notice ME! Notice me! My opinions are deep and important!

  • economist||

    I'm an armchair economist dick who enjoysf going online to post my irrelevant opinions.

  • economist||

    STOP SPOOFING ME!

  • economist||

    I can be a callous twit on racial issues because I'm part Cherokee so I get minority cred. Suck on that, joe!

  • The Angry Optimist||

    this is why I do not argue with MNG. No matter how logical you are with him, he resorts to collectivism.

  • economist||

    It seems that I'm the new spoof target. I think I might make myself scarce for awhile.

  • ||

    "this is why I do not argue with MNG. No matter how logical you are with him, he resorts to collectivism."

    I mean, if I can't be swayed by the great TAO then of course it must be some obstinate collectivism!

    Some people just don't share some of your basic assumptions and axioms TAO. In fact, most people. As you get older, you'll learn how to deal with that better...

    "The ACC has football? I did not know that. Division I?"

    Heh, that was a good one. Hey, at least we're not the Big East this year...

  • ||

    economist
    Just ignore that foolishness.

    Whoever's doing it, hey, I economist is not a very extreme voice around here, so it looks silly to spoof him...

  • ||

    TAO: Blah, Blah, Blah

    Non-TAO: Hey, I see what you are saying but I disagree with you. I don't see this and that, in fact I argue that and this. See example x and analogy y.

    TAO: Oh my god, you are just some collectivist, there's no convincing someone like that!

    Since everyone who disagrees with a hard core libertarian IS a collectivist in their minds this means that libertarian numbers will actually NEVER grow. It's a grand soliloquy...

  • ||

    True. The Big East is worse. Our local team (USF) has gotten steadily worse just by joining that conference.

  • ||

    Okay, I missed the whole reason for why you're posting as CED. Lose a bet?

  • ||

    I bet joe and BDB that Obama would never win Virginia, and I said that if he did I would post as Crow Eating Dumbass for the rest of the month.

    Jesus, it's been a long month.

    I was suprised by USF's fall. I saw them beat Kansas earlier this year and they looked good.

  • ||

    I know the polls in VA were predicting a VA win for Obama, but I lived in VA for a good while and I remembered the "Wilder effect" where the polls were very wrong in a statewide race with a black candidate.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm pleasantly surprised (not as much for Obama's win as he wasn't my fav candidate, as for the GOP's loss and the indicator that VA has changed quite a bit)

  • ||

    USF is confused, though still a potentially good team. Next year. My wife is an alumnus, but I went to UF.

    Virginia was a surprise to me, too.

  • ||

    eHarmony intentionally excludes gays, non-Christians and people interested in establishing interracial relationships from their services, and that is what seems to have been attacked by the lawsuit.



    Do you have any evidence as to the latter two claims? It's true that they ask a lot of questions about people's religiosity and attitudes towards what they expect in a partner's religious beliefs, but for a lot of people that can indeed predict how a relationship will go. I would think that any atheist or agnostic wouldn't want to be matched with someone whose religious beliefs would be a problem.

    Gay matches are the only matches that I've heard that they refuse to do. (Other than turning people down for already being married, being under 18, etc.) It's pretty easy to imagine that there aren't enough good matches that want interracial relationships.

    I'm sure it's easier to find a match who lives with you on eHarmony if you live in a larger population area, but that doesn't mean that it discriminates against people from small towns.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    CED, that is not it at all. you've been outargued on this reparations thing many times, but you keep coming back to it with the same, tired arguments.

    It's just not worth it, because it's obvious that you'll never, ever shift your opinion.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    I was explicitly an atheist when I was on eHarmony, and I did not have any trouble.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Preventing a bigot from discriminating in employment and accomadations is only going to hurt his feelings at most. He's still free to do most anything important in life.

    Prime example here. CED, you are not the one who should *get* to determine what is and what is not important.

    I can extend this argument to the war on drugs, if you like. "I mean, hey, big deal so what...you can't smoke weed! Not a big deeal! you can do all the important stuff! You shouldn't be smoking weed anyway."

    It's the same argument. And yet here you are, saying it all over again.

    I feel like channeling Reagan when it comes to you, CED, and just say "There you go again".

  • The Angry Optimist||

    sorry blacks, you're going to have to suffer ...but at least we allowed some bigots to do what they wanted with property that they may well have gained by oppressing your ancestors with force and fraud!

    Do you see those bolded words up there? They completely undo your entire argument.

    Which you know already. But, "There you go again".

