Online dating giant eHarmony is required to create a new online dating site for same sex couples under the terms of a settlement with the State of New Jersey’s Civil Rights Division.
The settlement is the result of a discrimination lawsuit filed by Eric McKinley, who sued eHarmony.com for discrimination, because the site did not offer dating services for homosexuals, only for heterosexuals.
Under the the terms of the settlement, eHarmony must create a brand new site catering to gay and lesbian singles, as well as pay $50,000 to the New Jersey attorney general, and $5000 to Eric McKinley.
eHarmony had adamantly denied that they were discriminating – the services they offer are based on many years of research – research which was done based on married heterosexual couples. In fact, under the terms of the settlement, eHarmony is allowed to tell those using their new same-sex matching service – called Compatible Partners – that their patented Compatibility Matching System™ based entirely on research involving married heterosexual couples.
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Said their lead attorney in the case, Theodore Olson, “Even though we believed that the complaint resulted from an unfair characterization of our business, we ultimately decided it was best to settle this case with the Attorney General since litigation outcomes can be unpredictable. eHarmony looks forward to moving beyond this legal dispute, which has been a burden for the company, and continuing to advance its business model of serving individuals by helping them find successful, long-term relationships.”