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Rick Gershman of the St. Petersburg Times had a problem when he used the dating site eHarmony. But not for the normal reason.
What’s the normal reason? eHarmony doesn’t let you search for a match if you’re gay or lesbian. That’s due to founder Neil Clark Warren being a conservative Christian. According to a USA Today article:

Some also criticize eHarmony’s decision to refuse to provide matches for gays and lesbians — a policy that differs from Yahoo, and many other sites.
“From a corporate perspective, eHarmony does discriminate. There’s clearly a deliberate desire to exclude gay people from the site,” says New York psychiatrist Jack Drescher, who is gay and treats gay and lesbian couples.
But Warren says eHarmony promotes heterosexual marriage, about which he has done extensive research. He says he does not know enough about gay and lesbian relationships to do same-sex matching.
It “calls for some very careful thinking. Very careful research.” He adds that same-sex marriage is illegal in most states. “We don’t really want to participate in something that’s illegal.”

I didn’t realize same-sex matching was any different than hetero matching… clearly, I have a lot to learn from Warren.
Anyway, back to the original story. Gershman gave the site a try and after filling out a profile for over an hour, he got this message:

Unable to Match You at This Time

Gershman thought he knew a possible explanation for getting rejected by eHarmony:

I made it clear from my answers that I’m not much of a churchgoer. When eHarmony asked if I’m interested in “religious community” and “religious faith, ” I replied truthfully: Not at all.
Did that answer get me banned from eHarmony’s online church social? I didn’t know. So I decided to take the questionnaire again, answer it honestly again.

He didn’t get a match the next time, either.
So he asked eHarmony about the non-religious thing:

… I ask whether the process is weighted toward applicants who appear to consider Christianity, or at least faith, important.
The response: “Absolutely not. eHarmony . . . is not, nor has it ever been, a religious organization. Since its founding eHarmony has served and employed people of all (and or no) religious beliefs.”

His other responses seem fairly middle-of-the-road, though, so you have to wonder why he had no luck when other men have.
In any case, I do think atheists have a much harder time meeting people through dating websites if they’re open about who they are.

[tags]atheist, atheism, Rick Gershman, St. Petersburg Times, eHarmony, gay, lesbian, Neil Clark Warren, conservative, Christian, USA Today, Yahoo,, Jack Drescher, Christianity[/tags]