Lawmaker hopes to keep cyber singles honest

Illinois lawmaker hopes to keep cyber singles honest
By: Carly O'Keefe
Marion, IL - You may have heard stories of first dates gone awry when two people meet on the internet and hit it off, but then when they meet face to face, one of them is nothing like the picture perfect partner portrayed online.
It may not be too serious a problem if the man or woman lied about their weight, how much hair they have (or don't have) or what they do for a living. But what if they lied about their marital status or criminal record? That's what one Heartland lawmaker is trying to guard against.
Stephanie Jordan of Dykersburg has dabbled in on-line dating.
"In a sense you get to know someone up here and here first before you hang out with them," said Jordan pointing to her head and heart.
However, Jordan says while she can get to know that possible "Mr. Right" up front, there is a danger that "Mr. Wrong" may not be up front about his past.
"That's the last thing I need is to fall in love with a guy and learn he's got six wives in another country, said Jordan.
The more popular matchmaking sites cost $25 to $50 per month. Their web sites show pictures of happy couples or Dr. Phil assuring you, you'll be the next success story. Representative John Bradley of Marion says dating sites need to promise more than true love, they should also promise safety.
"We're talking about a specific business that tells people that for a fee, they will find you true love. Most people's true love is not a sex offender," said Bradley.
Some sites, like already perform background checks to ensure cyber singles aren't already married or violent criminals. Bradley hopes to make that the industry standard.
"There's a thought that if this is passed in any one state, it'll have to be enforced everywhere," said Bradley.
The Bradley-sponsored Internet Dating Disclosure Act was passed in the Illinois House of Representatives but not the Senate this past legislative session. The lawmaker hopes to bring the measure back for discussion during the fall veto session.