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Internet Dating Websites and Institutional Diversity:

David's post about the ill-advised lawsuit against E-Harmony for failing to provide options for same-sex dating is another example of the conflict between diversity within institutions and diversity across institutions. If the plaintiff gets her way, E-Harmony and other dating services will have to cater to both homosexual and heterosexual daters. By the same logic, J-Date will have to cater to gentiles as much as Jews, and so on. And of course gay dating websites would have to work to facilitate heterosexual dating as well.

This result would greatly undercut the advantages of specialization and diversity. It would lead to the homogenization of dating websites, as all would have to cater to all groups equally. No site would be able to specialize in serving the distinctive needs of any one group, whether that group be gays, Jews, or evangelical Christians. Basic economics - and basic common sense - suggest that members of all these groups can benefit from diversity and specialization across dating websites. While many of the individual sites may have a very homogenous clientele that effectively "excludes" various groups, there is enormous diversity in the dating website market as a whole; that diversity is of course partly the result of the homogeneity of individual sites. And for those who do not want to limit their dating to a particular group, there are numerous generalist dating websites, such as Match.com.

If the suit succeeds, dating websites could try to mitigate the harm it causes by providing only pro forma equality to those groups they don't really want to cater too. For example, J-Date allows non-Jews to join on the same formal terms as Jews; but obviously the site is much less useful to those seeking gentile mates than those seeking Jewish ones, and it has many features that cater to the specific interests of Jews (e.g. - allowing participants to indicate which Jewish denomination they belong to, but not providing the same options for adherents of other religions). This kind of approach presumably would not satisfy the E-Harmony plaintiff. After all, E-Harmony already permits gays to join on the same formal terms as heterosexuals. It's just that the service it offers (the opportunity to date members of the opposite sex) has much less value for gays than for heterosexuals.

UPDATE: I should have noted that this case also has an interesting federalism angle. Since the case involves only California antidiscrimination law, not federal, a victory for the plaintiff technically would only affect people in that state. But because of California's obvious importance as a major market, a win for the plaintiff might well compel dating websites to alter the services they provide nationwide. The only alternatives would be to 1) create a separate and more "inclusive" site for California residents alone, or 2) refrain from offering services to California residents entirely. This dilemma is an example of the broader problems caused by states regulating commerce in ways that have major effects outside their own borders. A well-functioning system of federalism must constrain state governments, not just the feds. For a more detailed discussion, see this article.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Trivializing antidiscrimination law:
  2. Internet Dating Websites and Institutional Diversity:
  3. Eharmony Sue for Sexual Orientation Discrimination:
Ramza:
I agree, but I have to point out the reason E-Harmony doesn't allow homosexual couples isn't about research or specialty. They don't gain anymore real matches by specializing, no they just make more money for they can cater to certain parts of the population with an image this is a "good website" and you will meat a "good person" that would make a loving wife/husband.

Thing is if they allow homosexuals on their website they lose that good "website" feel, due to homophobia, they are no longer a moral group.

They are allowed to do this, they shouldn't be sued for this reason. It would be different if they canceled a 6 month subscription without returning the fee if they ound out a person is gay. They don't do that, they don't won't be willing to mate you with somebody and if I understand it correctly you get your money back. No one is harmed, like a person who loses his apartment or job due to his sexual orientation.
6.1.2007 4:07am
BTD_Venkat (mail) (www):
Roommates.com rears its head?
6.1.2007 4:38am
Billy B:
Wouldn't the left-wingers who support the lawsuit argue for a general rule that says that this form of discrimination is only permitted when it "discriminates" against majorities? That way, J-Date or Gay-Date would be okay, but not Christ-Date, White-Date or E-Harmony. For the same reason, they would support black colleges and affirmative action, but not the equivalent for whites. I suppose that on the margins, it is unclear if certain groups are minorities or majorities (e.g., Catholics, WASPS). But wouldn't that rule work in a lot of cases?

I do not like this kind of argument because I am personally in favor of pro-family institutions where people who share traditional values can get together. I believe that disapproval of homosexuality is a legitimate viewpoint that reasonable people can agree (or, of course, disagree) with. Still, I wish that Ilya at least addressed that point, which I would suspect is a common left-wing rebuttal to Ilya's argument.
6.1.2007 4:49am
Guest12345:
I agree, but I have to point out the reason E-Harmony doesn't allow homosexual couples isn't about research or specialty.


