Starting next year, Internet matchmaker eHarmony.com will start accepting personal ads from gays and lesbians for the first time as part of a new site called “Compatible Partners.” But eHarmony hasn’t discovered a newfound social liberalism, and they’re not looking for revenue. A New Jersey court is forcing them to open their doors to gays.
The legal machinery kicked into gear after site-user Eric McKinley filed suit when the site refused to accept his “man seeking man” ad. Philadelphia Inquirer:
McKinley’s suit triggered a N.J. state investigation of eHarmony Inc. in 2007. It is illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in New Jersey.
eHarmony contested the charges for three years before the Attorney General’s office issued a finding that determined the company had violated state discrimination laws.
McKinley, who remains single, will receive $5,000 and free membership for a year to the new dating service. eHarmony will also pay $50,000 to the state Attorney General’s office to cover administrative expenses..
As part of the settlement, eHarmony agreed to get its “Compatible Partners” site online by March 31 and provide 10,000 free subscriptions for gays looking to use the site.
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