Grindr Faces Backlash After Company President’s Controversial Gay Marriage Remarks

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Scott Chen, president of Grindr

The president of gay dating app Grindr is under fire for a Facebook post in which he appeared to express opposition to same-sex marriage. Scott Chen, who became president of Grindr in August after it was purchased by Chinese tech firm Kunlun Group, has since deleted the controversial post and defended himself against accusations of anti-LGBTQ bias.

In a public status posted in late November, Chen wrote in Chinese: “Some people think marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman. And I think so too. But that's your own business." Puzzlingly, he also criticized Christian groups fighting marriage equality and said he would boycott HTC after reports that it had backed US groups opposed to same-sex marriage. Chen’s conflicting remarks were translated to English and published by INTO, a digital magazine owned by Grindr.

Chen responded to the INTO article with criticism, calling it “unbalanced and misleading” and defending his post in the article’s comment section. “The reason I said marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman is based on my own personal experience,” he wrote. “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.”

Chen also chastised the website for not reaching out to him for comment before publishing the article.

Zach Stafford, editor-in-chief of INTO, responded to the controversy on Twitter. “Today we at INTO have learned that the current president of Grindr believes that same-sex marriage is a ‘holy matrimony’ between men and women,” he posted. “We are reporting this as the media property owned by Grindr and will be updating this as the story develops.”

Stafford later told The Guardian that Chen’s comments are not in alignment with Grindr’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,” he said.

Chen deleted his post in the wake of the backlash, saying it led to “heated discussions” with a relative. He went on to call himself a “huge advocate for LGBTQ+ rights” and said “I support gay marriage and I am proud that I can work for Grindr.”

For for on this dating service you can read our Grindr app review.