eHarmony Will Cater To Same-Sex Singles

Remember those commercials in which same-sex singles lamented about being dumped by eHarmony because they were gay? Well, the online matchmaker said Wednesday it will launch a website to cater to same-sex singles seeking long-term relationships as a result of a settlement with New Jersey’s Civil Rights Division. More details after the jump. In 2005, Eric McKinley filed a complaint against eHarmony because he tried to sign up with the matchmaking service, but couldn’t get passed the first screen since there was no option for men seeking men. “It’s very frustrating and it’s very humiliating to think that other people can do it and I can’t,” he said. “And the only reason I can’t is because I’m a gay man. That’s very hurtful.” Neither the company nor the founder, Neil Clark Warren, admitted any liability, but opted to settle and will pay New Jersey state division $50,000 to cover administrative costs and will pay McKinley $5,000.

McKinley said the outcome was “fabulous” and is considering joining the new site, called Compatible Partners, after it launches on March 31. The cost of Compatible Partners will be equal to eHarmony’s fee, which is about $250 to $300 for a 12 month membership. McKinley’s settlement will definitely cover the cost of finding love on the new site, but we think eHarmony should offer him a free membership. Also, the nagging question we have is: where does this leave bisexual singles? We hope singles on Compatible Partners will have the option of choosing “seeking men and women,” but we kind of doubt it because dating a man and a woman at the same time doesn’t seem to fit into eHarmony’s idea of “seeking a long-term relationship.”[AOL]