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Online Dating Magazine > Online Dating News > eHarmony to Offer Same Sex Matchmaking

eHarmony to Match Gays and Lesbians

( - November 19, 2008) The largest relationship service online,, announced today that it is going to match gays and lesbians under a new service (and Website) called "Compatible Partners".

eHarmony made the move in order to settle a three year legal complaint it had been battling in New Jersey. The discrimination complaint was filed to the State of New Jersey in March 2005 by Eric McKinley, a gay man who claimed discrimination when the service refused to match him with another male. eHarmony has had a long-standing policy of not matching potential partners of the same sex.

The complaint received the support of New Jersey's Attorney General and the Division on Civil Rights. It forced eHarmony to reexamine its policy.

“I applaud the decision of eHarmony to settle this case and extend its matching services to those seeking same-sex relationships,” said J. Frank Vespa-Papaleo, Director of New Jersey's Division on Civil Rights.

As part of the settlement, eHarmony has to offer the new service for same sex couples. eHarmony announced today that the new service will be called Compatible Partners and will be located at Under the terms of the settlement, eHarmony must link to the service from and must identify on the new Website that the service is run by eHarmony. eHarmony must also advertise and market the new service in the media, targetting gays and lesbians.

For his part, Eric McKinley (who filed the complaint) will receive a free one-year membership to the service and $5,000 from eHarmony. In addition, eHarmony must pay legal expenses in the sum of $50,000 to the State of New Jersey.

"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 with the Attorney General since litigation outcomes can be unpredictable," said eHarmony, Inc. legal counsel Theodore B. Olson, a partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP. "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."

The new Compatible Partners service will be live sometime in the first quarter of 2009. eHarmony stresses that the service will be separate from its heterosexual service. While the matchmaking methods will be similar, eHarmony is doing additional research for the matching of gays and lesbians.

Related Links
eHarmony and State of New Jersey Settlement Agreement
Class Action Lawsuit Against eHarmony Certified in California Attacks eHarmony
History of eHarmony

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