This week, OKCupid and the Family Research Council
OkCupid caught in donation scandal
Last week, OkCupid was quick to point to former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich’s $1,000 donation to Prop 8 in 2008. The dating and social networking site went as far as producing a new landing page so that when Firefox users logged in, they received the following message:
“We’ve devoted the last ten years to bringing people—all people—together. If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8% of the relationships we’ve worked so hard to bring about would be illegal.”
The message then asked Firefox users to consider switching to a different web browser.
It didn’t take long for the company’s PR stunt to go viral. Then after Eich stepped down from his job, OkCupid boasted, “We are pleased that OkCupid’s boycott has brought tremendous awareness to the critical matter of equal rights for all individuals and partnerships.”
But one should never throw stones in a glass house.
Mother Jones, the investigative journalism news magazine, exposed OkCupid CEO Sam Yagan’s own history of donating to antigay political candidates.
In 2004, Yagan gave $500 to antigay candidate, Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah). Cannon served in Congress from 1994 to 2009. During that time, he voted for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, against a ban on sexual-orientation based job discrimination, and to prohibit gay adoptions.
Yagan released a statement that read, in part:
“A decade ago, I made a contribution to Representative Chris Cannon because he was the ranking Republican on the House subcommittee that oversaw the Internet and Intellectual Property, matters important to my business and our industry. I accept responsibility for not knowing where he stood on gay rights in particular.”
Yagan, 37, who is also CEO of Match.com, said he fully supports marriage equality and that he “would not make that contribution again today.”
FRC head calls business leaders ‘cowards’
Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council (FRC), says business leaders like Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy are “cowards” for backtracking on their expressed views against marriage equality. Perkins’ comments offer fresh fodder in the endless culture wars.
The chicken sandwich campaign goes like this: Shortly after Cathy said he was unapologetically opposed to marriage rights for same-sex couples in 2012, his fast-food chain became a symbol of homophobia for LGBT people and allies. The company has also donated millions of dollars in cash and services to antigay groups.
Last year, Floyd Lee Corkins entered the headquarters of Perkins’ organization and opened fire. He reportedly had a bag full of Chick-fil-A sandwiches and claimed that he would smear them on the faces of his victims.
Earlier this year, Cathy said he would no longer speak publicly about marriage equality and that he would leave such public debate for politicians and pundits. “The wiser thing for us to do is stay focused on customer service,” he said.
Still, Perkins derided the decision for Cathy and the company to shy away from political expression.
“I think we're seeing those in the business community are becoming cowards,” Perkins said on Mike Huckabee's Fox News show.
Perkins added, “Tolerance is a one-way street for these individuals. What they want to do is force the rest of America not to just to tolerate but to celebrate what they're doing. They want to redefine America.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has designated Perkins’ Family Research Council, headquartered in Washington, D.C. as an anti-LGBT hate group. While FRC bills itself as a leading voice for the family in our nation’s great halls of power, SPLC has determined that Perkins and his associates spend a majority of their time and resources defaming gays and lesbians.