Friday, June 08, 2007

eHarmony dating service sued for excluding those seeking gay relationships

Gay listservers today have made a lot of hay with the lawsuit against the dating service eHarmony for refusing to offer services to those seeking same-sex partners. Reportedly, this may become a class action law suit. The Reuters story is by Jill Sergeant, "eHarmony excluded in California for excluding gays," at this link.

This reminds me of the lawsuit against the Boy Scouts if America by James Dale. The Supreme Court eventually upheld BSA's right to exclude members because if is a private organization. Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty, GLIL, wrote a brief in support of the right of any private organization to exclude members on any terms it wants. The practical problem is that the BSA had always received a lot of indirect government support, from school systems and local governments all the way to military services. Since the "win" (perhaps a pyrrhic victory) , many local governments have withdrawn permission from the BSA to use their facilities, at least for below-market rents.

GayPatriotWest has an editorial today "Suit Against eHarmony Threatens Freedom of Gay Websites", at this link.
I'm not sure its the websites themselves that are threatened, but the businesses that the sites promote are. Publishing sites on their own are certainly not affected. But as visitors to these blogs know, the philosophical paradigms can take us down dangerous roads quickly when we have to "protect" everybody.

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