Dating site eHarmony once again has conservative groups in an uproar over an advertisement, now airing in Australia, which features a gay couple. 

The latest ad in eHarmony’s Here for Real Love campaign shows two men at home, making toast and hugging each other.

Much Ado About Ad

One Million Moms, an American Christian organisation, created by the staunchly anti-LGBTQ American Family Association, has launched a petition against the ad, calling it “the site’s attempt to normalize and glorify the LGBTQ lifestyle by featuring a homosexual couple hugging, feeding each other, and wiping the other one’s mouth.”

“By promoting same sex relationships, eHarmony wants to make it clear where they stand on this controversial topic instead of remaining neutral in the culture war,” claimed One Million Moms on its website.

“There is concern about the way this advertisement is pushing the LGBTQ agenda, but an even greater concern is that the commercial is airing when children are likely watching television.”

“This eHarmony ad brainwashes children and adults by desensitizing them and convincing them that homosexuality is natural, when in reality it is an unnatural love that is forbidden by Scripture just like love rooted in adultery is forbidden.”

The petition has, to date, attracted 7,983 signatures.

Fringe Group’s False Outrage

GLAAD’s Barbara Simon told the Star Observer, ”eHarmony’s work to welcome LGBTQ users and create safe spaces for them is vital. One Million Moms has nowhere near one million supporters, rather the organization is a fringe anti-LGBTQ group which generates false outrage to try and force companies to omit LGBTQ people from ads and content. Their anti-LGBTQ activism fails time and again as brands refuse to cave to their anti-LGBTQ hate.”

 

The latest ad is not the first time that eHarmony has met with controversy over their Here For Real Love campaign. The company, who began offering same-sex matches in 2019, aired their first LGBTQ focused commercial in 2020.

I Scream featured a lesbian couple eating ice cream at home and kissing several times. The ad was one of seven different ads initially produced for the campaign. 

Gareth Mandel, eHarmony’s CEO, told NBC News, “Our ad campaigns, our platform, and everything else we do accurately reflect what real love, real dating and real relationships look like both today and always.” 

“We’ve spent substantial time recently bringing our entire team together to formalize a company mission and values statement that reflects who we are today.”

“Explicitly reflecting a brand and a workplace that strives to be safe, inclusive and welcoming to each and every member of our community,” Mandel said. 

e-Harmony’s Journey Towards Inclusivity

The company, which began operations in 2000 was created by Neil Clark Warren and son-in-law, Greg Forgatch, and until 2019 was a service directed exclusively at heterosexuals. 

Warren, in an interview with Focus on the Family said, “I take a real strong stand against same-sex marriage, anywhere that I can comment on it.” Warren is no longer affiliated with the company he founded, having stepped down in 2016.

The company was the focus of two discrimination lawsuits (2007 and 2008) in the US prior to offering its services to LGBTQ people, through a seperate site called Compatible Partners. That site was closed in 2019 and all LGBTQ services were moved under the eHarmony brand.

eHarmony told NBC that the company has experienced a 109 percent growth within the LGBTQ market.

The petition over the eHarmony is the latest in a long series of petitions and protests that One Million Moms has undertaken over media events and personalities they feel promote homosexuality.

The group has previously targeted brands and celebrities like H&M, Campbell’s Soup, Nabisco, Disney, Kmart, Marvel and perhaps most famously JCPenney when they chose Ellen DeGeneres as their spokesperson.

 

 

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