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Gays in the US strike another blow against religious liberty

Gays in the US strike another blow against religious liberty

Christian conservatives are wailing and gnashing their teeth over a recent court decision against a faith-based dating site, ChristianMingle.com.

Writing for Red State, Brandon Morse said:

As we’ve experienced in the past with LGBT activism, leaving well enough alone isn’t the point. All must submit and conform. Christian bakers must bake the cake. Christian t-shirt makers must make the shirt. Christian websites must include homosexual relationships.

While I realize there are LGBT Christians out there, it ceases being Christianity when the activism comes before faith. A Christian business that holds Christian values should not be forced to ditch those values, and punished financially on top of that, just like an LGBT business shouldn’t be forced to provide products that go against its message.

Morse expressed his anger after Spark Networks, which owns ChristianMingle and other dating sites, was sued by two gay men who noticed that new members could only search for dates of the opposite sex.

In filing a class-action lawsuit, the men alleged that Spark was breaking California anti-discrimination laws by making it impossible for members of the LGBT community to use its services. Same-sex Christian couples couldn’t be matched through ChristianMingle because members couldn’t register as gay in the first place.

Their lawsuit stated:

Spark has engaged in a systemic and intentional pattern and practice of arbitrary discrimination against gays and lesbians throughout California by denying them full and equal services, accommodations, advantages and privileges in connection with many of its commercial dating services.

California state law known as the Unruh Civil Rights Act mandates that “all business establishments of every kind whatsoever” treat every person within the jurisdiction as free and equal regardless of sex, race, religion, marital status and sexual orientation, among other things.

The suit against Spark stated that, at the time of its filing in 2013, individuals wishing to use the Spark dating sites for Christians, Catholics, Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists, military singles and black singles could only choose from two options on the home screens of these services: “a man seeking a woman” or “a woman seeking a man.”

Last week, approximately 2½ years after the lawsuit was originally filed, Judge Jane L Johnson of the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles County approved a settlement agreement in which Spark agreed to modify its site and search features to include LGBT singles within two years.

The company did not admit to any wrongdoing, but it did agree to pay each plaintiff $9,000 and cover the $450,000 they had accumulated together in legal fees.

Another conservative, Sheila Gunn Reid of The Rebel, equated the judge’s decision with “slavery”.

This is an assault on religious liberty. It’s the same as forcing a Christian baker to bake a cake for a gay wedding.

It’s also an assault on free enterprise. The government sets a dangerous precedent when it forces a private company to contract with another individual against their will for whatever reason.

That’s slavery.

But it’s also just a regular old attack on Christians complete with the usual media double standard. The media treats Christian dating websites as places rife with lonely weirdos living double lives.

Yet, Muslim-targeted dating websites are treated as an innovative way for young Muslims to live their truth in the new millennium.

No activists are suing the Muslim websites to allow same sex matches. The activists’ fight is not about ending discrimination. It never was. It’s an attack on Christians and their businesses.

Meanwhile, we learned earlier this month that a new dating service has been launched for atheists, Singles2Match … and it does not bar people seeking companions of the same same sex.

According to its website:

We are a social dating website dedicated to fun, smart, open-minded freethinking singles like you. Freethinkers include atheists, agnostics, humanists, naturalists, rationalists, skeptics, secularists, brights, non-theists etc.

We don’t post bogus profiles to lure in users. What we care most is real users having a good time online and offline. Tell your friends to join and grow this amazing, vibrant community together. Our goal is to broaden your social horizons, and our belief is that by meeting a variety of like-minded people, you will find that special someone while socializing with friends.

Hat tip Trevor Blake and BarrieJohn (ChristianMingle report).

15 responses to “Gays in the US strike another blow against religious liberty”

  1. sailor1031 says:

    I should have thought by now that the principle would be well understood; nobody forces you to provide a service to the public but if you choose to do so you must provide it to all members of the public on an equal basis.

    That said are there muslim dating sites that discriminate without anyone taking action? If so then the xtiots actually may have some slight reason to complain. As for Singles2Match I hope they don’t discriminate against religiots – and please doG have their male models get rid of those manky beards….yuk!

  2. Broga says:

    Religious liberty: I can say anything I choose because it is God’s truth and anything else, or any action of which I disapprove, must be banned because it must be contrary to God’s truth.

