Scott Chen, the president of gay dating app Grindr, has backtracked on his recent comments on the issue of gay marriage after generating backlash from within the app’s own community.
Chen had earlier wrote in a lengthy Facebook post that he believes “marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman.” It was posted just days after voters in Taiwan rejected same-sex marriage in a referendum.
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While the post criticized Christian groups opposed to marriage equality, it also revealed his somewhat contradictory personal beliefs about gay marriage.
“Some people think the marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman. And I think so too. But that’s your own business,” he wrote in the post. “Some people think the purpose of the marriage is to have a child carries your DNA. But again, that’s your own business.”
Originally written in Chinese, the statement was later translated into English and published by Grindr-owned digital magazine, Into, on Thursday.
After receiving negative feedback, Chen commented on the Into article, clarifying that he was a supporter of gay marriage: “The reason I said marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman is based on my own personal experience. 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,” he added. “I support gay marriage and I am proud that I can work for Grindr.”
Chen, who became the president of Grindr after Chinese technology firm Kunlun purchased the popular dating app earlier this year, also said that he took the post down because it had led to “heated discussions” with a relative. The post has since reappeared on his timeline.
In an interview with The Guardian, Into editor Zach Stafford said that Chen’s comments were “out of step with the app’s values.”
“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,” Stafford was quoted as saying.
“We stand by the reporting … We are very interested in telling the stories that impact queer people most … The Into staff sees this as doing their job.”