Mandating Businesses to Provide Services for Everybody?

Discussion in 'Politics & Law' started by Mirage, Mar 28, 2009.


Should private businesses be forced to provide services for every person?

  1. Yes

    0 vote(s)
  2. No

  1. Mirage

    Mirage Administrator Staff Member V.I.P.

    Do you think a business that provides services to a select group of people is discriminating and should be dealt with?

    For example, should somebody be able to sue Victoria's Secret and win or get a settlement because they don't sell men's clothing also?

    What about in this case. I'm sure most of us have heard of eHarmony. They are well known for providing dating/relationship matches over the internet. They only provided matches for men looking for women or vice versa though. Is this discriminating or is it their right as a business to choose their own niche and model their business around it?

    Well they were sued on the basis of discriminating based on sexual orientation. Guess what? They claimed that they were operating within the law but ended up agreeing to a settlement in which they agree to launch a new site "Compatible Partners" as well as pay $5,000 to the guy who sued them. - eHarmony to Provide Gay Dating Service After Lawsuit - Science News | Science & Technology | Technology News

    eHarmony to Segregate Gay Matchmaking Site - News and Analysis by PC Magazine

    Should specifically gay dating sites be targeted for not offering heterosexual matchmaking?

    So now if a business doesn't sell something for everybody they are discriminating? What do you think? Should private businesses be forced to provide services for every person? Is it really so wrong to have a niche?

    Personally I think that a private business has the right to market and sell their products and services to whomever they want. In the case of eHarmony, they weren't telling gay people they couldn't use their service. They simply didn't have a service to sell to them. In the same way that you can't walk into a salon and buy a DVD player.

    This is just another example of politically correctness going way too far.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2009

  2. Stab-o-Matic5000

    Stab-o-Matic5000 Cutting Edge in Murder

    I had originally typed up a post where I had pointed out that it was a settlement as part of it, and you'd deleted it while I was typing that out to correct it. Weird, huh?

    In any case, I completely agree with you, lawsuits like these get on my fucking nerves. Like those dudes who sued McDonalds because they were fat. The people who were suing eHarmony (it's happened multiple times) apparently don't know what actual discrimination is, or are looking to make a quick buck off of a large company. Something tells me it's likely the latter.

    Unfortunately the large companies pretty much have to cave every single time, as the negative PR and the court battle would be more damaging to them in the long run than paying out a settlement.

    EDIT: I just thought of snarkily voting yes, with the caveat that most businesses do already offer services to everyone in a way. For instance, if a gay man wanted to use the service provided by eHarmony to meet a woman, nothing was stopping him. They wouldn't have turned him away based on his sexual preference.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2009
  3. Major

    Major 4 legs good 2 legs bad V.I.P.

    I agree 100%. It's pretty silly that this could be considered discrimination. There are plenty of gay dating sites and nobody is forcing them to use eHarmony, the same way there are plenty of places for me to buy underwear and nobody is forcing me to go to Victoria's Secret.
  4. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    I remember a story where a club was being sued for offering Ladies' Night promotion (free entrance, discounted drinks, etc.). It said it's discrimination for male customers. It's absurd, but maybe I'm biased. ;)

    How about if businesses started to hang signs "no blacks allowed" or "no jews allowed". Would you still think it's ridiculous to sue them if they prefer to cater to certain races? Anyway, blacks and jews can go to other restaurants that serve everyone.
    ExpectantlyIronic likes this.
  5. Bananas

    Bananas Endangered Species

    It would only be discriminatory if they refused to sell to men. I am sure some men out there who take great delight in purchasing Victoria Secret products.

    No I dont but had you asked;
    "Do you think a business that refused services to a select group of people is discriminating and should be dealt with?
    I would then say yes.

    A company can only provide the service they offer, to so sue them for not doing so is ridiculous. Can I sue Hybrix for not providing a Ferrari 430 with the VIP subscription?

    I think this eharmony case has got itself confused. I dont even think it is political correctness, it is someone trying to make a quick buck but failing to realise the only winners are eharmony via pulicity and the lawyers who are handling the case.
  6. Mirage

    Mirage Administrator Staff Member V.I.P.

    That's different. It's one thing to tell a Jew they can't shop at your store. It's another thing entirely to simply not carry a star of David necklace.
  7. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    I was referring to:

    In which case, wouldn't they have the right to refuse to market and sell their products to whoever they want?

    I know it's not your point but the statement could suggest it. ;) Perhaps it's not so much they have the right to market and sell to whoever that pleases them, but they have the right to choose to provide whatever (within legal limits) service/product regardless of how it might please only a particular market. It's not their job to please everyone.
  8. Mirage

    Mirage Administrator Staff Member V.I.P.

    Yeah that wasn't what I meant. Take out the "and sell" and you'll see what I meant. Basically I think if you want to sell something that only certain people will want then that's your prerogative. If you only sell green shirts, people who want to buy blue shirts should just shop elsewhere, but they are still free to buy a green shirt from you if they change their mind.
  9. PretzelCorps

    PretzelCorps Registered Member

    Actually, I would be inclined to say that this is more a case of "greedy little bastard finds hole in the system to exploit for free money."

    I get the impression that this was settled outside of court, so eHarmony could save face.

    I say we all team up, and click on each of those "-insert adjective- dating service" advertisements that pop up all over GF and sue them all for being discriminatory against -insert different adjective- people.
    Smelnick likes this.

Share This Page