Wednesday, November 19, 2008

eHarmony Crumples Under Discrimination Lawsuits

New Jersey - eHarmony has caved today under mounting pressure and lawsuits from the homosexual community. This morning, the Internet dating phenom announced its plan to create a new website called "Compatible Partners," for GLBT users.

["eHarmony, which was founded by Dr. Neil Clark Warren in 2000, said the settlement was triggered by a Law Against Discrimination complaint filed by McKinley against the online service on March 14, 2005. As part of the agreement, eHarmony will pay McKinley $5,000 and will provide him a one-year complimentary membership."]

Not only is the e-dating powerhouse settling this case by creating "Compatible Partners," but, as reported in the excerpt above, they are also paying the plaintiff $5,000, giving him a one-year free ride, and offering free one-year memberships to the first 10,000 users. They have assured the GLBT community that the same technology used to match heterosexual couples will be altered for same-sex couples. Photographs of same-sex couples will be featured in the site's "Diversity" section and used for advertising purposes as well.

Theodore Olson, legal counsel for eHarmony, made this statement today, "Even though we believed that the complaint resulted from an unfair characterization of our business, we ultimately decided it was best to settle this case. eHarmony looks forward to moving beyond this legal dispute, which has been a burden for the company, and continuing to advance its business model of serving individuals by helping them find successful, long-term relationships."

As indicated by Olson's statement, this lawsuit is not the first of its kind to be aimed at eHarmony. In 2007, Linda Carlson, LA County resident, filed a lawsuit against the dating guru claiming that it violated discrimination laws by failing to provide accommodation for same-sex users. Carlson had become frustrated with the site when she'd tried to use the service to meet another woman, but was refused membership based on sexual orientation.

In a statement provided to, eHarmony Vice President of Legal Affairs, Antone Johnson said, "
We believe that this case is now essentially moot, and we're confident that we will prove that in court. Now that we're entering the same-sex matching market, we fail to see what the Carlson plaintiffs could achieve through further litigation."

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