  • ||

    co, statement of facts? ha! spoken like a true liberal nutjob. just because you think you are better than everyone else, a sentiment carried by most liberals, does not make your opinions fact.

  • ||

    What brillant legal reasoning. Does that mean that cross dressers get to go into women's bathrooms at public places? Maybe if I had the IQ of a piece of celery I could be a legal genius too.

  • ||

    Wondering if gay activists will sue if they don't advertise that service as annoyingly as they due eHarmony?

  • Seward||

    CED,

    I agree on both points, and I do think the loss (bigots being prevented from discrimination in employment, loans accomadations, etc) was well worth the gains (blacks not suffering from discrimination in those areas).

    This assumes that there were any such gains. The data on that point is at best mixed. That shouldn't be all that surprising given the long history of humans avoiding government mandates. And of course this doesn't even remotely address what Bastiat describes as the "unseen." All those aspects of government failure and negative externalities associated with government anti-discrimination laws.

    Preventing a bigot from discriminating in employment and accomadations is only going to hurt his feelings at most. He's still free to do most anything important in life.

    It isn't the bigot that the libertarian is worried about. It is everyone else. Making private entities the agent of the state undermines one of their most important capacities - as checks against government tyranny.

    Note that there is a significant body of literature on how markets penalize bigots; it is markets which have been the primary catalysts of ending bigotry, not government mandates.

  • Jonas||

    The Extispicator at 4:31 won the thread, just so everyone knows.

  • Paul||

    Next item:

    Fairness doctrine to demand more white people on BET.

  • ||

    Yeah, got to agree here. I'm not a fan of eHarmony's previous exclusionary practice (mainly because they insisted the reason for them was because same-sex relationships weren't "real" relationships), BUT that was obviously a problem for the free market to solve as other services had a whole market they could out compete eHarmony in. This court ruling is just embarrassing from a Gay Rights perspective.

  • Famous Mortimer||

    These are the kinds of silly tactics that give fodder to the loons who believe that gay groups are trying to force their lifestyle onto others.

    Eharmony should be allowed to exclude anyone it wants.

    Personally, I would ban cross-eyed people, or women who believe in Astrology.

  • ||

    TAO
    You consistently miss the point.

    The specific wrong doers and harmed may be gone but the disadvantages created still exist. You seem to think there is no such thing as these disadvantages, like the prejudice fostered by the force and fraud of the past, or the unequal wealth and social capital among blacks. For some reason in your mind larger numbers of blacks have just "chosen" to be poor and get be in situations which gets them turned down for loans and such. And as for racists, well, their freedom must be protected, even if their attitudes were largely formed and in their minds confirmed by the direct oppression of blacks in the past.

    I say government can act to negate those conditions. In your world it is the harmed who must struggle to overcome the harms inflicted upon them. And so I continue to outargue you.

  • ||

    That is all total bullshit, CED. I haven't said anything like what you're ascribing to me.

    Every time you're pressed on this "tipping the scales back", you do not have an answer. Who should be punished? How? Through taxes? And where should those taxes go? How do you go about proving who was and was not "responsible"? (Even though all of the people actually responsible are dead).

    This is the discussion Every. Single. Time. And all you've done is dodge it.

  • Seward||

    CED,

    Do get off your high horse. It is a bit early in the morning for that.

    You seem to think there is no such thing as these disadvantages, like the prejudice fostered by the force and fraud of the past, or the unequal wealth and social capital among blacks.

    Sure, governments in the past did create those disadvantages. The best way to alleviate them is via voluntary exchange, etc., not via government mandates. As for unequal wealth, in a free society that will always be the case as people voluntarily seek varying outcomes.

    For some reason in your mind larger numbers of blacks have just "chosen" to be poor and get be in situations which gets them turned down for loans and such.

    A very small percentage of the black population lives in poverty; indeed, it isn't terribly different number from the white population that lives in poverty (a few percentage points if I recall correctly). Furthermore, whites are more likely to live in poverty than Asian-Americans (though again, the difference there is quite small).

    I say government can act to negate those conditions.

    I say it has a very hard time doing so, and is far less effecient at doing so than markets are. So let's see the data on the subject.

  • Seward||

    CED,

    Also, I would note that in the current case are plenty of alternatives to eHarmony for gay people (or anyone else) to seek out for this service. So we don't even have an example of "market failure" here.

  • ||

    it's just an example of an very successful asshole who happens to be gay

  • ||

    "Hey, maybe you could sue them for not providing the hot chicks that your sexual orientation requires."

    There is some precedent for suing over too many fat chicks: See the sad saga of Kurt Spath. Of course, Spath is not actually gay, just a total dick.

