- List All


  • Web   The Point

Blogroll

+ Theology/Religion + Culture + Marriage & Family + Politics + Academia + Human Rights
Christianity Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
Religion Blogs - Blog Top Sites
Link With Us - Web Directory



« Is smoking going to be cool again? | Main | Robert Novak on Confidence »

November 21, 2008

eHarmony Settles and Will Offer Same-Sex Matching

Artmenholdinghandsgi The website eHarmony, which many consider a safe and Christian-friendly dating site, is now developing a same-sex matching service, Compatible Partners, set to launch in March. This is a result of a legal settlement of a lawsuit that claims the dating site violated gay rights for not providing same-sex matching. eHarmony’s legal counsel says:

Even though we believed that the complaint resulted from an unfair characterization of our business, we ultimately decided it was best to settle this case with the Attorney General since litigation outcomes can be unpredictable… eHarmony looks forward to moving beyond this legal dispute, which has been a burden for the company, and continuing to advance its business model of serving individuals by helping them find successful, long-term relationships.

I wish eHarmony had fought harder. The settlement seems a sign of surrender to me, and whether they like it or not, an additional assualt on the traditional marraige that they once strongly promoted. What do you think?

(Image © Getty Images via CNN)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c635553ef0105360bde4b970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference eHarmony Settles and Will Offer Same-Sex Matching:

Comments

WalksWithChrist

The kosher butcher will now carry pork chops.

Rolley Haggard

My visceral reaction is, someone should file a symbolic second lawsuit against eHarmony for consenting and contributing to the demise of a civilization.

Alma Stith

I have been praying for some time that God would raise up men and women who would take a stand for righteousness. Is eHarmony another group to cave because of pressure from the left? God help us.

becky

How sad. I think they could have even closed down rather than give into this. If they claim to be a Christian organization are they not now helping their weaker brother to sin? Are they not now condoning sin? This is wrong on so many levels.

WalksWithChrist

Alma Stith,

While the word righteousness does contain the word right, righteousness should not be conflated with political right, or political left. Yes, God help us.

Becky,

Christians are not monolithic. Many believe that sexual orientation is innate and that it is sinful (and impossible) to force GLBT people to be celibate. Christ would not appreciate seeing His Word turned into a sex how-to guide. That would be wrong on so many levels.

Andy

How novel for me to say something like this, but I am totally down with WalksWithChrist on this one.

Samuel X

The fact that a controversy exists is not grounds for supporting a position on either side of it.

Jason Taylor

It's not just about gay rights or lack thereof. It's about the dignity of private societies. A group should have some authority over it's conditions for membership.

Steve

"WalksWithChrist" - that's quite a mantle to claim for oneself.

The regrettable fact that many Christians have been suckered into believing contemporary societal fantasies regarding sexual behavior is largely irrelevant to those of us who know better.

Most surely, Christ would not appreciate you or anyone claiming to speak on His behalf while misrepresenting, even denying, His Word.

It is a pity that eHarmony compromised on its principles, but I guess business is business.

Elizabeth

I am very happy that eHarmony decided to offer same sex matching. To "Rolley Haggard", your comment saddens and disgusts me. Homosexuality is not the demise of civilization. If anything, hateful views like yours are leading to the demise of civilization. Homosexuality has been around forever, so why hasn't the full demise come yet? The abundance of homophobic remarks horrifies me.

The demise of the civilization comes when we cannot accept and help each other.

Steve

I saw nothing in the least hateful in Rolley's comment.

Hurling false accusations of hate, calling people "homophobic" - a word without meaning, and exalting one's own ideas of morality over God's commands: those are matters that should concern us greatly.


William G.

People who believe that they are 'homosexual' already have national registers that help them reach each other. The lawsuit against e-harmony was aimed at forcing 'acceptability' of those who participate in perverted sexual activity as just as 'normal' as those who experience heterosexual love and romance. Classifying those who uphold the biblical standards as 'haters' is a clever ruse. Those who practice homosexuality are really mad a God, who had the nerve, to call their 'activities' sin and selfishness. The desire of the homosexual community to 'suppress' this biblical truth leads them to try to find as many businesses, politicos, and organizations as they can in an attempt to 'justify' their evil and declare it 'good'. Homosexuals are successfully moving the question of morals away from biblical, or religious standard. They have realized that in a secular democracy 'morals' are determined by what the 'majority' says is normal. In this way God, and his 'sin' is skirted and rendered to the 'trash heap' of superstition. Be warned, despite our best and most sinister efforts, God will not be mocked!

