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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 8, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 28
ChristianMingle settles discrimination suit, OKs Lesbian and Gay users
Section One
ALL STORIES
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ChristianMingle settles discrimination suit, OKs Lesbian and Gay users

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The popular online dating site ChristianMingle will now allow users to look for same-sex matches. The change in policy settles a class action discrimination suit brought by two Gay men in 2013.

According to their complaint, ChristianMingle allowed users to choose 'man seeking woman' or 'woman seeking man' but did not provide any same-sex options. Therefore it violated California's Unruh Civil Rights Act, which requires 'business establishments' to offer 'full and equal accommodations' to people regardless of their sexual orientation.

Under terms of the settlement, the website's homepage will now ask whether a user is a 'man' or a 'woman' without requiring the gender the user's preferred date should be.

The website's owner, Spark Networks Inc., also agreed that within two years, it would adjust other searching and profile features to give Lesbian and Gay singles a more tailored experience.

In addition, Spark Networks agreed to pay each plaintiff $9,000 and $450,000 in attorneys' fees to the two men's lawyers. The company did not admit any wrongdoing as part of the agreement.

'I am gratified that we were able to work with Spark to help ensure that people can fully participate in all the diverse marketplaces that make our country so special, regardless of their sexual orientation,' Vineet Dubey, one of the plaintiffs' attorneys, said in a statement.

A Spark Networks spokesperson said the company was 'pleased to resolve this litigation.'

Spark Networks also owns CatholicMingles, AdventistSinglesConnection, and BlackSingles, which are all included in the settlement. Another Sparks-owned site, JDate - aimed at matching up Jewish users - was not party to the litigation.

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