Dating site ChristianMingle, among others, must make same-sex matches, according to a recent settlement.
Two gay men filed a lawsuit against Spark Network Inc., demanding the company violated their civil rights, according to the Unrah Civil Rights Act.
The Act was initially established in 1959 to protect Californians from discrimination based on sex.
Now the site will only ask if users are men or women and must also provide measures to help gay, lesbian and bisexual people to find matches on the site.
In addition to ChristianMingle, Spark owns and operates other faith-based dating sites, including catholicsingles.com and jdate.com for Jews, which is reportedly responsible for more Jewish marriages than all other online dating sites combined.
The claimant’s lawyer Vineet Dubey said on Friday: “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.”
ChristianMingle is the premier destination for anyone looking to date and marry within the Christian faith. Initially launched in 2001, the site now has more than 15 million registered members.
We know that shared beliefs are the best foundation for a lasting and fulfilling relationship. Unlike other dating sites, faith and values are built into our community and are more than just a box you check in your search filter.
The settlement demands Spark match same-sex partners and that the company shall pay $9,000 to each plaintiff.
“Spark will not change the gateway/home pages to use the ‘man seeking woman’ and ‘woman seeking man’ prompts in the future unless Spark also provide similar prompts which allow individuals seeking a same-sex match to enter and use the sites without having to state that they are seeking a match with someone of the opposite sex. As long as Spark operates the Mingle Sites, users will continue to have the ability to search for potential same-sex matches using the site’s text searching and profile building functions,” according to the settlement.
A representative of Spark Networks told the Wall Street Journal the company was “pleased to resolve this litigation.”