The California-based company will begin providing same-sex matches under as part of a settlement with New Jersey’s Civil Rights Division.
Garden State resident Eric McKinley filed a complaint against the online matchmaker in 2005.
Under terms of the settlement, the company can create a new or differently named Web site for same-sex singles. The company can also post a disclaimer saying its compatibility-based matching system was developed from research of married heterosexual couples.
Neither the company nor its founder, Neil Clark Warren, admit any liability.
In addition, eHarmony will pay the division $50,000 to cover administrative costs. It will pay McKinley $5,000 and give him a free one-year membership to its new service.
A separate site, huh? How, uh, Jim Crow-esque of them. (“We’ll just put those people over here, dear customers. So you can go right on pretending they don’t exist.”)
Granted there’s no dearth of personals sites that are open to gays & lesbians. In fact, the hubby and I met through the personals on what was then Love@AOL, but has since become Match.Com. (I answered his ad. The rest, as they say, is history.)
And my guess is that they probably won’t get any great rush of people signing up for their segregated service for queers. But I’m glad that New Jersey stood on principle on this one.
Still. I wonder what the The Big Gay Sketch Show on Logo will make of this.
I don’t know that they’ll have to get rid of this sketch, but I can only imagine what they will do with the idea of a separate site for gays…