  • economist||

    "Furthermore, whites are more likely to live in poverty than Asian-Americans (though again, the difference there is quite small). "
    I blame the evil Japanese. They exploit middle-class white people and...stuff. With their fancy cars and high-end electronics! And they tuk ur jebs!

  • economist||

    Now I can feel exploited by somebody. I'll blame the white man for half my problems and the Japanese for the other half.

  • economist||

    Damn, last post should have read "by somebody else". Maybe I should consider going to bed at 10 from now on.

  • *||

    "eHarmony founder Neil Clark Warren says the company has declined to serve the gay market because the compatibility research on which it relies..."

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

  • ||

    "Every time you're pressed on this "tipping the scales back", you do not have an answer. Who should be punished? How?"

    For those who can read English I have.

    My 6:39 post:

    "Now, I don't favor something like affirmative action, because now we are committing more wrongs, sending the wrong message to blacks, and maybe making race relations worse in the long run.

    But I do favor anti-discrimination laws. It removes the stain of the past created by government injustice of the past and makes the chances of that black guy getting that job, loan, etc., more equal to me and others whose ancestors did his wrong (a phrase btw, I have no evidence my ancestors did any of them wrong, for all I know they fought for the North and volunteered for the Freedman's bureau, but the point still stands)."

    AND

    "I do think though we can create programs that provide remedies to the conditions created that currently still harm members of harmed groups."

    You're just always angry that I don't agree with you and ascribe to that to "you just have no answer for ___". I have plenty of answers, you just don't like them...

    And I don't think of any of it as "punishment" as much as I think of it as ensuring that past wrongs do not dictate present and future outcomes. You know, opportunity.

    It strikes me that its you that doesn't like to address other people's arguments. Like, why do you think the black poverty rate is 3 times that of whites? Individual blacks, at a three times higher rate, just choose to act in ways that bring on poverty? It has nothing to do with social conditions like the average unequal wealth blacks have versus whites, or discrimination, or the increased chance a black kid will be born into families with less educational achievement? And why does the average black have less wealth and less familial history of educational achievement? Is it not related to past policies which oppressed them and favored folks with white skin like you and me?

    And given all that what should be done about it? It's on the blacks to remedy it through pulling them up by their bootstraps? It's their job to prove the racists wrong when much of hte racism was fostered by government policy?

    You're a tiresome person at times TAO, whose confidence and faith in your argumentative prowess and the truth of his viewpoints exceeds all objective reality, always whining that people you can't convince are engaging in bias and argument dodging. Projection maybe?Physician heal thyself.

    I've never heard your higher ed pity story, only the epiphenoma of it, but interacting with you leads me to imagine youre one of those ideologue students whose inability to fairly engage different points of view was rightly viewed as a weakness by your profs and utlimately led you to feel you were wronged by mythical deconstrunctionist leftist profs...

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    In your world it is the harmed who must struggle to overcome the harms inflicted upon them.

    This is, has been and always will be the case. Fortunately, I have opportunities that my grandparents and great-grandparents didn't have due in great part to the struggles of their generation and those preceding. We're all free to debate the specifics, but it's fair to say that the struggle of a modern African-American is by-and-large very, very different than it was during the Civil Rights era.
    I don't mean at all to disregard whatever bigotry is pervading society, I'm just trying to put 'modern black consciousness' in perspective.

  • ||

    "The best way to alleviate them is via voluntary exchange, etc., not via government mandates."

    Flapdoodle. I think markets do erode such arrangements over time, but as even cunnivore noted above the Civil Rights Acts sped this process up greatly. In fact, basic economics suggests it: providing civil and criminal sanctions to an action means it is disincentivized and thus less of it than otherwise would occur. You do believe in incentives, right?

    "A very small percentage of the black population lives in poverty; indeed, it isn't terribly different number from the white population that lives in poverty (a few percentage points if I recall correctly)."

    Bull. The poverty rate for blacks, according to the US Census, was 24% in 2006. The white was 8-9.

    http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/histpov/hstpov2.html

  • ||

    I wonder how much compatibility research there actually is on male-male and female-female couples. If Compatiblepartners simply adds "dominant" and "passive" to fudge "male" and "female" in the same algorithms then their pairings are likely to be train wrecks.

    Resulting in a Phyrric victory for the "shove my orientation in your face" bunch. Those assholes may be able to coerce a web site. They can't coerce successful matchups. I doubt if they can coerce the level of advertising spent on the eHarmony side. A reputation for wrong number matches on the homosexual side won't affect the established reputation of the heterosexual side. The market will go elsewhere leaving Compatiblepartners as a legal fig leaf for a basically good company.