I don't understand this. It's been said several times in the other post. How many gay people would answer the following question yes: Do you think a gay person understands you better than a straight person? Isn't the very reason that there are gay clubs at schools because people want to associate with those they think they can relate to and who will understand them.

Eharmony also apparently won't attempt to match people: who are currently married, who have been divorced three or more times, who are under twenty one, or are severely depressed.
6.1.2007 4:51am
Brian K (mail):
I don't think you are characterizing the lawsuit correctly, at least according to the previous post. The lawsuit didn't result from the fact that eharmony doesn't cater equally to homosexuals, but that it doesn't cater to them at all. If the plaintiffs win the suit, eharmony still won't have to cater to homosexuals at all...they just will have to add a "(wo)man seeking (wo)man" check box.


Eharmony.com, the most profitable on-line dating service, is being sued under California law for discrimination based on sexual orientation for failing to include "women seeking women" or "men seeking men" categories on its website. Eharmony, for its part, claims that its services are based on research regarding what makes heterosexuals compatible, and because it has no similar research available for homosexuals, it does not provide services to them.

(emphasis added)
6.1.2007 5:07am
George Weiss (mail):
i still like the anaolgy of a doctor whos a gynocologist that doesnt see men.


the suit will loose..and the LGBT community will look bad because off a few hotheads
6.1.2007 5:29am
Kovarsky (mail):
My quarrel is with the idea that "of course everybody benefits by having differentiated sites." I suppose, but the reason you see the benefit in differentiated sites is because the different "geographic" location of the site serves as proxy for a variable itself.

Even if you have a homogenous "big community" on a dating site, isn't the point to describe that population with variables that allow them to segment efficiently? So my point is this - why not just assign them a "gay variable." if that's the case, then they enter a different "place" (although it's not a different website, it's just a different set of potential results given the positive instance of a "gay" variable.

Why segregate by sites, when you could do so much more efficiently adding a binary variable to a database?
6.1.2007 5:48am
Ilya Somin:
Wouldn't the left-wingers who support the lawsuit argue for a general rule that says that this form of discrimination is only permitted when it "discriminates" against majorities? That way, J-Date or Gay-Date would be okay, but not Christ-Date, White-Date or E-Harmony.

Evangelical Christians (the group that founded E-Harmony) are not a majority of the population. In any event, there is no magic that happens when a group goes from being 50.1% of the population to 49.9%. If the latter can have its own site, so too should the former.
6.1.2007 5:58am
Ilya Somin:
I don't think you are characterizing the lawsuit correctly, at least according to the previous post. The lawsuit didn't result from the fact that eharmony doesn't cater equally to homosexuals, but that it doesn't cater to them at all.

If this type of "discrimination" is banned under the law, it would ban unequal catering as well as total exclusion. Laws banning racial discrimination in employment, for example, forbid paying minorities lower salaries as well as refusing to hire them at all.
6.1.2007 5:59am
Vova Shklovsky (mail):
Kovarsky, a problem with just throwing in a binary gay variable is that eharmony does not operate like most dating sites. Users don't search for eachother, they are paired by they website. Including a gay variable in the eharmony matching system would either require assuming that all other factors could be treated equally when matching people of the same sex, or admitting that the system is not designed for matching people of the same sex but letting them have bad matches and thereby degrade the perceived value of the system, or creating an algorithim tailored for homosexuals.
6.1.2007 6:11am
Brian K (mail):

If this type of "discrimination" is banned under the law, it would ban unequal catering as well as total exclusion.


I don't see why this is necessarily true. Would eharmony have to spend the same amount of time and/or money advertising to homosexuals as it does advertising to heterosexuals? Would eharmony have to ensure that they have equal numbers of homo- and heterosexual people? Would eharmony have to ensure that it is as successful with homosexual matches as it is with heterosexual matches? I think the answer to all of these questions is pretty clearly no. (to see why just look to the cosmetic industry or the alcohol industry or the music industry or the food industry etc...) but in order for equal catering they would all have to answered in the affirmative.


Laws banning racial discrimination in employment, for example, forbid paying minorities lower salaries as well as refusing to hire them at all.

