Dating website ChristianMingle has settled a lawsuit and now will accept same-sex searches. Previously, the site only allowed women to search for men and men to search for women.
A class-action suit was filed in 2013 by two gay men against Sparks Networks Inc., the owner of ChristianMingle and several other dating sites. The suit alleged that the sites were in violation of California's anti-discrimination law.
Two gay men filed class-actions claims against Spark Networks Inc. in California courts in 2013 alleging that ChristianMingle.com and several other sites in the company’s portfolio of niche dating services excluded users looking to meet singles of the same sex.
ChristianMingle, billed as the largest online community for Christian singles, required new users to specify whether they’re a man seeking a woman or a woman seeking a man. The lead plaintiffs, two gay men who tried using it, claimed that the limited options violated California’s anti-discrimination law.
Known as the Unruh Civil Rights Act, the state law requires “business establishments” to offer “full and equal accommodations” to people regardless of their sexual orientation.
Under the agreement, the gateway homepages now ask just whether a user is a “man” or a “woman.” Spark Networks agreed that within two years, it would adjust other searching and profile features to give gay and lesbian singles a more tailored experience.
Personally, I think this is all a bit insane. ChristianMingle does not have a monopoly on the dating website market. There's no shortage of dating sites and apps that people can use to find same-sex partners, and there's even a good number of sites for Christian gays to find a partner. (Given the pool, one would think a person would probably have better luck finding someone on one of those sites than ChristianMingle, but I digress.) ChristianMingle is based on Christian beliefs, and a good number of denominations consider homosexual acts to be sinful. It seems rather petty to force a company to change their beliefs rather than simply find (or, heck, start) an alternative dating site.