When Carlson wrote to e Harmony to complain, the company refused to change its policy, according to the lawsuit filed on her behalf in Los Angeles County Superior Court.The lawsuit claimed that by solely offering to find a compatible match for men seeking women or women seeking men, the company was violating state law barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.And winning in New Jersey wouldn’t preclude suits in the other 49 states.Or another suit in New Jersey in the future based on a slightly different legal theory.Linda Carlson, of California, sued the online dating service in May 2007, alleging it discriminated against gays, lesbians and bisexuals.
It does, however, match people for compatibility along a variety of vectors, with religious values high on the list.
“Even though we believed that the complaint resulted from an unfair characterization of our business,” Olson said, “we ultimately decided it was best to settle this case with the attorney general since litigation outcomes can be unpredictable.” The settlement, which did not find that EHarmony broke any laws, calls for the company to either offer the gay matches on its current venue or create a new site for them. […] Mc Kinley, who works at a nonprofit in New Jersey he declined to identify, said that he had originally heard of EHarmony through its radio ads.
“You hear these wonderful people saying, ‘I met my soul mate on EHarmony.’ I thought, I could do that too,” he said. When he tried to enter the site, the pull-down menus had categories only for a man seeking a woman or a woman seeking a man.
e Harmony — which was not found in violation of the law — also agreed to ensure that same-sex users will be matched using the same or equivalent technology used for its heterosexual clients.
It will also post photographs of same-sex couples in its "Diversity" section of its Web site and in advertising materials.