A story from earlier this week about a Northern California man suing eHarmony for not letting him join the dating service until he's legally divorced has got bloggers weighing in with a broad range of opinion.
John Claassen, a 36-year-old lawyer who is legally separated from his wife, filed a lawsuit alleging eHarmony abridged his civil rights by refusing to match him up, according to The Associated Press. The Pasadena, Calif.-based company only fixes up unmarried individuals.
Bloggers were mixed on whether the suit has any merit. Most said eHarmony is perfectly justified in limiting its clientele to singles, and Claassen could choose another dating site, like Match.com, that doesn't have such a restriction. Some, however, said Claassen has a good point, and might just win. He's seeking $12,000 in civil penalties.Blog community response:
"To advertise himself as a 'single' man is a false claim. This means that a woman--finding out that this guy she's been matched with, isn't really free from his wife--could sue eHarmony for knowingly matching her with a guy who can't formalize a relationship. This basically turns eHarmony into a call girl service."
"I think eHarmony might lose, and here's why: California has no-fault divorce, abolished its heartbalm torts, and decriminalized adultery. Therefore, there's no legal reason why a service couldn't enable adulterers, either technical or actual. eHarmony's preferences, and even its market research, must bow to California law."
"It's the classic love story. Boy meets girl and falls in love. Boy and girl realize that they don't really know what love means and decide that the state should assist where the church can't. Boy can't wait to hit the dating scene so goes to online service to get busy. Boy sues dating scene because they just don't understand. Goofy dude across the bay (me that is) writes silly blog about it. And they all lived confusingly ever after."
--My agapic life
"I say, 'Go eHarmony!' I like the fact they don't allow married men/women to join the site. It's unfair to everyone in the situation--the cheating spouse, the cheating spouse's family, and the potential date (if unaware). "
--Allison's Epiphany in Progress
"Take a look at the fine print on Harmony's terms of service. They clearly fail to clarify the definition of the term married...In my mind this guy actually has a shot at winning. I would be upset if I spent two hours on a profile only to be rejected at the end because of a lack of clarity on the part of the service."