For Trump supporters looking for love, Washington, D.C., can be an unfriendly place, the founder of a new dating app for conservatives says.
Christy Edwards Lawton, the woman behind the app Righter, said Trump staffers have told her they get rejected again and again on most dating apps. "If you voted for Trump, swipe left" pops up on profiles.
Lawton said D.C. Trump supporters regularly tell her that when they go on internet dates in a city where just 4 percent of residents voted for the president, they're sometimes nervous about discussing politics.
"There's been a fear and trepidation when you actually do meet of, 'When do I tell them I voted for Trump?'" Lawton said.
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To help single Trump supporters find partners with "conservative, Christian and American values," Righter launched this week.
Lawton, a Jackson Hole, Wyoming, resident originally from Los Angeles, said she conceived of the app last year after a conversation she had with a "model-beautiful" woman at a party in Manhattan. The woman said she thought she couldn't find a boyfriend in New York because she's a Republican, Lawton said.
With 10 years experience as a professional matchmaker, Lawton said she realized she could help.
Righter is designed for people looking for serious, monogamous relationships. The company urges "gentlemen to act like gentlemen" and "ladies to act like ladies."
In an interview Thursday, Lawton pushed back against the notion that she would sue liberals who used the app, as The Daily Beast reported that she said. Rather, she said the app has a "three strikes and you're out" policy regarding harassment of any kind.
The app is free, but there are paid premium options. A Luxe upgrade for $9.99 per month gives a user unlimited "likes" and special "MAGA likes" to show someone you're especially interested. Veterans get the Luxe upgrade for free.
For $29.99 per month, members get access to Righter Medical, where they can get confidential online medical advice from doctors. Lawton said men have expressed particular interest in having an easy way to ask questions about sexual performance and more.
A number of young conservatives told Washingtonian earlier this year that dating across party lines in D.C. was a struggle. A reporter for a conservative media company told the magazine he took a woman home and she bolted after checking out his bookshelf.
"She was like, ‘Oh no. First question: Did you vote for Trump?'," the reporter said. He told her he did not but that he was conservative. "She was like 'I have to get out of here. I can’t see you,' and left."
When Lawton was asked if she believed in love across party lines, she wasn't so sure.
Ten years ago, when she first met the man who is now her husband, she spotted a Barack Obama bobblehead in his home.
"I am so sorry. I don't think we can date," she told him.
He laughed and, to her relief, told her he only had it as a joke.
Sharing the same politics with her partner was crucial, Lawton said.
"For me it's an ideology, a philosophy," she said.