Gays Can’t Marry, But Lawsuit Makes eHarmony Let Them Date
eHarmony–founded in 2000 by Neil Clark Warren, a former dean at the Christian Fuller University–promises that the online dating service:
narrows the field from millions of candidates to a highly select group of singles that are compatible with you. Unlike other sites where you can post a picture and paragraph and then browse the profiles of other users, eHarmony does the matching for you based on 29 Dimensions(TM) of personality that are scientifically-based predictors of long-term relationship success.
But eHarmony didn’t include same-sex matches in their database until a New Jersey law suit forced them to do so. The discrimination suit was filed by Eric McKinley, 46, of Ocean County, in March 2005 after trying to place a personal advertisement through the site:
I heard their advertisement that winter and thought ‘Hey, this could work for me. So I went to their website but couldn’t pass the initial screen. There was no option for man seeking man. It made me feel angry, mad, and sad. . . a whole range of emotions.
Still single, McKinley will receive $5,000 and free membership for a year to the new dating service, Compatible Partners. eHarmony will also pay $50,000 to the state Attorney General’s office to cover administrative expenses. And the company agreed to provide ten thousand people seeking same-sex matchings with free subscriptions for six-months. McKinley said:
They’re going to make tons of money off of this.
Now if only those "compatible partners" could just get married….