Do laws protecting homosexuality also threaten freedom of conscience? You bet they do. And, sadly, not everyone will be prepared to pay the price of defending their freedom. eHarmony, Inc, the company behind the internet matchmaking website founded by an Evangelical psychologist and initially targeted to the Christian community, has decided to launch a new matchmaking website for homosexual singles rather than fight a nearly four-year-old complaint in court.

The company, still popular among Christian singles, announced last month it had reached a settlement with the New Jersey attorney general, which began an investigation early in 2005 when a homosexual man filed a complaint with the state, alleging that the company’s policy of matchmaking only opposite-sex couples violated New Jersey’s anti-discrimination law, which covers “sexual orientation”.

According to the settlement, eHarmony will launch a new website aimed solely at homosexuals. As part of the settlement, eHarmony, Inc. will advertise the website in homosexual media outlets, will allow the first 10,000 users to register free and will pay $50,000 to the attorney general’s office and $5000 to the man who filed the initial complaint. It will also post a statement on the new website saying its matchmaking strategy is based on research involving heterosexual couples and not same-sex partners. (How long before they are obliged to do research on the latter? we wonder.)

eHarmony says it did not violate the law but felt the need to settle the case, which was already a “burden” for the company and which they might not win. However, the Boy Scouts successfully fought New Jersey’s anti-discrimination law in a case that went all the way to the US Supreme Court. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, criticized eHarmony, saying that "the surest way to lose the culture war is refusing to fight." ~ Baptist Press, Nov 21

 

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet