ChristianMingle, a popular US-based dating site, has been forced to open its service to gay and lesbian users following a prolonged court battle.
The change follows a class action claim filed by two gay men against the site’s owners Spark Networks. The men argued that the company’s lack of options for gay and lesbian singletons (users could only sign up as ‘men seeking women’ or ‘women seeking men’) was a violation of California’s Uhruh Civil Rights Act.
The Unruh Act requires businesses to provide “full and equal accommodations” to all patrons regardless of sexual orientation, reports The Huffington Post.
Spark Networks were ordered to pay $468,000 in legal fees and is required to introduce new features that will make it easier for gay and lesbian users to search for others on the site. Users will also be able to identify as either ‘man’ or ‘woman’, instead of ‘men seeking women’ or ‘women seeking men’.
The changes will also be applied across Spark’s other dating sites CatholicMingle, AdventistSinglesConnection and BlackSingles.
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