Neil Clark Warren, the Christian co-founder of the dating site eHarmony, said he’s “tired” of the debate over marriage equality for gays and lesbians, and blamed same-sex marriage for damaging his company.
In an interview with CNBC/Yahoo!’s “Off the Cuff,” Warren also said that someone needs to “do a really first class job of figuring out homosexuality” because it’s “a painful way for a lot of people to have to live.”
“I think this issue of same-sex marriage within the next five to 15 years will be no issue anymore. We’ve made too much of it. I’m tired of it. It has really damaged our company,” Warren said, “and when the attorney general of the state of New Jersey decided that we had to put up a same-sex site and we did it out of counsel that if we didn’t do it we were not going to have any business in New Jersey — we literally had to hire guards to protect our lives because the people were so hurt and angry with us, were Christian people, who feel that it’s a violation to scripture.
He continued, “I have said that eHarmony really ought to put up $10 million and ask other companies to put up money and do a really first class job of figuring out homosexuality. At the very best, it’s been a painful way for a lot of people to have to live. But at this point, at this age, I want America to start drawing together. I want it to be more harmonious.”
eHarmony, which in its early years primarily marketed to a Christian clientele, has been the target of numerous lawsuits over the years for its refusal to match same-sex couples.
In 2008, eHarmony reached a settlement with New Jersey’s Civil Rights Division in a discrimination case — the company agreed to launch a new website that would cater to same-sex couples. Compatible Partners was launched in 2009.
In 2010, eHarmony agreed to pay $500,000 and make its website more gay friendly by adding a”gay and lesbian dating” category to its main website to send users to its Compatible Partners site. The agreement was part of a settlement in a California class-action lawsuit.