Grindr executive quits over company president’s opposition to same-sex marriage

“I refused to compromise my own values or professional integrity to defend a statement that goes against everything I am and everything I believe.”

Landen Zumwalt, Grindr’s head of communications, has resigned from the role after the dating app’s president and former CTO Scott Chen claimed that marriage is a “holy matrimony between a man and a woman”.

In a statement, Zumwalt told Medium: “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.”

He said it’s been a “privilege” to fight for the LGBTQ community and is “immensely proud” of the work he did 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,” he continued.

“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. Persist. Make your voices heard. And never compromise who you are for someone else.”

Chen’s comments came as he shared an article about HTC president and CEO Cher Wang, which alleged his non-profits supported US-based anti-LGBTQ groups organising to influence Taiwan’s referendum on same-sex marriage.

His comments were originally brought to light by Into, an online news outlet owned by Grindr, which said that several employees of the company had approached them about the Facebook post.

Chen, who became president of the company after it was bought by Chinese gaming corporation Kunlun, responded to Into’s article about his comments, saying that he is a supporter of same-sex marriage.

“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.”

He added: “I am a huge advocate for LGBTQ+ rights since I was young. I support gay marriage and I am proud that I can work for Grindr.”

Related: Grindr criticised as users continue to buy and sell illegal drugs on the dating app.

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