The analogous situation to this is that both heterosexuals and homosexuals would have to be charged the same price for the same service not that they be catered to equally.
6.1.2007 6:31am
George Weiss (mail):
this about this another way:

the classic anti discrimination sitaution is a bar that has a sign that says 'no people of race x allowed'

this disciminates unfairly becuase the X people can drink the same drinks the other people can if they just open the bar to them.

now..in a wwerid hypothetical.. suppose the discriminated party are aliens who drink only cyanide.. (lets pretend aliaens are a protected class by ada law)...we probly wouldnt say the bar has to start supplying cynide to these alians who are demanding a completely different product....the X people demanded the same product...the aliens demanded a different product and the bar to go out of its way to include...rather than out of its way to exclude...

of course...we go out of our way to include the handicapped...wheelchair access etc...but only to the point of reasonable accomidations (and even then not everyone has to comply)

is it a good policy to make every supplier of a product carry a seprate item (going way more out of its way then it would have to to comply with handicapped friendly legislation)...even when it has no idea how..and that product is avialable elsewhere?

what if that product costs more to produce (sine its a machmaking service not just a profile and search thing) ..does it still have to..as brian k says..charge the same price

and i STILL like the idea of the gynocologist that doesnt see male patients...oh and he has to charge the same price too
6.1.2007 7:04am
Phil333333:
Billy B writes:

Wouldn't the left-wingers who support the lawsuit argue for a general rule that says that this form of discrimination is only permitted when it "discriminates" against majorities?


Why do you have to try and rail against all liberals when trying to make a legal argument? This has nothing to do with politics. I am a huge supporter of the Democratic party and I think this is a ridiculous law suit.
6.1.2007 7:36am
Mongoose 388:
I see nothing wrong with E-Harmony deciding on its own to expand its dating to include homosexuals (not that there's anything wrong with it....)Thats a business decision that might make sense.
However, getting back to the diversity issue, at what point do individuals lose their right to associate freely with people of their own choice? Isn't forcing diversity on groups also taking away their right to associate freely with whomever they choose to associate ?
6.1.2007 8:46am
Bretzky (mail):
While accepting the idea that diversity across dating websites has all the advantages noted, I must point out that eHarmony is a different kind of animal. It isn't really a dating website, but a match-making one.

eHarmony is not a website that is autonomous in structure. The company takes the information gathered from the web users and then operates like a traditional match-making service. As such, merely allowing homosexuals to enter their data on to eHarmony would not change anything if the company itself refuses to match up men with men or women with women.

Not knowing what California antidiscrimination law is like I certainly have no idea how the lawsuit will likely play out; but, if it is successful, I don't think it would be that difficult to satisfy the order not to exclude. Several websites that sell wine already limit sales based upon the state a person resides in to account for the myriad alcohol laws in the US. I would think that eHarmony would be able to set up a subsidiary operation in California for homosexuals or, just exclude Californians altogether.
6.1.2007 8:55am
JK:
Obviously this suit is a ridiculous idea, and my guess is that the vast majority of gay people would agree with this assessment. I've never understood how people can become outraged and make broad conclusions about parts of society based on the fact that a suit has been filed. News flash: our legal system allows people to file ridiculous suits.
6.1.2007 9:42am
wm13:
I think a more refined version of Billy B's test would overcome Prof. Somin's argument, to wit: sites can discriminate in favor of an "oppressed" group, like Jews or gays, but not in favor of an "oppressor" group, like evangelical Christians. I have met any number of left-wingers who would endorse such a rule. (Pace Phil3333, I don't say that ALL left-wingers endorse this lawsuit, only that NO right-wingers endorse it.)

To answer Lenin's question ("Who, whom?"), the same people who endorse the test I have specified would have no problem with responding that bureaucracies staffed by "anti-discrimination experts and specialists" would decide which groups are oppressed and which groups are oppressors.

