After receiving discrimination claims, ChristianMingle.com, a dating site that pairs couples on compatible values and beliefs, the largest online dating community for Christian singles, has agreed to let gay and lesbian users find matches.
In 2013, two gay men filed class-actions claims arguing Christian Mingle and other sites excluded gay users. New users only had two options to choose from: man seeking a woman or a woman seeking a man. The men said these limited options violated California’s anti-discrimination law which requires “business establishments” to offer “full and equal accommodations” to people regardless of their sexual orientation.
Christian Mingle and its parent company Spark Networks agreed to update its websites within two years to be more inclusive. Now the dating site only asks for a user’s gender.
Spark will have to pay $9,000 to each of the men that sued the company as well as $450,000 in attorney’s fees.
Justin Lee, executive director of the Gay Christian Network, said that he was disappointed the website changed only after a lawsuit.
“Although I know Christian Mingle would like to be seen as the place for all Christians to date online, it’s simply not the case,” Lee said, adding that sites like OKCupid allow to filter by religion. “There are plenty of other options, including a number that are very open to the LGBT people and always have been.”
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