Grindr’s president Scott Chen has become embroiled in controversy after appearing to state that he thinks marriage “is a holy union between a man and a woman” in a Facebook comment.
While this viewpoint always raises eyebrows, Chen’s comment is drawing extra attention, namely because he’s in charge of a company that owns “the largest social networking app for gay, bi, trans, and queer people”.
In a further twist, his post was brought to everyone’s attention by digital magazine Into, which is owned and funded by Grindr. Here’s what’s going on...
Who Exactly Is Scott Chen?
Businessman Chen has previously worked for Facebook and Instagram, joining Grindr in January of this year.
He was then named president in August.
Since being founded nine years ago, Grindr has amassed nearly 30 million users and is worth a lot of money, with a 60% stake in the company selling for $93m back in 2016.
Here’s The Initial Story...
On Friday, an article with the headline ‘Grindr President Says Marriage Is “Holy Matrimony Between a Man and a Woman” In Deleted Social Media Post’ was published.
Into’s reporter says Chen kicked off a debate about same-sex marriage when he posted a news article on his personal Facebook page on 26 November.
The article was about Cher Wang, the CEO of technology company HTC, who funded two non-profit organisations who are anti same-sex marriage, ahead of a huge vote in Taiwan (the country ended up banning same-sex marriage and removing LGBT+-inclusive from curriculums in schools, by the way).
A debate erupted in the comment section and it’s one of Chen’s responses here that is the focus of Into’s article. A screengrab of the comment – written in Chinese – includes a terrible translation, completed by Facebook’s automated software.
An independent translator told Into that Chen had written:
“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.
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.
Getting married is personal. If you have money, can’t you donate to people suffering from poverty, hunger, war or natural disasters, those who are truly in need of it? Why do you spend so much money to prevent people in love from getting married? Aren’t there other important things in your life?
It’s true, I won’t buy HTC products for the rest of my life, and I won’t donate any money to Taiwan’s Christian groups ever again for the rest of my life!”
Which Bit Has Caused Outrage?
It’s the first paragraph of this (highlighted above) that Into – and many people on Twitter – take issue with, sharing their surprise online:
Isn’t The Last Paragraph Kind Of Good Though?
Confusingly, Chen’s final lines appears to condemn the groups Wang has supported, as he declares he won’t donate any money to the anti-LGBT+ Christian groups “ever again for the rest of my life”. Which brings us nicely to his latest response...
What’s He Said Now?
Writing in the comments section on Into’s website, Chen makes a number of claims which seem to confuse this even more.
He writes: “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.”
Hen then explains why the post appeared to have been deleted, stating that he simply changed the privacy settings on it, before concluding: “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.”
So yeah. This isn’t really much clearer as Chen appears to reaffirm his first statement... then claim to be a “huge advocate” for gay rights.
How Has This Been Received?
HuffPost UK has contacted Grindr and Into editor Zach Stafford for comment but we are yet to receive responses, so watch this space.