  • ||

    Atheist in Athens

    eHarmony will do heterosexual matches with atheists. Just don't expect much selection and don't expect to be matched with Christians.

    If you do get matched, the two of you can be miserable together.

  • *||

    "If Compatiblepartners simply adds "dominant" and "passive" to fudge..."

    Is a "fudge" a top or bottom?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    I've never heard your higher ed pity story

    Um, I don't have one. Now who's projecting?

    And I don't think of any of it as "punishment" as much as I think of it as ensuring that past wrongs do not dictate present and future outcomes. You know, opportunity.

    Past wrongs, inflicted on dead people, by dead people.

    You have no sense of justice.

    It's on the blacks to remedy it through pulling them up by their bootstraps? It's their job to prove the racists wrong when much of hte racism was fostered by government policy?

    Your condescension to an entire group of people is more telling about you than me. The soft bigotry of low expectations.

    You want to "create" opportunity for a certain group. At whose expense, MNG? Laws that "create" opportunity for one group must necessarily punish the other.

  • Seward||

    CED,

    Flapdoodle.

    Oh, deepinfinckle!

    ... the Civil Rights Acts sped this process up greatly.

    About the only things these various laws did was open the political ranks up (ending that sort of discrimination is an appropriate function of government in my eyes), the data on other areas of life does not to my knowledge indicate any speeding up anywhere else. This variance shouldn't be that surprising. The tools the government has outside of enforcing non-discrimination of elections are quite blunt after all, and may also be easily captured for other purposes.

    In fact, basic economics suggests it: providing civil and criminal sanctions to an action means it is disincentivized and thus less of it than otherwise would occur.

    Those civil and criminal sanctions are avoidable. The U.S. government simply does not have the resources to enforce all these efforts to regulate how people associate with one another. Which is why we are apparently as segregated a nation as we were in 1968, if race distribution in public schools is any measure of such things.

    You do believe in incentives, right?

    Sure I do. These are simply incentives that apparently do not work.

    The poverty rate for blacks, according to the US Census, was 24% in 2006. The white was 8-9.

    In the early 1960s the poverty rate for blacks was roughly in the 1/3rd range (up from obviously far higher rates - 99% or more - in the immediate post-bellum era). So say this is the actual nominal rate of poverty for blacks in the U.S. as of 2006 (I would note that the Census to the best of my knowledge excludes certain sources of income when coming up with its figures - I don't know why exactly), it seems to me that all this government effort over the past forty plus years has happened at the same one saw a decrease of say roughly 8%-9%, whereas less government oriented efforts prior to this lead over a ~100 period to a as far dramatic drop in poverty levels. These are all off the cuff figures of course, but you get my point.

    Anyway, what is odd to me is that somehow laws which regulate associations are supposed to be some alleviator of poverty. Honestly, if you want to alleviate poverty, if that is your goal, do something directly, like a negative income tax.

  • Seward||

    CED,

    One of the things those who favor government intervention always appear to assume is that the intention of an intervention is what an intervention will bring about. Of course intent has nothing to do with the actual performance of a law. Indeed, U.S. history is littered with laws which brought about either unexpected or the directly opposing effects, trends, etc.

  • Seward||

    CED,

    ...providing civil and criminal sanctions to an action means it is disincentivized and thus less of it than otherwise would occur.

    One more thought...

    This is a bit of snark, but if civil and criminal sanctions were really that stark of a deterrance then the War on Drugs would have been over years ago. I think it is pretty clear than in some instances sanctions have some deterrance effect, but that appears to depend on the context (the context taking in all manner of factors).

    And that doesn't even get into all the negative consequences associated with allowing the government to police how people associate non-coercively. The more power the government has to regulate voluntary exchanges, etc. the more those negative consequences mount.

  • ||

    "Past wrongs, inflicted on dead people, by dead people.

    You have no sense of justice."

    Wow, and you criticize me for not even making an argument? Well, no it's YOU that has no sense of justice, how you like them apples!

    But if you think you can bring yourself to address my oft-repeated point, it's the CURENT effects of the conditions created by the past wrongs that I want to address.

    "Your condescension to an entire group of people is more telling about you than me. The soft bigotry of low expectations."

    lol, Bush-speak! Yeah, my not thinking the harmed groups must fight through the conditions inflicted upon them by past wrongs, that's mighty condescending! I could just as easily "argue" that your unwillingness to help those held down by those conditions reflects your self interest or worse racism. Again, it astounds me that you would accuse anyone in this thread of not making any arguments!

