Do you like your sex with a side of politics?
TIME Magazine highlights Grindr's recent steps into the gay rights movement and we're super curious to hear how you feel about it.
More after the jump!
According to TIME, "Last summer, gay men in Saratoga County, NY got a notification when they checked into Grindr. It was a message saying that Republican State Senator Roy J. McDonald was on the fence when it came to the gay marriage bill and that with a press of a button their phones would be automatically connected to McDonald’s office."
It certainly sounds convenient. Grindr, with its geo-locating capabilities, can reach out directly to gay men (and those who like to have sex with us??) in areas that are dealing with gay rights issues. They're seemingly making it very easy for gay men to engage in the political process.
But how do you feel about being targeted in that way? And do you like having your hook-up life mixed with your political life?
Of course, there's also the risk of a resource like Grindr appearing to be too politically partisan. Grindr's CEO touches on this.
“Do I fear it?” says Joel Simkhai, Grindr’s CEO and founder, when asked if he is afraid that he might offend his users. “No. Do I think about it? Yes.”
“We supported a Democratic Senator in Massachusetts and we did get people who said ‘We’re canceling the service.’ That’s their right. But we’re different than any other kind of business because we have a responsibility to the entire community. Obviously, we’re a business, and if all of our users said ‘Hey Joel, you should get out of politics,’ maybe I’d reconsider. But the vast majority of our users support us in this.”
Grindr's political outreach isn't limited to users in the US. TIME explains that, "In November 2011, Grindr for Equality sent 57,009 people to a petition to stop politicians in St. Petersburg from enacting a ban on “gay propaganda,” a vague term critics claimed would essentially ban homosexuality in the city. Currently, working with All Out, they are collecting signatures to push UN member states to condemn violence against gays in Iraq."
Could it be that Grindr really does serve a genuine purpose outside of setting up hook-ups and getting bar recommendations when visiting a new city?
Do the potential benefits to the gay rights movement outweigh any potential "oversteps" the app may take by bringing politics into our sex lives?
Simkhai is apparently hoping you'll think so. This fall, "Simkhai plans to ping users with the option to donate money or make phone calls to political candidates with the press of a button.
'Electing offcials that support gay rights is vital,” Simkhai says. “Other grassroots efforts are important, absolutely. But electing officials that support gay rights is probably the most important thing you can do to support gay rights.'"
Grindr, supporting your orgasm and your politics with a click of a button. Who knew?