Nov 21, 2022 - News

Match Group fighting for marriage equality

Illustration of a rainbow-striped pixelated heart icon on a computer screen

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Dallas-based Match Group, which owns a portfolio of popular online dating services including, Tinder and OKCupid, has been leading an advocacy campaign calling for the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.

Driving the news: The Respect for Marriage Act, a bill to codify protections for same-sex and interracial marriage, cleared a major procedural hurdle in the U.S. Senate last week after garnering enough support from Senate Republicans.

Why it matters: The bill was introduced in July after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas signaled in a concurring opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that rulings such as Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage, could be under threat.

What's happening: An ad campaign on Tinder has been highlighting LGBTQ+ couples who married after meeting on the app and asking users to contact their senators.

  • In September, Match Group's chief business affairs and legal officer, Jared Sine, also wrote an op-ed pushing the legislation's passage.
  • "We remain committed to doing everything we can to ensure that no American is wondering whether their right to be their authentic selves and love who they love will one day be taken away," Sine wrote.
  • "Unless everyone's right to marriage is protected through bipartisan legislation, no marriage is safe."

Context: This isn't the first time Match Group has taken a stand on a political issue. Last year, the company publicly opposed Texas' strict abortion laws, launching a "pro-choice" badge users could display on their profiles.

  • Tinder also worked with the Human Rights Campaign to end the FDA's policy that effectively barred men who have sex with men from donating blood.

What they're saying: "Match Group's advocacy efforts are focused on lifting people up by promoting equality and advocating for vulnerable groups in an effort to positively impact lives," Justine Sacco, the company's chief communications officer, tells Axios.

The other side: Both Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. John Cornyn oppose the bill.

What's next: The Senate still has to pass the bill and it has to return to the House before it can head to President Joe Biden, who urged Congress to "quickly" send the bill to his desk and said he'd sign it into law.


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