Ten dollars says that my rule is the one the California courts endorse, and, is, therefore, THE LAW.
6.1.2007 9:43am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Kovarsky, a problem with just throwing in a binary gay variable is that eharmony does not operate like most dating sites. Users don't search for eachother, they are paired by they website. Including a gay variable in the eharmony matching system would either require assuming that all other factors could be treated equally when matching people of the same sex, or admitting that the system is not designed for matching people of the same sex but letting them have bad matches and thereby degrade the perceived value of the system, or creating an algorithim tailored for homosexuals.
I think that the way around this, if eHarmony does lose, would be to allow everyone to specify sexual preferences. Make sure that bisexuals aren't paired with heterosexuals, but other bisexuals. Or maybe just have a box that determines whether someone would date a bisexual. Then, have a disclaimer that those wishing something out of the ordinary heterosexual mating would have to acknowledge that the service was designed for heterosexual pairings and may not work properly with other pairings.
6.1.2007 9:53am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Since an adverse CA decision might have ramifications across the country, might not there be a dorman Commerce Clause argument to be made here?
6.1.2007 9:55am
JK:
wm13,
While that view does exist it is, in my experience, a truly fringe view, not one endorsed by "left-wingers" generally (assuming that left-wing = people who consistently vote for democrats). If this is such a widespread belief that web sites should be able to cater to only Jews, but not only to straight people, how about we find an example of someone saying this (not an affirmative action example, which is not completely analogous).
6.1.2007 9:58am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
I do think that the distinction between what is allowable and what isn't in discrimination is whether the discriminator is an "oppressor" and the discriminated against an "oppressed", according to current political correctness. Thus, even though women are a majority, they are oppressed by males, and thus can have women's colleges, clubs, etc., while men cannot. The reverse for evangelical Christians.

So, what you have to do is look at the political correctness of the oppression of each side of a dispute, to determine whether or not discrimination is allowed. Thus, a Jewish dating service would be allowed, since it discriminates against Gentiles. But a Jewish heterosexual one would not, since that would discriminate against Gays, and Gays have a higher level of politically correct victimhood than do Jews.
6.1.2007 10:02am
John (mail):
Does anyone have the California statute that this case is based on? What does it say?
6.1.2007 11:05am
Nathan_M (mail):
I worry I might be over generalizing from my own ideas, but I wonder if the difference between eHarmony and JDate and BlackSingles is that eHarmony discriminates itself, while JDate and its ilk are simply reflect the preferences of their clients.

If someone only wants to date black people, or Jewish people, or red-heads fluent in Mandarin who are between 5'6" and 5'8" tall, that's their own business. For obvious reasons, it would be difficult, and undesirable, for the government to restrict any sort of discrimination in dating. So something like JDate doesn't discriminate for its own purposes on the basis of religion (which would be bad), but it reflects that many people do discriminate on religion in who they date (which is unobjectionable), and makes it easier for them. So this type of discrimination, call it JDate-type discrimination, is just enabling the perfectly legitimate discrimination of people on who they are interested in dating.

On the other hand, eHarmony's discrimination seems to be simple corporate prejudice against homosexuals. This eHarmony-type discrimination has no impact on who eHarmony's current members will meet, or how useful its service is to them.

As for the commentators who have asked if this means dating sites must cater to, for example, people who are into S&M, I think the answers is that's not a prohibited ground for discrimination, while sexual orientation is.
6.1.2007 11:32am
Daniel Chapman (mail):
Nathan, by your reasoning, it seems that e-harmony could solve its problem by calling itself "straightsingles.com" and therefore it would merely "reflect the preferences of its clients" rather than enact "corporate prejudice against homosexuals." Am I correct? What other difference is there between e-harmony (dating site geared towards heterosexuals) and blacksingles (dating site for Blacks)?
6.1.2007 11:49am
buck:
Why- instead of suing eHarmony- doesn't the plaintiff just start her own eHarmony knock-off targeted to the GLBT community?
6.1.2007 12:08pm
Nathan_M (mail):
Daniel, no, I don't think that would work. I don't think I was clear enough in the distinction I'm trying to draw.

Excluding gay people doesn't reflect straight customers' preferences because it's an entirely seperate population of daters. If I only want to meet Jewish people, JDate is useful, and it is less so if it accepts non-Jews.

If I only want to date Jewish women, it has no impact on me whatsoever that JDate also accepts homosexuals, because they won't show up in my search.

