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Ramon Johnson

Compatible Partners: eHarmony's Big Gay Handout

By April 1, 2009

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Pasadena, California-based eHarmony, the ultimate believer in heterosexual love, is set to launch it's new gay dating site, Compatible Partners. You'll have to Google for the link. The March 30th LA Times article announcing the gift the community noted that an "earlier version of [the] article gave an incorrect Web address for Compatible Partners." A fitting copy error.

You see, EHarmony's founder, Neil Clark Warren, isn't keen on including the L,G,B,T in his scientific interpretation of L-O-V-E. As a result, the dating mega mall refused to include same-sex as an option in its compatibility formulas. An effective way of keeping us man and woman lovers off of the wholesome pastures. Warren spun his story as to why the gays could never walk hand-in-hand on the eHarmony commercials:

"It's what I did for 40 years," 74-year-old Warren, who is retired but remains on the board, told the LA Times. "I never had a gay couple."

Well, Mr. Warren, apparently you've never had a math course either. Since there is no option to choose a desire for the same sex, zero gays can sign up for the site. And since zero gays can create profiles, no gay singles have ever been matched on eHarmony. Therefore, there was no quantitative reason for eHarmony to add a same-sex option. Zero plus zero equals no gays at all. (Or, at least none eHarmony knows about.)

So, why the kind gesture of a gay site of our own now? The marriage isn't quite one of harmony. Last November, eHarmony agreed to start a gay dating service as part of a settlement with the New Jersey attorney general under the threat of a discrimination lawsuit. The brainchild: Compatible Partners.

Thanks, but no thanks, eHarmony. If you're going to push this game called love, then love everyone.

Image © Stockbyte/Getty
April 1, 2009 at 4:50 am
(1) Pete Hanson says:

A couple of observations:

- there are two couples shown in the rotating images on the gayHarmony site – you can’t see faces (or much of anything) of either couple.

- If you enter M seeking W or W seeking M, you are automatically redirected to eharmony.com – the same does not happen on eharmony.com if you select M seeking M or W seeking W.

- I’ve seen 3 ads today on tv for eharmony.com. Any bets on how long it will be before I see an ad for the gayHarmony site?

April 1, 2009 at 11:36 am
(2) Brien says:

I’m trying to turn a negative into a positive – they’re giving away 6 free months for signing up – so… I signed up. That means 6 months of their bandwidth that I use up… for free :) once it goes pay, I’m not paying for it – but hey, I can possibly turn a crappy situation into a bucketful of WIN! ;-)

April 1, 2009 at 3:04 pm
(3) Frank M, Founder of oneGoodLove.com says:

After starting a gay and lesbian relationship-focused dating site similar to eHarmony, called oneGoodlove.com, I am always happy to see more sites created to assist members of the LGBT community find TRUE LOVE. After all, we should all have the right to find our soul mate, regardless of sexual preference. But after working at Match.com and speaking to eHarmony about private-labeling their product to me 5 years ago, I only hope eHarmony and Chemistry.com (Match.com’s product) are offered to the LGBT community for THE RIGHT REASONS and not just for financial gain. I will only be happy when both eHarmony.com and Chemsitry/Match.com’s heart is truly in it!

April 1, 2009 at 4:08 pm
(4) johann says:

This isn’t inclusion. It’s the same as segregated waiting rooms–which were still in practice as late as 1976. The underlying message: they want our money, they want our talents (pun intended), but they don’t consider us as equals. This new dating site is the equivalent of the back of the bus.

Yeah, using up bandwidth could be seen as civil disobedience–as long as “value” isn’t added to their site by our presence. How can we manage that when our heads are stuck in mating mode? They want our money, they want our talents… and we’re content being second class citizens… How do we send the “no thanks” message loud and clear and un-ignorable, with class?

