Eric McKinley, a gay man living in New Jersey, won a recently settled legal battle with online matchmakers eHarmony.com. In 2005, McKinley filed a sexual discrimination lawsuit against the online dating service. It turns out that the $50 a month sevices provided by eHarmony are only available to heterosexualo clients. It also turns out that the company is owned by an evangelical christian conservative.
McKinley’s victory not only got him a $5ooo settlement, it has also legally forced eHarmony to create a gay online dating service if they wante to continue their $165 million a year business. Compatable Partners, eHarmony’s yawn inducingly named new queer dating service, will premier in March of 2009.
I have to admit that I have some what mixed feeling about this story. I am happy that a company that is clearly anti-queer is getting a legal sucker-punch, but I also think that this lawsuit impedes on the rights of the private sector in a way that is potentially dangerous.