06/05/2016 13:35 BST

OkCupid's 'Discriminatory' Question Slammed By Learning Disability Charity Mencap

'Not ok cupid.'

An online dating site has been slammed by learning disability charity Mencap after it asked users whether the world would be a "better place" if people with low IQs were not allowed to reproduce.

Hundreds of people have signed a petition telling OkCupid "that discrimination is not OK" after the site posed the question as part of its screening process.

The petition, which has been signed by more than 2,000 people, was set up by Ciara Lawrence, campaigns support officer at Mencap.

Lawrence said: "I have a learning disability. I am also married and thinking about maybe having children in the future.

"According to OkCupid, the world might be a better place if I didn’t."
Hundreds have signed a petition, created by Mencap's Ciara Lawrence (pictured), calling on OkCupid to remove the question immediately.

Speaking about the question that was posed to the site's users, Lawrence said: "I was horrified. The question is inappropriate, offensive and discriminatory.

"If the same question was asked about people of different races or sexuality there would be outrage. It should be the same for people with a learning disability."

A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability and difficulty with everyday activities which affects someone for their whole life.

Activities might include such things as socialising, managing money or household tasks.

Mencap said that many people with a learning disability can and want to lead a life like anyone else, this might include having a family.

The charity said that people can face barriers including negative public attitudes, as exhibited in the dating site's question.

The contentious question posed by OkCupid to users.

Lawrence continues: "A learning disability is defined as a reduced intellectual ability, not a reduced parenting ability.

"It should not matter who you are when you have children just that you will love them and do everything you can to raise them in the right way.

"Since I was diagnosed with a learning disability when I was ten I’ve been told: 'you will never', 'you can’t', 'you won’t'. All negative attitudes.

"It was hard for me to imagine then that I would ever achieve anything I dreamed of in my life.

"However, now I am married, have a great job working at Mencap, and live an independent and happy life.

"I hate that anyone with a learning disability could be made to feel the world would be better if they didn’t have children."

She is calling on OkCupid to remove the question immediately and apologise for any offence it may have caused.

OkCupid said: “Our question system is designed to help potential matches understand the interests and values of other users.

"Questions range from the mundane to provocative and they specifically allow you to determine your potential compatibility with someone else and to avoid people whose viewpoints you strongly disagree with.”

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