The eHarmony Shakedown

Human Events | Michelle Malkin | Nov. 21, 2008

Congratulations, tolerance mau-mauers: Your shakedown of a Christian-targeted dating website worked. Homosexuals will no longer be denied the inalienable “right” to hook up with same-sex partners on eHarmony. What a landmark triumph for social progress, eh?

New Jersey plaintiff Eric McKinley can now crown himself the new Rosa Parks — heroically breaking down inhumane barriers to Internet matchmaking by forcing a law-abiding private company to provide services it was never created to provide. “Men seeking men” has now been enshrined with “I have a dream” as a civil rights rallying cry of the 21st century. Bully for you, Mr. McKinley. You bully.

Neil Warren, eHarmony’s founder, is a gentle, grandfatherly businessman who launched his popular dating site to support heterosexual marriage. A “Focus on the Family” author with a divinity degree, Warren encourages healthy, lasting unions between men and women of all faiths, mixed faiths or no faith at all.

Don’t like what eHarmony sells? Go somewhere else. There are thousands upon thousands of dating sites on the Internet that cater to gays, lesbians, Jews, Muslims, Trekkies, runners, you name it.

No matter. In the name of tolerance, McKinley refused to tolerate eHarmony’s right to operate a lawful business that didn’t give him what he wanted. He filed a discrimination complaint against eHarmony with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights in 2005.

To be clear: eHarmony never, ever refused to do business with anyone. The company broke no laws. Their great “sin” was not providing a politically correct service that a publicity-seeking gay plaintiff demanded they provide. For three years, the company battled McKinley’s legal shakedown artists — and staved off other opportunists as well. The dating site had been previously sued by a lesbian looking to force the company to match her up with another woman, and by a married man who ridiculously sought to force the company to find him prospects for an adulterous relationship.

This case is akin to a meat-eater suing a vegetarian restaurant for not offering him a rib-eye, or a female patient suing a vasectomy doctor for not providing her hysterectomy services. But rather than defend the persecuted business, the New Jersey attorney general intervened on behalf of the gay plaintiff and wrangled an agreement out of eHarmony to change its entire business model.

The company agreed not only to offer same-sex dating services on a new site, but also to offer six-month subscriptions for free to 10,000 gay users, pay McKinley $5,000 and fork over $50,000 to New Jersey’s Civil Rights division “to cover investigation-related administrative costs.” Oh, and that’s not all. Yield, yield to the grievance-mongers:

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Comments

  1. It’s a petty case, and I’m not sure how it even went to trial. There are sites that cater to every taste imaginable already: there’s even a site that specializes in matching up heavy-set heterosexual couples. Are they discriminating by not offering their services to the “fit”? They also have African-American dating sites. Can they now be sued for not tailoring their services to Caucasians?

    We’re not talking about whether eHarmony hired or employed gays (they very well may have) or whether they offered a service needed by everyone and denied to some (they didn’t).

    Unfortunately, there will now be those who will insist that this is a sign of fascism from the gay community. To me, it’s just another trivial lawsuit filed by a vindictive person that simply should never have went to trial.

  2. Michael Bauman says:

    JamesK,

    Fascism: “A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.” [Robert O. Paxton, "The Anatomy of Fascism," 2004]

    IMO the homosexual activists partake of a fascist mentality. They are not alone. It is quite an easy temptation to sucumb to when God is abandoned and one’s own, autonomous will is put in His place. The emptiness of secularism leads to all forms of totalitarianism. Freedom is from God and God alone.

    What is so difficult for us fallen folk to realize is that if we desire freedom, we have to be obedient to the God who made us. That is the Christian struggle, learning to submit to His love so that we might be free. As Jim Holman so aptly pointed out in the “Freedom of Choice Act” thread, many people who identify as Christians and are even active in their respective traditions, have lost that understanding and abandoned the struggle. Churches have mostly refused to confront the abandonment of truth by many of the folks in the pews because they wish to keep them in the pews for the money, the body count and the illusion of power.

    As our founders realized, representative governement and free elections (they generally feared democracy btw) can only exist in a community governed by virtue. It is the virtue of the common citizen that allows for righteous laws, humane execution of those laws, and judicious settlement under those laws when disputes arise.

    We have lost almost all sense of community, virtue, shame and self-sacrifice in our country (good government flows from these social goods, not the other way ’round). Utilitarian ethics and the will to power have the upper hand. The decline of the tort system into a protection racket, and the court system as a means of legislating by fiat is but one consequence of such thought. {Before you say it, I know the un-Constitutional use of the judicary to achieve legislative goals is practiced all across the political spectrum. The corruption infects the entire body politic so completely as to no longer allow for any merely human reform to be successful.}

    So while the coercion of e-Harmony may not be a fascist act, to dismiss it as frivolous as you do is not correct either. We are dealing with the fundamental disintegration of the social order as we have known it. The ‘gay’ agenda is but one part of that disintegration. All of the other political agendas seeking social recognition of previously unaceptable behavior from fornication to adultery, the idolatry of business and the economy, are also part.

    The Constitution was formulated “in order to form a more perfect union….” There can be no society, no culture, no country where every person stands as king of his/her own universe, just as there can be no earthly freedom where the governement has the power to decide who wins and force compliance on everybody else. The idelogical choices with which we are presented are all fallacious, the worst kind of dualism and nonesense masquerading as the right thing to do. It is quite Orwellian.

  3. to James – this case never went to trial. It was clear extortion of money by the government. The government threatened to drag eHarmony into a costly, lengthy, unfair lawsuit, and eHarmony concluded it was more practical to settle and be robbed of 50K (to be paid to the govt), plus 5K for the plaintiff.

    Who is the government in this case? It’s the NJ Attorney General Director for discrimination issues.

    When you examine the profile for the New Jersey’s Attorney General Director for discrimination issues (Mr. Vespa-Papaleo), a lot gets explained about why Eric McKinley was even allowed to use the system to harrass eHarmony in such a grotesque way:

    Mr. Vespa-Papaleo serves as Executive Director of the New Jersey Commission on Civil Rights. He is on the Executive Board of the GLBT Rights and Labor and Employment Law Sections of the New Jersey State Bar Association. In June 2007 he was elected Chairman of the New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission, following his work on amending state law to provide legal protections for sexual and gender minorities. Director Vespa-Papaleo is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association, and the Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association.

    Born in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela, Director Vespa-Papaleo became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1988. A resident of Bergen County, New Jersey, Mr. Vespa-Papaleo and his husband were married in California in June 2008.

    (more details about him on the Attorney General’s web site)