TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: eHarmony Sued For Discriminatory Actions

Re: eHarmony Sued For Discriminatory Actions

Fred Atkinson (
Fri, 1 Jun 2007 16:56:08 -0400

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Please see the first part of my reply
> on the previous message. Substitute the word 'black' for the word
> 'gay'. Now you perhaps see where many GLBT activists are coming from.

No, I really don't. And I'm not trying to be condescending. This Web
site supports blacks and people of other races who are
*heterosexuals*. Are you honestly going to tell me that the dynamics
are essentially the same for homosexual relationships? I'd find that
hard to believe, and no disrespect is intended.

I would agree that it was discriminatory if eHarmony was refusing
service to people it was qualified to serve. This fellow has made his
career out of a study of heterosexual relationships. He is not
qualified to evaluate alternative relationships. Why would they want
to put themselves at risk like that?

Today my landlord told me a story about a woman he knows. She used an
online dating service and met a guy she fell in love with via the
Internet and the phone. She never met him face to face.n

They swapped pictures and messages via email. It progressed to the
point where they starting phoning each other. After several months,
he said he was in financial trouble and asked her for help. Then
again. Then again. In all, I think he said that this fellow was into
her for about twenty-two hundred dollars (someone she had never seen
face to face).

More time went by and she got suspicious. She had the calls traced.
Guess where they were coming from? Nigeria. With your knowledge of
Internet scams, I guess that I don't need to explain to you any more.

If this story is true and complete (I don't know for sure that it is,
of course), then that particular dating service has been compromised
and their customers have been exploited. Whether or not it was the
service's fault will take more information. But if there is legal
action it could be costly to the service company even if they win.

My only point in telling this story is that there is a weakness in
that service if this story *is* true. I would leave it to the lawyers
to determine if there is any legal liability here. Maybe or maybe
not. It would probably require a lot more information before they
could determine anyway. And maybe it's a weak comparison. I only
want to point out [by telling this story] that there can be legal
pitfalls in running any service of this (or other) kind(s). If you're
sued and have to defend yourself, it can be costly. Even if you win,
you lose [because you are out money to your attorney].

To the original point I was trying to make was for someone from the
LBGT community [evaluation by someone who was only qualified to
evaluate heterosexual relationships]: This well might open eHarmony to
legal liability (the lawyers would have to fight this out to settle
it. But I suspect their opinion would mirror mine) if there was any
negative issue that might arise as a result of what a court would
probably say was an unqualified evaluation.

This is just my evaluation of the situation. I'll be very surprised
if they don't ultimately dismiss her case. But not until after
eHarmony has to spend a bunch of money on a lawyer.

Is this a case of 'you're damned if you do and you're damned if you



[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: A few points for you on this: There are
many (again, not all) 'gay activists' who compare being gay in America
to formerly being black in America. Whether or not this is a good,
intellectually honest and sound comparison, I, of all people, am not
in a position to judge. I know that we Episcopalians these days are
almost constantly having this hammered in our heads by our rectors and
bishops; that is, by the more liberal bishops and rectors.

Regards 'who is qualified to administer a romantic web site directed
to GLBT people', I am reminded that for many years in the 1960-70's,
formerly 'white only' barber shops, the barbers used as their excuse
for not wishing to cut a black person's hair was that 'they' (the
barber) 'did not know how to do it properly'. That statement (either
truthful or a guise to cover up their bigotry, suit yourself!) managed
to get them out of cutting a black man's hair for many years. And no
one, black or white, wishes to have their hair screwed up by someone
doing a bad job, re: "I would not mind cutting his hair, if only I
knew how." Some then suggested that the barber shop hire a black
barber (presumably with experience in knowing 'what do to') to handle
black customers who came in seeking a haircut. Then, the truth came
out; many barbershops had racist white owners who did not wish to
do that.

Regards 'the dynamics of _properly_ servicing GLBT clients in a dating
service', I _personally_ do not think there is that much difference in
gay and straight relationships. Again, many GLBT folk would disagree
with me on that point. But as my friends tell me, since I had my brain
aneyrysm in 1999, and now mostly just sit here in my shell, I am not a
very good person to evaluate gay relationships, having had so few of
them in the past seven years, not of choice, but out of health
reasons. But, I retort, "touche! and all that rot; I am not now nor
was I ever in a position to evaluate heterosexual relationships all
that well either."

Regards the high cost of justice -- either way -- in the USA these
days, truely this case will cost plenty of money for the winners and
the losers. On that topic -- the cost of justice -- I am sort of
qualified to speak: we Episcopalians (and by far, we are not the
poorest church body in the USA) are getting eaten alive by legal fees
already established by lawyers (read, $475 per *hour*) in the liberal
Episcopalian vrs. conservative Anglican battle currently going on; a
battle we are told will last at least through September over our
property rights in Virginia and elsewhere, all on account of that
damned gay bishop in New Hampshire. PAT]

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