    I guess you think a woman attacked by a rapist should just buck up and fight them off, I mean if you think they deserve help that must reflect some condenscension or low expectations concerning them. Jesus.

    "At whose expense, MNG?" In this instance at the expense of those who wish to discriminate in employment, loan making, etc. I've said that over and over. How can I say it slower in writing?

  • ||

    "Which is why we are apparently as segregated a nation as we were in 1968"

    But Seward, why hasn't the market ended this as you predict?

    "These are simply incentives that apparently do not work."

    So on the one hand libertarian opponents of civil rights laws claim they are onerous on employers, yet they also do not work. That's incredible. Whole EEOC compliance wings exist in most companies. They sure take the laws (and the sanctions they can impose) pretty seriously...

    I'm not sure I follow your poverty argument. First, are you willing to admit that your first statement:

    "A very small percentage of the black population lives in poverty; indeed, it isn't terribly different number from the white population that lives in poverty (a few percentage points if I recall correctly)"

    Is flat wrong?

    Next, is your argument that the drop in poverty after 40 years of (something? I'm only talking about anti-discrimination laws not the whole Great Society+ btw) was not greater than the drop in poverty from post-Civil war to 1960? Because that strikes me as a terrible argument. Duh the rate of poverty fell from a point where most of the relevant population was rock bottom (where else would it go, up?). And you know the federal government spent some big time money post-Civil War on black uplift, right (you've heard of the Freedman's Bureau and Reconstruction, right?). And of course, correlation doesn't mean causation, etc.

    "This is a bit of snark, but if civil and criminal sanctions were really that stark of a deterrance then the War on Drugs would have been over years ago."

    Of course there is less drug use than there would be without those deterrents. Again, I hope you're not one of those libertarians who will argue on the one hand that the drug laws are draconian and the other they are no deterrent at all. That's silly.

  • jtuf||

    I was encouraged by the rally I joined breifly today. It was in support of marriage equality for homosexuals. I wish more LGB activists would base their arguements on equality before the law, rather than demanding that everyone everywhere acept them in their private groups.

  • ||

    Gay clients can get a list of overweight, stupid, bitchy female matches whose butts roll when they walk just like hetero clients do.

    FTFY

    The logic and behavior of people who make remarks like this will be the motivation for me to now start personally discriminating against all gay's.

  • Seward||

    CED,

    Taking your last remark first, I used the phrase "stark deterrance" for a reason. I never suggested that it had no deterrance, I suggested that it wasn't a terribly significant one - as the dramatic drop in prices, increase in quantity, etc. that economists have found illustrates.

    Duh the rate of poverty fell from a point where most of the relevant population was rock bottom (where else would it go, up?).

    Well, it seems rather odd that all this poverty is alleviated despite government hostility towards blacks and then suddenly once that hostility has ended what one needs is government programs to end poverty. The again, as I stated, it seems rather odd to me that alleviating poverty is expected to occur as a result of anti-discrimination laws, a rather indirect route to such an outcome.

    As for Reconstruction, the federal government spent little on the freedmen, and the main avenue of economic recovery for them was expected to be through the markets (which is why the Bureau encouraged the entrance into contracts with former masters). The biggest thing it did was to aid in the education and health of the freedmen, but the resources devoted to this weren't terribly significant, despite what Southern whites said about the matter. Then again, the Bureau only lasted seven years.

    But Seward, why hasn't the market ended this as you predict?

    Because people like to live in segregated neighrborhoods - segregated based on a number of factors including race, income, political affinities, religion, etc. The market is serving their voluntary desires. Now I'm not defending that outcome except to say people exercising their freedom in that way is far less dangerous than the government making the neighborhood and housing choice for them.

    Now, outside the neighborhood, where people are more at arms length, that sort of group cohesion loses its strength and it is one of the reasons why the impersonal forces of the market aid in the break down of prejudice.

    Whatever the case though it is clear that government efforts at desegregation of nehighborhoods have been completely ineffectual.

  • dating seervices||

    There are an unbelievable amount of singles that use an online dating service. Because of this, you get to review all of the available singles at your leisure.

  • SonaliChandna||

    I think as a responsible player in the online dating market, all should provide equal opportunity so that we can have free gay dating sites same as the regular ones. This will create awareness in society for stopping any sort of discrimination. When we include people in our lives our differences tend to evaporate and we learn to respect each other.

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