Steve

William,
I think I've made my position clear on this, but we do have to approach this in a Christlike way. There are some things we should avoid if we claim to be ambassadors of Christ. These include:

1. Making sweeping generalizations about a group, whether it be homosexuals, muslims, or Bostonians. Homosexuals, God help them, are just as diverse as any other group. They're not all marching under some ideological banner.

2. Making unsubstantiated assumptions regarding people's motives. First, we can never know anyone else's inner thoughts. Second, it oversimplifies human nature because everyone is a complex mix of motives, including both good and bad ones.

3. Singling out one sin as worse than certain others. If I had to choose a worst, Biblically, it would be idolatry.

4. Acting as though we are morally superior in any respect to other sinners. We're not.

I'm highly skeptical of the claim that homosexuality will precipitate the demise of civilization. Few serious Christian thinkers believe that. It could be a sign, or a contributor, but a particular sin practiced by a mere 2% of the population is hardly sufficient.

If you feel like condemning, let's follow the example of Christ against the Pharisees and condemn apostasy in the visible Church, not the fact that sinners, well, sin. Duh.

Benjamin Ady

"Homosexuals are successfully moving the question of morals away from biblical, or religious standard"

It all sounds so much like those who argued that the Bible and God and morality and so forth required blacks and whites not to marry. To us (well, at least those of "us" up here in Seattle, I suppose =), trying to make a "Biblical argument" or a "moral argument" against miscegenation (that is, the marriage of "black" people to "white" people) sounds both ludicrous and outrageous.

Check out Peggy Pascoe's fascinating article: http://hnn.us/articles/4708.html

It's fascinating that Massachusetts was the first state to overturn anti-miscegenation laws, and much later was the first state to allow gay marriage.

From Pascoe's article:


" Second, they began to define and label all interracial relationships (even longstanding, deeply committed ones) as illicit sex rather than marriage. (wow, that sounds familiar)

Third, they insisted that interracial marriage was contrary to God's will, (wow, that too!)

Fourth, they declared, over and over again, that interracial marriage was somehow "unnatural." (WOW, again so familiar!)"

Wow--seven states changed their constitutions to disallow miscegenation! That sounds familiar too.

If the long arc of history bends toward justice, then I'm guessing a hundred years from now those who are bothered enormously by homosexual marriage will be fringe elements, just as those who are currently bothered by so called "interracial" marriage are on the fringe. So why not come join us now? We're the compassionate, right thinking majority of the future =). Your great-great grandkids are mostly going to know we're right. =)

Steve

Benjamin,
That claim has been refuted a thousand times over. There is no moral or Biblical equivalence between miscegenation and homosexuality. The argument you are repeating only works on those who are Biblically and historically ignorant (which, of course, describes over 90% of Western society - so you've got the advantage).

labrialumn

Steve, idolatry is actually an early stage on the progression of sinful choices starting with refusing to give thanks to God, down to homosexuality as the most depraved condition possible, in Romans 1.

There was once a thriving bronze-age civilization near the Dead Sea. God destroyed it because of its toleration of homosexuality.

There are today as it was with even Eve, those who wish to choose for themselves what to call 'good' and what to call 'evil.' But God reserves that prerogative to Himself. We do not and cannot have that authority. Truth simply is, we don't get to vote on it. We don't get to bow out of reality.

"I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever."
Thomas Jefferson

The Bible actually condemns anti-miscegenation laws. In fact, God struck Miriam and Aaron with leprosy because they complained about Moses marrying a Nubian woman.

Benjamin Ady

"That claim has been refuted a thousand times over"

Steve,

I'm willing to be educated. Can you direct me to a couple of such refutations by folks who write well?

