eHarmony Settles Discrimination Suit

While researching eHarmony recently I noticed that there was no option for men seeking men or women seeking women. eHarmony was not a service for same-sex match ups. I was surprised by that, just as I am always surprised and dismayed by exclusion and/or prejudice against people who are gay.  Everybody wants somebody to love, everybody deserves somebody to love. It’s simple. Right?

Apparently, excluding gay and lesbian daters is turning out to be rather expensive. Today, I read that a Law Against Discrimination suit was filed against eHarmony after Eric McKinley was not allowed to contact another man on the site in 2005.

In July ’07, the DCR issued a Finding of Probable Cause that eHarmony had violated the LAD, prompting the company to file a Motion for Reconsideration of the finding. (The motion was pending at the time of the settlement.)

Under the terms of the settlement, the company will pay him $5,000, plus dues of 10 times that amount to the state division to cover administrative costs.

As part of the settlement, eHarmony will be launching a site for same-sex daters called Compatible Partners by March 31. In addition, they will be offering 10,000 free 6-month subscriptions. This is a step in the right direction, but I would feel better about the company if they had been open to everybody in the first place. 

You can sign up to be notified when Compatible Partners goes live here.

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    • http://www.fitdarcie.com Darcie

      I hate eHarmony.

    • http://www.askewtoyou.blogspot.com Michelle Smith

      I’ve only used them during a free weekend, but I’m not crazy about them either. They appear to have a very narrow viewpoint when it comes to matching. Not everybody is looking for a Christian partner who is quite a few years older.

      I was looking for a guy more my age who likes to hike. That seems so basic to me. Close to my age, similiar interests.

      This discrimination suit and it’s not the only one, bothered me a great deal. I won’t be announcing when there’s a free eHarmony weekend on here again.

    • Heather

      I have mixed feelings about this, but this is such a sensitive topic, that’s all I will say. I will say that several years ago I was part of a college bible study that studied a book written by the founder of eHarmony about finding the right partner. This was a few years before he founded eHarmony. It doesn’t surprise me that he only set up eHarmony for heterosexual couples, as that is what he would consider his specialty.

      I’m still debating going back to eHarmony at some point. So far, I’ve had zero luck on match.com, and quite honestly, it’s making me feel like crap. I’m actually wishing I hadn’t paid any money for any dating service, but work got really busy and my heart just isn’t in it.

    • http://www.askewtoyou.blogspot.com Michelle Smith

      I’m sorry that you aren’t having good luck at Match.com. I had a profile up there and didn’t hear much of anything either.

      I’m not gay, so I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that same sex couples are looking for much the same thing as hetero couples – companionship, shared values and goals, attraction, and friendship, as well as romance.

      Did you take a look at Russ’s posts? I posted a link to them yesterday. He has some great advice from a male point of view. I wonder if you might see something that you can do to change up your profile info? I think that’s what I need to do. I’m invisible right now and really not sure I want to meet anyone new anyway.

    • Mark

      How repulsive, this is political correctness taken way too far! eHarmony didn’t do anything wrong, this is a site that caters to straight folks, just that there are sites that cater to Jewish, gay, kinky, Muslim and Christian folks. It filled a need for a majority of people and was not targeted at a minority; gay males looking for monogamous relationships.

      The court was way out of line to come to this conclusion. I hope the owners appeal.