The popular online Christian dating website, ChristianMingle.com, must now allow gay and lesbian users to search for same-sex matches following a discrimination lawsuit filed by two gay men, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The California judge who approved a settlement of discrimination claims has also ordered Spark Networks Inc., which owns Christian Mingle along with several other dating websites, to pay the two plaintiffs $468,000.
Plaintiffs Aaron Werner and Richard Wright claimed in 2013 that Spark violated California’s anti-discrimination law by limiting options for gay users looking to find potential partners. Under the Unruh Civil Rights Act, California “business establishments” must offer “full and equal accommodations” to individuals regardless of sexual orientation.
According to the Journal, the new agreement requires that the search options listed on the home page ask the user to simply identify as a “man” or a “woman,” instead of a “man seeking woman” and “woman seeking man.”
The settlement also applies to CatholicMingle.com, AdventistSinglesConnection.com and BlackSingles.com. It does not, however, apply to the Spark-owned online Jewish matchmaking service, JDate.com, which was not included in the suit.