Are you saying that Ms. Pascoe's understanding of history is seriously whacked--that things weren't as she describes? She's the history prof. I'm not a historian nor a scholar by any stretch of the imagination. Is it not true that so many states had miscegenation laws? Is it not true that such laws were argued for vehemently by their proponents? Where exactly does she get it wrong?

Benjamin Ady

"The Bible actually condemns anti-miscegenation laws. In fact, God struck Miriam and Aaron with leprosy because they complained about Moses marrying a Nubian woman."

Labrialumn

I'll drink to God striking with leprosy anyone who disagrees with who I decide to marry and complains about it. =) As long as there's some way to magically un-leprosy them after they repent. =)

Actually, you gotta love that story you're referring to from Numbers 12. I especially find horrifying this line, attributed to God, who got pissed off and gave Miriam leprosy (note how the woman gets the leprosy, not the man, Aaron.):

God answered Moses, "If her father had spat in her face, wouldn't she be ostracized for seven days? Quarantine her outside the camp for seven days. Then she can be readmitted to the camp."

I guess a very loose modern translation would be "F*** her and the horse she rode in on."

(I wonder if that "F***" is going to get this comment disallowed. I rather hope not =) If it does, maybe the disallower will simply delete that last paragraph, starting with "I guess ..." =)

Steve

Labrialumn,
Your last three paragraphs are good. I believe most serious theologians and scholars would differ with you on the first two.

First, the Bible never explicitly states what sin is the worst. There is one "unforgiveable sin" - blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and the best minds have struggled with what that means. The majority view of Christian theologians has been that the root of all sin, and the greatest sin, is pride. R. C. Sproul argues that the greatest of sins would be the violation of the greatest commandment, "thou shalt love the Lord thy God." In any case, among the list of potential "worst sin" candidates homosexuality is an outlier.

Second, the Bible explicitly states why Sodom was destroyed, and it was for sins - general sexual immorality, yes (Jude 1:7), but also pride, sloth, and lack of compassion (Ezekiel 16:48-50). When God brought the flood in Genesis, it was primarily for sins of violence (Genesis 6:11), not sexual immorality.

Steve

In addition to my prior post, I suppose I should also have mentioned the countless times that Jesus warned the Israelites of his own generation that, because of their unbelief, they would be found more deserving of judgment than Sodom and Gomorrah.

Anyway, these things can drag on forever so this will be my last comment on this subject. Someone else can have the last word.

LeeQuod

I'm tempted to pick up where Steve left off, and respond to Benjamin (since it's difficult to ignore a plea for learning). However, I think I'll be disciplined and respond to Jason Bruce's original question. This action by eHarmony may actually be a good thing, in a way: let's have more detailed research by eHarmony on what constitutes "successful, long-term relationships" for same-sex partners. In fact, let's publish it as they do with all their other data. And let's contrast it with a "hookup service" and/or prostitution ring (which are, one could argue, business models similar to eHarmony's but with, um, somewhat different measures of customer satisfaction).

Further, let's study every match made by eHarmony, as they also do with hetero couples, and track the long-term success - and publish that, too.

This could be a sociology gold mine. Yes, it's also another assault on traditional marriage - but it's one that could backfire.
Yes, it ignores potent warnings from Scripture - but it could give us some insight into God's reasoning. Yes, we're one step closer to Sodom - but we'll know a lot about brimstone.

Gina Dalfonzo

Benjamin, I let it pass this once because of the asterisks. But please don't do it again, with or without them. (Same goes for "p----- off." I realize it's mild profanity, but it's still profanity.)

Jay

If E-Harmony would have simply had the courage to inform EVERY evangelical church, EVERY conservative talk show, EVERY conservative Jewish group, and ANYONE else that ANY publicist worth their salt would have known to contact regarding the details of this case, they could have created a tsunami of public sentiment that would have sent a fierce message to the handful of radical gays to BACK OFF - and they would have. Instead, keeping in the tradition of today's conservative protocol, we worshiped at the alter of appeasement and gave a victory to a minuscule fraction of our population who place lust as society's highest and most important virtue.

becky

Somewhere I remember being warned not to be a stumbling block to my brother. E-Harmony, I think, has moved past the stumbling block stage. If Dr. Warren knows, from Scripture, that homosexuality is a sin and that many people (who were either born with the tendancy or developed it at some point) struggle with their compulsions how is he any different than the guy who gives an alcoholic a drink or someone who is suicidal a gun?

