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.
Spark Networks, which owns ChristianMingle, JDate, and LDSSingles.com (“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.
Same-sex Christian couples couldn’t be matched through ChristianMingle because members couldn’t register as gay in the first place.
“Spark has engaged in a systemic and intentional pattern and practice of arbitrary discrimination against gays and lesbians throughout California by denying them full and equal services, accommodations, advantages and privileges in connection with many of its commercial dating services,” reads the class-action complaint filed in December 2013.
As the Wall Street Journal points out, a California state law known as the Unruh Civil Rights Act mandates that “all business establishments of every kind whatsoever” treat every person within the jurisdiction as free and equal regardless of sex, race, religion, marital status and sexual orientation, among other things.
The suit against Spark states that, at the time of its filing, individuals wishing to use the Spark dating sites for Christians, Catholics,Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists, military singles and black singles could only choose from two options on the home screens of these services: “a man seeking a woman” or “a woman seeking a man.”
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SOURCE: CBC News