A Paris court has ruled against a Catholic group hoping to call to task the Gleeden extra-marital dating site.
The National Confederation of Catholic Family Associations (CNAFC) brought the case against BlackDivine, the start-up and capital venture company supporting Gleeden, claiming that the business model was illegal and anti-social, and in direct violation of the civil code.
BlackDivine criticised what it said was the use of the French justice system to argue a moral point.
During the court case, the Catholic association called for an end to Gleeden’s advertising campaigns, claiming they preached infidelity. It also demanded the cancellation of contracts between the site and its customers.
Initially expected on January 26, the ruling was postponed at the last minute to today (February 9).
What is CNAFC?
The Catholic Family Associations in general were founded in Paris in 1905. This is also the year secularism was established in France, effectively separating the Church and state.
According to the CNAFC website, it promotes “family based on marriage as the basis of the society and assistance to all families who wish support, whether they are Catholic or not.”
What is the problem?
Its problem with Gleeden stems from an advertising campaign released in February, 2015, which contained slogans such as:
“And what if, this year, you cheated on your lover with your husband?”
“To be faithful to two men is to be twice as faithful.”
“Unlike anti-depressants, having a lover doesn’t cost the state anything.”
Several mayors in the Ile-de-France region surrounding Paris banned the adverts from bus shelters and metro stations.
The CNAFC, which is recognised as a public service, accused BlackDivine of inciting the violation of marital fidelity as outlined in article 212 of the French civil code. It also claimed the company was publically promoting ‘duplicity’ and ‘lying’.
What is Gleeden?
Gleeden describes itself as “the first extramarital dating site made by women.” Founded in France in 2009, it later established client bases in a number of European countries and further afield. At the time of writing (February 9) it had 3,348,534 members.
How did Gleeden respond to the accusations?
Lawyer Pierre-François Rousseau told French radio station Europe 1:
“Gleeden sells the same service as other sites of the same kind: a platform for exchanging and meeting people. It does not oblige its members to be married and does not guarantee that adulterous relationships will be borne of meetings between members. It only indicates in its general conditions that it is a possibility.”
He went on to cite the likes of French sites “Adopt un mec” (Adopt a Guy) and Meetic, claiming the only difference was that Gleeden referred to infidelity in a humourous way in order to “stand out in a very busy market.”
Obligation or not, BlackDivine describes the site as “the number one international dating platform for married people with more than one million registered members in 159 countries.”