Grindr, the very popular location-based dating app for men who like men, has announced that it will jump into the election fray this morning and announced its plan to "mobilize gay men as a political bloc." No, we're not kidding. For those of you unfamiliar with Grindr or the untrue rumors about how Olympic athletes crashed the application, it's a same-sex "dating" app that allows you to find potential partners based on how close they are (we're talking in feet). So you could see how inserting very serious topics of politics, equality and otherwise unsexy politicians into the titillating world of hookups is a bit strange. And perhaps they're onto something by catching men right when looking for ummm ... "dates." But hey, they're doing it and they're calling it Grindr for Equality. "For example, Grindr for Equality will alert Grindr users in Minnesota to a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage that has been proposed and encourage them to contact their local representatives," reads the site. They add that they'll be flexing their social media muscles in swing states too, "Additionally, Grindr for Equality plans to assist Ohio and North Carolina advocates who are working to lift their states’ bans on same-sex marriage." A "friend" of The Atlantic Wire told us that if you sign onto the app today, all you get is an alert and a link to Grindr's blog/announcement. There's also the matter of figuring out if this mobilization is actually going to make a dent in November's elections. Big picture wise, gay marriage is already and often a priority for gay men who vote, and we've seen similar niche initiatives like MTV's Rock the Vote fail to mobilize young voters in 2010, and with just 1.5 million users spread across U.S., its reach (for now) is a bit underwhelming--but if you ask Grindr, that (actual voters) might not necessarily be their priority at the moment (getting its name out there).
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.