In 2013, two consumers, who have not been named, filed a class action suit against Spark Networks, the owner of ChristianMingle.com, JDate and a number of other niche dating sites.
The men filed the lawsuit after they realised there did not seem to be many in-site options for the LGBT community on a number of Spark Networks-owned sites, claiming that the company was breaking anti-discrimination laws.
According to Californian law and the Unruh Civil Rights Act, businesses are required to offer their services to all citizens, providing “full and equal accommodations”.
However, ChristianMingle and other Spark sites only offered users the option to choose “man seeking woman” or “woman seeking man”.
And now the dating company has settled the case, giving the plaintiffs $9,000 each, as well as $450,00 in legal fees to their lawyers, and agreeing to change its gender options.
ChristianMingle now asks users whether they are a man or a woman on the homepage, and has said it will update the platform to offer a better experience for LGBT singles over the next two years.
And last week a judge ruled that the terms must be applied to Spark Networks’ other sites, such as BlackSingles.com, CatholicMingle.com and AdventistSinglesConnection.com.
Speaking about the ruling, attorney Vineet Dubey of Custodio & Dubey LLP, said: “I am gratified that we were able to work with Spark to help ensure that people can fully participate in all the diverse market places that make our country so special, regardless of their sexual orientation.”