Dating site ChristianMingle.com has agreed to let gay Christians search for same-sex partners after settling two class-action claims of discrimination.
In 2013, two men alleged that the Christian dating website, as well as others run by the site's parent company, Spark Networks Inc., did not allow users to search for members of the same sex.
When signing up, the U.S-based site would ask new users to select whether they were a man seeking a woman, or vice versa - with no other options available. The claims filed against the company argued that this specificity discriminated against LGBT+ people and violated a Californian anti-discrimination law that demands businesses to provide "full and equal accommodations" to people of any sexual orientation.
Under the terms of the settlement, the site - which operates globally - now only asks new users for their gender, rather than their gender and who they're seeking as it did previously.
Within two years, the site will have to also add and adjust other search and profile features, in order to be more inclusive of the LGBT+ community, although no specifics were mentioned in the settlement. The terms of the settlement also include other sites housed by Spark Networks Inc, which include CatholicMingle.com, AdventistSinglesConnection.com and BlackSingles.com.
The plaintiffs received $9,000 each, and the company agreed to pay the legal fees for each case, which amounted to $450,000.
In a statement, Vineet Dubey - one of the plaintiff's lawyers - 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".
As for Spark Networks Inc.? They noted that they were "pleased to resolve this litigation" in a statement.
Go forth, gay Christians, and mingle to your hearts content.