Matt

Good to see something like civilized discourse on this topic.

Benjamin cites Peggy Pascoe's essay as evidence that the current animus towards same-sex marriage is as misguided as the past advocacy of miscegenation laws. Pascoe shows that the political development of these questions are very similar, but that does not imply that the questions are equivalent scripturally or socially.

False parallels have been drawn between the status of homosexuality in scripture and that of slaves and women. While women and slaves have been emancipated in modern times, why not homosexuals? As LabriAlumn points out, ancient Israel was unique among its rivals in condemning homosexual behavior. It was also unique in the rights and dignity that were conferred to women and slaves, who were treated as mere property by other societies. The emancipation of slaves and women is consistent with the direction that scripture was pointing the civilization of ancient Israel. Sanctioning same-sex relationships, on the other hand, is a radical reversal. For more on this, see the book "Slaves, Women and Homosexuals" by William Webb.

In terms of a societal impact, the distinction between races can not be made equivalent to the distinction between genders. It is one thing to claim that interracial unions are natural (they clearly are), quite another to claim that same-sex unions are natural (they clearly are not). I for one do not want a society that tells children that their gender has nothing to do with their identity.

I live in Seattle, and I personally know people who are looking beyond same-sex marriage to the normalization of polyamory. If same-sex unions are good, how can we possibly censure the union of 3 or more committed people?

I hope Christians will continue to take this issue seriously, and not capitulate in a spirit of misguided compassion. Speak the truth in love!

Matt

From their website, it's clear that eHarmony has major venture capital backing. If Dr. Warren wanted to fight this in court, it is doubtful that the board would let him stay. Consider that in your judgement of the company.

Roger

eHarmony's decision ignores the reality of God working before our eyes. God is delivering people from the homosexual lifestyle daily. He is doing that for our good and His glory! Why would any Christian advocate something that works against our own good and robs God of His glory?

Benjamin Ady

Matt,

I echo your delight in civilized discourse =)

Your polygamy comment is intriguing. It seems to me that there is a much stronger argument to be made for the morality/legalization of polygamy and polyandry than there is for the morality/legalization of homosexual marriage. It sounds like you perhaps have reservations about the legalization of polygamy/polyandry. I'd be interested to hear more about that. Personally I think anyone who wants more than one spouse must be slightly crazy, but that's just me =)

Roger, God is also ongoingly setting people free from being trapped in fake heterosexual relationship when they are really homosexuals. See, for instance, the recent stories about relatively well known Christian musician Ray Boltz.

Jason Taylor

Being trapped in fake heterosexual relationship when one is really a homosexual is rather like being trapped in temperance when one is really a drunkard. Or trapped in fortitude when one is really a coward. Or any other of that catalog of repressions that sensible people call-civilization. If you are unwilling to be traped you can go live in the desert.

Or more to the point it is like being traped in loyalty when one is really a back-stabber. By definition a relationship includes someone else.

Part of being a decent human includes being able to change. A diamond has not been robbed of it's inner lump of stone.

Steve

I promised to quit this thread, but couldn't resist this latest foray into NewSpeak. Is "being trapped in a fake heterosexual relationship" how Benjamin describes the honoring of one's marital vows and commitment to wife and children?

Sorry, but abandoning one's family (a la "Bishop" Robinson) for the narcissistic pursuit of more bizarre and exciting orgasms, unencumbered by responsibility, is the height of selfishness and depravity. (My reticence to pass judgment on unbelievers does not apply to those who publicly profess to be servants of Christ and accept positions of leadership).

I would expand on one of Jason's excellent analogies. It is akin to plunging headlong into drunkenness when after a lifetime of sobriety one has "discovered" he was by nature an alcoholic.

The comments to this entry are closed.