Friday, August 27, 2010

Greg Waldorf on E-Harmony's Segregated Dating Service for Gays: "I Feel So Good about the Success"

Bianca Bosker at Huffington Post asks Greg Waldorf, founder and CEO of the dating site e-Harmony, why the site has a separate dating service for same-sex couples--that is, why it practices segregation as it offers matchmaking services.

And he replies:

To answer that question, you have to look at how the industry works...Online dating is about effective marketing. . . . .For us, we did it because we thought we'd be more successful, but the important thing is that you can go to eHarmony and say you're a man looking for a man or a woman looking for a woman, and be immediately able to sign up--and hundreds of thousands of people have. I just think that at this point, why should I have anything to explain other than the success of the site? I feel so good about the success.

The important thing is, it works!  The important thing is, it makes money! The important thing is, I feel good about the success!  Because I'm making money!

Never mind that we had a lawsuit filed against us for discrimination, and only then allowed same-sex couples any access to us at all.  Never mind that we segregate.

The important thing is that it works and makes us money.  Can't argue with that, can you?  Imagine advancing this argument to support the exclusion or segregation of people of color in such a marketing enterprise, or the exclusion or segregation of women, or Muslims.  

There's obviously a principle at stake here.  And Waldorf simply ignores it and obliterates it with boastful rhetoric about how what is obviously working (i.e., enriching him) can't possibly be bad.

Waldorf's answer suggests the man is as shallow as a pie plate.

To answer the question, Mr. Waldorf, you have to look at ethical principles and principles inherent in the foundation of democratic societies.  Not market principles.