So if JDate accepted non-Jews (or BlackSingles non-blacks), the site would be less useful for their current users. If eHarmony accepted homosexuals, the only difference users would notice is they'd have to put in their sexual orientation. Aside from that, heterosexuals would have the exact same experience they do now.
6.1.2007 12:22pm
whit:
i have been monitoring democraticunderground.com etc. (farleft website) on this case and they are overwhelmingly for the lawsuit fwiw.

it is true that many (if not most) on the far left think discrimination against "oppressors" is fine (privileged white males(tm) etc.) but not against oppressed (in their view of who is oppressed)

i think since eharmony is a for profit business (vs. say a church etc.) they are arguing under the california law - it can't discriminate

but i would like to see fi this is applied fairly

does curves (a woman's only for profit gym) have the ability to operate in california too? that's JUST as discriminatory as eharmony

can anybody who is in cali answer that? does curves gym operate in california?
6.1.2007 12:30pm
Shake-N-Bake:
buck, that's exactly what I came here to say -- if you really think there's a market for an eHarmony style matchmaking site for homosexuals, then you should be chomping at the bit to create the site and reap the monetary rewards. eHarmony's loss would be your gain. If there isn't much of a market for it, and the gay community would rather use the usual dating sites instead of matchmaking, then being able to join eHarmony won't get you anywhere anyways.
6.1.2007 12:36pm
Guest12345:
As for the commentators who have asked if this means dating sites must cater to, for example, people who are into S&M, I think the answers is that's not a prohibited ground for discrimination, while sexual orientation is.


I think you'll find that there are plenty of doms and subs who would suggest that their relationship preferences constitute a sexual orientation as much as is a gay man's relationship preferences.
6.1.2007 12:38pm
Shake-N-Bake:
FWIW, I met my wife via a personality-matching test that was briefly on match.com. A family friend met his fiancee via eHarmony. I have to think that there is a market in the gay community for a matchmaking site, because at least in my experience homosexuals by and large are similar to the heterosexual population -- some with no interest in ever being tied down to one person, but many who prefer to have a long-term, meaningful relationship at some point after 'sowing their wild oats' when younger.
6.1.2007 12:39pm
Nathan_M (mail):
Chake-N-Bake, I think Match.com has started Chemistry.com with the idea of competing with eHarmony's matchmaking idea and also accepting homosexuals.

I think it's marketed very explictly in those terms too, although not being in the target market I'm relying on recalling a post from Andrew Sullivan.

But assuming this is illegilate discrimination, I don't think it's really an answer that there's competition now. We wouldn't allow a restaurant not to serve blacks because the one next door will.
6.1.2007 12:42pm
Guest12345:
Excluding gay people doesn't reflect straight customers' preferences because it's an entirely seperate population of daters. If I only want to meet Jewish people, JDate is useful, and it is less so if it accepts non-Jews.


That's inconsistent. Jdate, which i know nothing about, could provide results that match your specific desires as easily as eharmony can provide gay-gay / straight-straight matches.
6.1.2007 12:50pm
whit:
just for clarification - as far as i know they are not refusing to serve gays (blacks in your example)

they are refusing to provide a service that gays want (intragender relationships).

while that still may be a violation of california law, it's not the same thing.

they are providing a service - matchmaking of men with women

again, it may be a violation of california law, but that's not the same thing as saying they refuse to serve gays.

the service they provide does not suit a homosexual orientation, but that is not the same thing as not serving homosexuals at all

fwiw, curves REFUSES to serve men. it's a woman only gym. i can't see how that could pass muster in california based this law.
6.1.2007 12:53pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
I'm looking to sue car repair shops that only fix one type of vehicle.

It's discrimination I tell ya.
6.1.2007 2:08pm
Tyrone Slothrop (mail) (www):
I should have noted that this case also has an interesting federalism angle. Since the case involves only California antidiscrimination law, not federal, a victory for the plaintiff technically would only affect people in that state. But because of California's obvious importance as a major market, a win for the plaintiff might well compel dating websites to alter the services they provide nationwide. The only alternatives would be to 1) create a separate and more "inclusive" site for California residents alone, or 2) refrain from offering services to California residents entirely. This dilemma is an example of the broader problems caused by states regulating commerce in ways that have major effects outside their own borders. A well-functioning system of federalism must constrain state governments, not just the feds.

Dormant Commerce Clause cases take these sort of considerations into account. See, e.g., the Navajo Freightlines (?) (1959?) case, concerning state regulation of mudflaps on trucks in interstate commerce. Since the state's interest in the particular mudflap was minor, and the imposition on interstate trucking was considerable, the state restriction was struck down. But compare that to state laws limiting how many trailers a single truck can pull -- the state interest is seen as sufficiently weighty to withstand this scrutiny, and so trucking companies have to incur the logistical costs associated with different requirements in different states.

