[Applicable to the parent company’s other dating websites – including CatholicMingle.com? Coming soon to other Catholic dating websites? Involuntarily or voluntarily?]
By KEVIN DALY
Published on July 1, 2016
ChristianMingle.com, an online platform for single Christians seeking relationships, must accommodate gay users, a California judge ruled.
Two gay men in California brought a lawsuit against ChristianMingle’s parent company Spark Network, which also administers CatholicMingle.com, AdventistSinglesConnection.com, BlackSingles.com, and a mobile application CROSSPATHS. They alleged the site’s failure to accommodate gay users violated the Unruh Civil Rights Act, a state anti-discrimination law.
ChristianMingle only includes “man seeking woman” and “woman seeking man” options for users, but does not include alternatives for users seeking members of the same sex.
The ruling gives the website two years to ensure that the gateway options on the homepage for new users ask only whether a user is a “man” or “woman.” The order also allows the website to maintain the current options if an alternative for individuals seeking members of the same sex is included. The verdict is also applied against the other dating platforms Spark Network operates.
“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,” plaintiff’s attorney Vineet Dubey told The Wall Street Journal.
Spark Network will also pay $9,000 to the two plaintiffs and reimburse them for attorney’s fees.