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Grindr exec quits after company presidents’s anti-marriage equality comments

NEW YORK — An executive at gay app Grindr announced his resignation on a Medium.com post over the weekend, just under two weeks after anti-marriage equality statements were made by the app’s president.

Landen Rafe Zumwalt said he was resigning as the app’s head of communications. Although Zumwalt didn’t expressly say his resignation was because of the comments, his references to his relationship do seem to suggest it was the trigger for his leaving.

From his post:

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. While that resulted in my time at Grindr being cut short, I have absolutely no regrets. And neither should you.

It has been a privilege to come to work every day to fight for our community. I am — and will continue to be — immensely proud of the work we were allowed to do during my time at Grindr. I will never forget the heart-tugging messages, emails and more that we received from the queer community as a result of our Kindr initiative. Nor will I forget being a witness firsthand to the amazing activism work Grindr for Equality is doing globally or working alongside the award-winning reporting team at INTO.

INTO was the outlet that first broke the story of Scott Chen, president and former CTO for Grindr, stating that he believed marriage was only between a man and a woman. INTO was launched by Grindr in 2017 and has broken other stories about the LGBTQ community, including quite a few on its parent company. INTO had published an article about Cher Wang, CEO of Grindr owner HTC, contributing to anti-marriage equality groups in Taiwan’s recent marriage referendum. Chen shared the article on his personal Facebook page.

From INTO’s story on Chen’s comments:

Chen shared the article about Wang on his public page, which led to several people commenting underneath. In a subsequent comment, captured in a screenshot and translated by an independent translator for INTO, Chen wrote:

“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.”

Chen later said in a statement to INTO that he does support marriage equality and was only expressing his personal feelings about his own marriage to his wife. He apologized for not being clear in his statement and said he was an advocate for the LGBTQ community.

There wasn’t a statement from Grindr available as of Monday afternoon.

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