To me, the more interesting (and Lessig-prompted) question has to do with the way that the internet's infrastructure makes it costly or inexpensive for a content provider to comply with specific state laws.
6.1.2007 2:20pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
JK says:

News flash: our legal system allows people to file ridiculous suits.

Our legal system is filled with ridiculous suits.
6.1.2007 2:31pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
The answer is simple. If a service leaves CA because of law we can set up proxy servers for Californians.
6.1.2007 2:33pm
Horatio (mail):
One more reason why anti-discrimination/fair housing laws are absurd.
6.1.2007 2:52pm
Barbara Skolaut (mail):
"The only alternatives would be to 1) create a separate and more "inclusive" site for California residents alone, or 2) refrain from offering services to California residents entirely."

I'd go for #2, and permanently post on the front page of the site exactly why.
6.1.2007 6:29pm
whit:
i can see it now. people sneaking across the border of california into the "free territories" of nevada and mexico, in order to log in to Eharmony. lol
6.1.2007 7:15pm
John Rosenberg (mail) (www):
[E-Harmony losing] would greatly undercut the advantages of specialization and diversity. It would lead to the homogenization of dating websites, as all would have to cater to all groups equally. No site would be able to specialize in serving the distinctive needs of any one group, whether that group be gays, Jews, or evangelical Christians.

Interestingly, this is the same argument that VMI's defenders used in arguing that VMI should remain all male. True, VMI is a public institution, but I'm not sure that ends the discussion, since many private institutions also could not exist without the public funds they receive. It is also the argument that some affirmative action critics make when they assert that imposing what passes for "diversity" on every institution results in less diversity over all.
6.2.2007 11:00am
Randy R. (mail):
Mongoose: "However, getting back to the diversity issue, at what point do individuals lose their right to associate freely with people of their own choice? Isn't forcing diversity on groups also taking away their right to associate freely with whomever they choose to associate ?"

I agree with that the lawsuit is silly, but how is this affected? People don't 'associate' on a website like they do at a bar. By adding gay people to eHarmony, how exactly would it inpair your ability to associate with other people that you would like to?

As far as I can tell, you would still be matched up with exactly the same people as before they allowed gays in.
6.2.2007 11:55am
Henri Le Compte (mail):
It seems to me that some folks are missing important distinctions-- there is more to this question than disparate impact. In short, it is not a question of whether or not a restaurant will serve blacks, but whether or not a Chinese restaurant will have burritos on the menu. If it doesn't have burritos, isn't being "racist"?

A study of happily married hetrosexual couples may very well produce results that are not generalizable to all couples. Why does that seem even vaguely controversial? Heck, "happily married" hetero couples could very well have elements that are different from "happily dating" hetero couples (like the expectation of permanence).

I think this is an awful lot like asking eHarmony to "prove" a negative-- they have to prove that they weren't intentionally anti-gay when they set up their service... even though there is no evidence to support the allegation. (At least, none has been presented anywhere that I've seen.) In fact, it is the very lack of evidence that is so damning!! They were so careful to cover their tracks, which only proves how premeditated the whole thing was!
/sarcasm
6.3.2007 1:56pm
Houston Lawyer:
If the California statute were enforced with the rigor that fair housing statutes are enforced, a participant would not be allowed to post his sex or the sex of the person he was searching for. Bad laws make for bad results.
6.4.2007 2:38pm
ReaderY:
Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans divorce because they perceive a conflict between their spouses and their jobs, and choose their jobs as their priority. The idea that "intimate" associations are somehow holier than others may be an appropriate moral ideal or church doctrine, but does it have any business being part of the policy of a secular government? What basis is their for this preference other than a long-standing view that there is something dirty about work, that people ought to consider their work a trade, not a profession and certainly not a vocation. The poet Khalil Gibrain wrote "Work is our love made manifest." Is there any rational basis for regarding the ideas of Khalil Gibran as immoral? Is a person who lives by them really to be considered perverted or deviant? Isn't this really just a case of "I do not love thee Doctor Fell, the reason why I cannot tell?"

Why should federal judges be in the business of requiring government to discriminate against people for no other reason than that they have different ideas about what kind of associations they regard as important to their lives? Why should judges get to pronounce on whether people's associations are sufficiently "intimate" or not? The minority whose associational priorities are different from the way federal judges and Professor Volokh think people should live their lives is quite large. Why should associational minorities be shut out of the political process by the artificial constitutionalization of what kinds of associations are protected?
6.5.2007 4:11am