After posting a statement on Facebook in which he criticized those who oppose legalizing same-sex marriage but noted that he personally believes that “marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman,” Grindr President Scott Chen has faced strong backlash from his own company.
In response to voters in Taiwan voting down same-sex marriage in a referendum last week, Chen wrote a letter on his personal Facebook page a few days later criticizing the Christian groups who supported the referendum. In the post, he expressed his personal beliefs on marriage.
“There are people who believe that marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman. I agree but that’s none of our business,” Chen wrote in the since-deleted post written in Chinese. “There are also people who believe that the purpose of marriage is to create children that carry their DNA. That’s also none of our business. There are people that are simply different from you, who desperately want to get married. They have their own reasons.”
Marriage, he argued, is a “personal issue,” suggesting that laws determining who can and can’t be married impede people’s personal rights. He then expressed his hope that people would not support anti-LGBT causes, asking why not “donate your money to places that are in dire hunger, poverty, or suffering from war?”
“Why spend all that money to stop people who love each other from getting married? Aren’t there more important stuff in life?” he wrote, adding later, “I’ll never buy HTC products ever again, and I’ll never donate a cent to any Christian groups in Taiwan!”
Despite his strong defense of LGBT causes, Chen was called out by Into, the digital magazine owned by his own company and has since been attempting to defend himself.
“The reason I said marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman is based on my own personal experience,” he wrote in response to the Into article, the Guardian reports. “I am a straight man married to a woman I love and I have two beautiful daughters I love from the marriage. This is how I feel about my marriage. Different people have their different feelings about their marriages. You can’t deny my feelings about my marriage. I am a huge advocate for LGBTQ+ rights since I was young. I support gay marriage and I am proud that I can work for Grindr.”
Into editor Zach Stafford underscored in a statement to the Guardian that one of Grindr’s key goals is to push for same-sex marriage rights: “Grindr’s goal as a company is to help seek the full equity of all LGBT people’s rights around the world, especially when it comes to dating and love. And marriage for many is an end goal to our app.”
Chen has meanwhile slammed Into for publishing an “unbalanced and misleading” article about his post.
Chen’s post came in response to the same-sex marriage referendum vote in Taiwan, which LGBT activists have described as a “major blow to the island’s reputation as a rights trailblazer,” the Guardian notes. “Ruling party lawmakers backed by president Tsai Ing-wen had proposed legalising same-sex marriage in late 2016, but put aside their ideas to await the court hearing,” the outlet reports. “Opposition to same-sex marriage crested after the court ruling. Opponents have held rallies and mobilised votes online.”