Just two weeks after the president of Grindr made controversial comments about same-sex marriage on Facebook, an executive for the gay dating app has resigned.
“As an out and proud gay man madly in love with a man I don’t deserve, I refused to compromise my own values or professional integrity to defend a statement that goes against everything I am and everything I believe,” Landon Rafe Zumwalt, the company’s now-former head of communications, wrote on Medium.com. “While that resulted in my time at Grindr being cut short, I have absolutely no regrets.”
On Nov. 26, Grindr President Scott Chen posted a comment to his personal Facebook page that many — including a number of Grindr employees — interpreted as his opposition to same-sex marriage. A few days later, the post went viral after INTO, a news site owned by Grindr, broke the story.
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“Some think marriage is between a man and a woman. I think so, too, but it’s a personal matter,” Chen wrote in a Facebook post that was translated by NBC News. “Some people think the purpose of marriage is to have your own biological children. It’s a personal matter, too.”
Chen, who has been an executive at Grindr since Chinese gaming company Kunlun acquired the app in 2017, shot back at INTO’s story, saying it took his marriage comments out of context.
“On November 26, I wrote a post on my personal Facebook account meant to condemn those advocating against same-sex marriage in Taiwan,” Chen wrote. “The words I chose related to marriage between a man and a woman were meant to express my personal feelings about my own marriage to my wife — not to suggest that I am opposed to marriage equality.”
Chen added, “I am an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and have been since I was young. I support gay marriage and I am proud that I can work for Grindr. I apologize that my words did not clearly convey these feelings.”
Zumwalt, who did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment, apparently did not accept Chen’s explanation. However, he concluded his open letter with a heartfelt message to those still working for Grindr.
“For those who remain, those who will continue to fight for our community from within, know I will be cheering you on from the sidelines,” he wrote. “Persist. Make your voices heard. And never compromise who you are for someone else.”
A Grindr spokesperson confirmed that Zumwalt resigned from the company but did not provide additional details about his departure.
“We wish him the best in his future endeavors and appreciate his contributions to the company and the Grindr community,” the spokesperson stated.
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