Dating website ChristianMingle.com will now allow gay and lesbian users to search for matches of the same sex, according to The Wall Street Journal. The decision comes after two gay men filed a lawsuit against Spark Networks Inc., Christian Mingle’s parent company.
According to the lawsuit, Christian Mingle’s policy for users to disclose if they were a man seeking a woman or a woman seeking a man violated California’s anti-discrimination law.
The law, called the Unruh Civil Rights Act, requires “business establishments” to provide “full and equal accommodations” to people of any sexual orientation.
Spark Networks, which also owns CatholicMingle.com, AdventistSinglesConnection.com, and BlackSingles.com, agreed that change the sites so users will be able to search for matches of the same sex.
Spark Networks also agreed to pay each of the men $9,000. It is also responsible for footing the bill for $450,000 in attorneys’ fees for the plaintiffs’ lawyers.
Lead attorney for the plaintiffs Vineet Dubey celebrated the lawsuit's outcome. “I am gratified that we were able to work with Spark to help ensure that people can fully participate in all the diverse market places that make our country so special, regardless of their sexual orientation,” he said.
A representative for Spark Networks said the company was “pleased to resolve this litigation.”
Publication date: July 5, 2016