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Change.Org Petition Asks OkCupid To Expand Options For Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity

Brooklyn web-user Ryley Pogensky has started a Change.org petition asking OkCupid to offer more options for users’ gender identity and sexual orientation.

Okcupid-logoPogensky explains:

With such a strong presence of queer, trans*, and poly folks utilizing OkCupid every day, it is extremely limiting on those members to have to fit such rigid gender and sexuality options. Trans* individuals for instance are forced to chose M or F and then Gay, Bisexual, or Straight. These binaries do not fit for all of us and you will see more often than not a paragraph (or more) in these profiles devoted to trying to explain who they are and questioning why OkCupid has yet to catch on. The time has come for OkCupid to take notice of all of its members.

Unlike Facebook’s expanded gender identity options which include 50 choices, Pogensky’s petition only asks that OkCupid expand its orientations to include straight, bisexual, gay, and queer and that its gender options include male, female and trans.

At the time of this post’s writing, Pogensky’s petition had 1,130 out of 1,500 signatures.

OkCupid showed its support for the gay community when it temporarily blocked access to its site from Mozilla’s Firefox in protest of Mozilla appointing anti-gay CEO Brendan Eich. Although it later came to light that OkCupid’s co-founder Sam Yagan had once made a campaign donation to an anti-gay politician, Yagan apologized for it.

OkCupid Co-Founder Sam Yagan Apologizes For Supporting Anti-Gay Candidate

Earlier today it was revealed that OK Cupid's co-founder and CEO Sam Yagan once donated $500 to anti-gay Utah Republican Chris Cannon, a politician who supports a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, opposes protections against sexual-orientation based job discrimination and is against gay adoptions.

YaganIn a statement sent to The Huffington Post, Yagan said he did not know about the candidate's anti-gay record at the time he made the contribution, and was more interested in Cannon's stance on intellectual property issues:

"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; I unequivocally support marriage equality and I would not make that contribution again today. However, a contribution made to a candidate with views on hundreds of issues has no equivalence to a contribution supporting Prop 8, a single issue that has no purpose other than to affirmatively prohibit gay marriage, which I believe is a basic civil right."

Yagan's company famously blocked the Firefox web-browser after discovering that the company's since-resigned CEO Brendan Eich made a $1,000 donation to the 2008 Proposition 8 campaign outlawing same-sex marriage in California. Unlike Yagan, Eich never apologized for his donation to a solely anti-gay cause.

'Mother Jones' Writer: OkCupid CEO Donated to Anti-Gay Candidate

Mother Jones reports that the CEO of OkCupid, which blocked Mozilla's browser Firefox in a highly-publicized move over Brendan Eich's donation to California's Prop 8 campaign, once donated to an anti-gay candidate:

YaganOkCupid's co-founder and CEO Sam Yagan once donated to an anti-gay candidate. (Yagan is also CEO of Match.com.) Specifically, Yagan donated $500 to Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah) in 2004, reports Uncrunched. During his time as congressman from 1997 to 2009, Cannon voted for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, against a ban on sexual-orientation based job discrimination, and for prohibition of gay adoptions.

He's also voted for numerous anti-choice measures, earning a 0 percent rating from NARAL Pro Choice America. Among other measures, Cannon voted for laws prohibiting government from denying funds to medical facilities that withhold abortion information, stopping minors from crossing state lines to obtain an abortion, and banning family planning funding in US aid abroad. Cannon also earned a 7 percent rating from the ACLU for his poor civil rights voting record: He voted to amend FISA to allow warrant-less electronic surveillance, to allow NSA intelligence gathering without civil oversight, and to reauthorize the PATRIOT act.

Of course, it's been a decade since Yagan's donation to Cannon, and a decade or more since many of Cannon's votes on gay rights. It's possible that Cannon's opinions have shifted, or maybe his votes were more politics than ideology; a tactic by the Mormon Rep. to satisfy his Utah constituency.

Buzzfeed reporter Chris Geidner feels the article's premise is deceitful:

"That story about the OKCupid CEO has a misleading headline and premise and is organized almost like the intent is to deceive folks."

Adds Geidner: "They didn't do the same thing. Donating to a candidate involves many variables; an issue campaign is, by definition, that issue."


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