- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 23, 2004

A left-wing U.S. dating service has joined forces with one in Canada seeking liberal singles in both countries, who are eager to marry, crossing borders if necessary, and, thereby, either flee President Bush or fight him on his own turf.

The newly announced merger between the District-based ActForLove.org, and its Canadian counterpart, MarryAnAmerican.ca, is designed to achieve “politically motivated matrimony” between “hot, sexy liberals” on both sides of the border and counter “four more years of cowboy conservatism” under Mr. Bush, MarryAnAmerican says on its Web site.

“Ladies and gentlemen, drop your borders … progressives will need a safe haven,” says the Toronto group, which focuses on the need for “desperate” American liberals to head northward.

“We feel it is time for Canadians to share the gift of citizenship in this liberal utopia … it’s the least we can do,” MarryAnAmerican founder Joyce Byrne said.

“This [merger] will give Americans the chance to escape Bush 2 or alternatively, to import more sensible voters to offset the red staters,” which supported Mr. Bush in last month’s election, ActForLove says on its Web site.

John Hlinko, who founded the American online dating service for activists in 2003, admits that there is something of a disagreement between the goals of his group and the Canadian dating service, created in October by a publication called This Magazine, which also has offices in Toronto.

“MarryAnAmerican wants liberal Americans in Canada, and we want them here,” said Mr. Hlinko, who was active in the anti-Bush political group MoveOn.org and started an online movement for Wesley Clark, an unsuccessful Democratic presidential contender.

Mr. Hlinko, now an official at the political consulting firm Grassroots Enterprises, acknowledged that Canada is a good source for liberals.

“Even a conservative Canadian would probably be mortified at the thought of eliminating national health insurance,” he said, adding, “For years, Canada has provided us wonderful imports, ranging from hydroelectric power … to an entirely new variety of bacon. And, now, through these marriages, we hope to import hordes of new, sensible voters.”

Toward that goal, MarryAnAmerican has provided Mr. Hlinko’s group with the names of as many as 10,000 Canadians who say they are single and have “offered their hearts to Americans” for political purposes. The Canadian romantics can try ActForLove free for the first two dates they seek.

After that, all who join ActForLove pay a fee of $24.95, which allows them to send e-mails to up to 25 potential partners online.

As for whether he thinks this effort is serious, Mr. Hlinko, who met his wife through an online dating service, said, “The Canadians have been responding like crazy.”

He said his dating service already had nearly 15,000 members when the Canadians came aboard. “We got almost 70 people Tuesday.”

Additionally, he said, ActForLove has partnerships with influential groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), NARAL, and the Environmental Defense Fund. For example, singles who follow the ACLU’s recommendation to fight the USA Patriot Act can get free credits with the dating service.

MarryAnAmerican says, “While we don’t necessarily advocate marrying strangers on the Internet, we’re not opposed to the idea either, if the stranger is progressive and really hot.”

Mr. Hlinko said he doubts many activist American singles will be deterred by the distances involved in dating a Canadian.

Before his marriage, he said, “I’ve run across the country for a date, especially if she was really cute.”

He said he also expects to generate a lot of interest when he proposes NAFLA, or the North American Free Love Agreement, during an appearance on a radio show in Detroit on Monday.

“Canada, of course, is just across the river from Detroit,” he said.

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