“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,” Dubey said in a statement.A class-action lawsuit filed in 2013 by two gay men alleged that Spark Networks, which owns Christian Mingle and several other faith-based dating sites, had broken California anti-discrimination laws by making it impossible for same-sex couples to match. (David Silverman/Getty Images) God-loving gay singles have won the right to mingle on the world's most popular Christian dating site — and every other faith-based matchmaking network owned by its parent company, following a California court ruling.As part of the settlement, Spark will also have to pay ,000 each to Aaron Werner and Richard Wright, the two gay men who sued the company, as well as 0,000 in attorneys’ fees.
But the switch might not change much for LGBT Christians, Justin Lee, the executive director of the Gay Christian Network told the Daily News.
Lee explained that while the website was preventing gay and bi Christians from finding love on Christian Mingle, users were turning to secular options like OKCupid that allow filtering by religion, or going on his organization's network.
The company was further ordered not to change the match prompts to “man seeking woman” at any time in the future, unless it also “provides similar prompts which allow individuals seeking a same sex match to enter and use the sites without having to state that they are seeking a match with someone of the opposite sex.” “As long as Spark operates the Mingle Sites, users will continue to have the ability to search for potential same sex matches using the sites’ text searching and profile building functions,” summarizes the order.
The company has 24 months from the date of Monday’s order to bring all its sites into compliance.
In fact, this ruling does not seem to serve anyone: Not the heterosexual user base; not Spark Networks, which got sued into making unplanned changes; and not the LGBT community, which has no way of screening out all those heterosexual Christians gumming up their list of potential matches.
Amazingly, websites that were designed around a certain biblical idea of marriage do not adapt well to those with different romantic ideals.
Spark Networks, which owns Christian Mingle, JDate, and ("the largest dating site by Mormons for Mormons"), first came under legal fire in 2013 after two gay men noticed that new members could only search for dates of the opposite sex.
In filing a class-action lawsuit, the men alleged that Spark was breaking California anti-discrimination laws by making it impossible for members of the LGBT community to use its services.
Christian Mingle's homepage now asks users only for their gender.