  3. barriejohn says:

    Sailor 1031: The judgment only applies to Spark Networks, and other Christian dating sites still refuse to facilitate same-sex relationships. There ARE gay Muslim sites, as it happens, but I haven’t tested the other Muslim sites to see what happens when a potential member looks for a partner of the same gender!

    http://www.gaymuslimdating.com/

  4. AgentCormac says:

    I’m intrigued by the line ‘Find God’s Match for You’ at the top of the ChristianMingle homepage. If god really did have a pre-ordained match for his followers surely they’d find each other without the need for dating websites? Or can’t god be bothered getting off his arse and introducing all these adorable xtians to each other? One other thing, the woman in the photograph is wearing a wedding ring – so this service promotes extra-marital affairs, does it? Doesn’t sound very christian to me.

  5. remigius says:

    AgentCormac, it’s a purity ring – worn on the same finger as a wedding ring. They take it off when they have a shag.

    https://purityringsonline.com/how-to-wear-a-purity-ring

  6. L.Long says:

    If you don’t want the general public to use your bigoted business??? Then STOP being a public business and become a private club for xtians only!!! After all if xtians are at 85% and all just as bigoted as you then your business should do very well.

  7. Trevor Blake says:

    Perhaps if a religious person sues an expressly atheist dating site, the pot and the kettle can agree they are both black.

    I support freedom of association. To me that means both supporting same sex couples be left alone to their choices and dating sites that exclude same sex couples be left alone to their choices. Free thought all around, not forced agreement all around.

    Of course a Christian dating site should accommodate the needs of Christians and their preferred form of expressing their love: polygamy and sex slavery…

    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/says_about/marriage.html

  8. barriejohn says:

    Well – what about gay Christians? Shouldn’t they have the right to seek partners on a Christian website?

  9. CoastalMaineBird says:

    @Jay: I’m with you.

    Why would you want to join a club that doesn’t want you?

    There’s no real reason to do this except to express your hatred and stir the pot.

    If you want to start a site that caters to left-handed dwarf lesbians, go for it. In the meantime, stop pushing hate for hate’s sake.
    Move on, find some place that works for you. You haven’t been harmed.

  10. Gill Kerry says:

    I like the Groucho Marx theory. Why would I want to join any club that would have me as a member?
    Seriously, there are gay xtians out there who should be able to use this business. Hard to believe I know!

  11. Angela_K says:

    CoastalMaineBird: “Why would you want to join a club that doesn’t want you?” I agree, I’ve spent many an hour arguing with Gay people who claim they are Christians and who perform weird mental gymnastics to justify remaining part of a cult that hates them. The old Stockholm syndrome.

  12. hans throlstrup says:

    I would take this lawsuit more seriously if the plaintiffs tried suing a muslim dating site as well, or at least before this. Because muslim dating sites do not have a gay option. As it is, it comes across as just picking on the namby pamby xtians again.

  13. Laura Roberts says:

    Christians and right-wing politicians are so quick to cry “slavery” whenever someone tries to place limits on their bigotry, that we need an amendment to Godwin’s Law: the longer a conservative whines about some perceived injustice against Christians, the greater the likelihood they’ll compare it to slavery.

    They’re absolutely pathetic.

  14. CoastalMaineBird says:

    Angela_K: My guess is that the Christian training was applied early and often. Kids grow up thinking that god is the way the world works. We already know they have to be pretzel-logicians to accept the bible.

    That’s hard to let go of, if you’ve had it all your life.

    Then as a teenager, they realize they’re gay, but they cannot let go of the childhood indoctrination.

    So, they apply more pretzel logic.

    Just a guess…

  15. CoastalMaineBird says:

    @barriejohn: “Shouldn’t they have the right to seek partners on a Christian website?”

    Sure – they have the right to do that already.
    They can seek partners on that website now.

    Perhaps they don’t care for the partners they can get from that site.

    If you mean “do they have the right to force the website to cater to their tastes”, I have to say I think not.

    If I like left-handed lesbians as partners, should their website be forced to cater to me?

    Of course not.

    What if there are 10 people who like LHLs?

    Is that enough to force them?

    How about if there are 10 million who like LHLs?

    Is that enough to force them?

    Of course not. It might be poor business judgment to pass up on that market, but it’s not a crime or even an insult.

    Would you force a travel bookstore to cater to your taste for Sherlock Holmes books?