April 1, 2009 at 7:15 pm
(5) Yamamaya says:

I could not agree with you more, Johann. I believe that if they wont let us sit on the front of the bus with the rest of the people, we should not ride the bus at all. Its obvious they only want our money, everyone wants more.. especially in these hard financial times. We need to make a statement by not giving it to them. Boycott eHarmony, just like the bus systems were boycotted. We must stand and show them that discrimination is Unacceptable.

April 2, 2009 at 11:39 am
(6) G. Mac says:

I thought they started chemistry.com for the “folks who didn’y fit or make the first cut” for the eharmony service. Either way their motivation for this site seems wrong. A big thumbs up for New Jersey. Maybe the McGreevy saga had a positive influence……?

April 9, 2009 at 9:48 am
(7) JP says:

I suppose that since eHarmony sells (oversells) all that goes into match compatability based on years of research they couldn’t honestly say that they’ve put the same effort into pairing gay couples, thus they would be misrepresenting their sevice. Maybe they’ve since gonme back and done so and they’re now able to make that claim w/gays. I’m glad they did it though so now the complaints can stop and gays will no longer want it, they only wanted the battle. Same as gay marriage, once you have it, you’re not going to want it and you’ll move on to somewhere else that you can be a victim. *edited by moderator*

May 11, 2009 at 12:57 am
(8) Patrick says:

I guess I don’t understand why eharmony was forced to create a ‘gay partner’ site. I am a Christian and am very much for gay civil rights, and even support gay’s getting married. But the idea that a straight Christian site is being forced to create a gay site is because…well, why? Straight people don’t run over to gay singles sites complaning there are no inclusions for straights. That’s because they are gay sites, for gay people. I don’t think it’s being non-inclusive to have a site for single straights, just as I don’t think it’s ‘wrong’ that there are gay-only single sites. To me it has zero to do with ‘do I believe being gay is right or wrong’ and more to do with the specifics of what the site is supposed to be. If I go into a hardware store I know it’s not the place to do my grocery shopping, and if I go to the grocery store, I know it’s not the place to be if I want power tools. But that’s just me. Again, I want to say again that I don’t believe this is a gay or straight thing (in general), but a “what was this site intended for”.

June 13, 2009 at 12:54 am
(9) michael says:

well patrick, now I guess none of us have to look very far for power tools.

August 11, 2009 at 3:51 pm
(10) Sue says:

I wondered about the idea of eharmony offering what they consider ‘separate but equal” dating site in compatiblepartners.com. History has taught us that separate is NOT equal…

Upon reading the comment about eHarmony being able to maintain itself as a straight Christian site – do they not include persons of non-Christian faith such as Jews, Muslims, etc? I was under the impression that a person of any faith (or none at all) could participate. As long as they are not looking to date another of one’s own gender.

If that is true – and I imagine it is – the assertion that its founder be allowed to maintain it as strictly Christian and straight then becomes ludicrous.

November 2, 2009 at 2:42 pm
(11) Corey says:

I’m gay…and I don’t think eHarmony should be forced to do something they don’t believe in or have no knowledge about. Like I don’t go to McDonalds and demand the Vegetarian Special….only an idiot does that. eHarmony is not for gay people, period. What’s next…demanding that KFC sell tofu meals? C’mon people get real. just go to the other guy’s website…what was it? http://www.oneGoodLove.com

March 21, 2010 at 6:47 am
(12) Bill says:

Complete waste of time and money.

February 7, 2011 at 7:29 am
(13) Michael says:

I think people might be over-reacting. The only reason why gays weren’t included in the initial e-harmony website was because they use formulas to calculate compatibility based on research done on strictly heterosexual couples (in science experiments, you have to control your variables as much as possible, so it was wise to limit the research to heterosexual couples). To automatically assume that this research applies to gay couples would have been negligent and discriminatory of e harmony. In fact, research has shown that gay and straight relationships differ pretty significantly. I am completely in favor of equal opportunity, but I see no reason why heterosexuals should be denied the benefits of this research simply because they hadn’t done the same research on gay couples. I think we go a bit too far in our politically correct “equal opportunity” liberal attitudes (this coming from an extreme liberal). The answer isn’t always crying victim…

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