eHarmony–the dating site of choice for those looking to get hitched–has a long-standing "straight people only" policy, which was challenged yesterday in a lawsuit. Linda Carlson tried to use the site to meet a woman, and was declined. She's not the only one peeved at eHarmony:
eHarmony had just prevailed in an earlier lawsuit yesterday. A man sued when his membership was declined because he was "legally separated" from his wife. (Technically, eHarmony felt, the man was still legally married to his wife.) And in April the company also faced complaints that they were rejecting men who weren't tall enough.
The company issued a statement saying:
The research that eHarmony has developed, through years of research, to match couples has been based on traits and personality patterns of successful heterosexual marriages. Nothing precludes us from providing same-sex matching in the future, it's just not a service we offer now based upon the research we have conducted.
Others have pointed out that eHarmony's founder is an evangelical Christian who once had warm and fuzzy ties to James Dobson's Focus on the Family.
Still, as one article helpfully notes, outcasts who like the eHarmony model of high fees, absurdly long questionnaires, and few matches are not without options:
A rival site launched Friday catering exclusively to gay men. (It's called myPartnerPerfect.com, and offers its males-only service for just $37.95 a month, or $204 for a year).
These cases have a lot in common with the roommates.com case I wrote about in "SWF ISO GBM Roommate," where the judiciary was called into to decide whether websites that let people specify their desire for roommates of a certain sex, religion, age, etc. are discriminatory.
Via H&R reader D.C.