ChristianGays.com is about to get some competition.
The owners of ChristianMingle.com, which claims to be the largest Christian dating website on the Internet, have been ordered to add sections for men seeking men and women seeking women under a court settlement reached last week.
Two gay men sued Spark Networks Inc. in 2013, according to the Wall Street Journal, claiming the company was violating California's Unruh Civil Rights Act by only matching heterosexual couples on the many religious-themed dating sites it operates. The law prevents businesses from discriminating against people on the basis of sexual orientation.
Under the terms of the settlement, Spark Networks will no longer ask Christians seeking to Mingle whether they are a "man seeking woman" or a "woman seeking man" and will instead drop the awkward phrasing entirely and just ask a person's gender. The company will also add the ability to search specifically for people seeking a same-sex date, although it doesn't have to put that option on its front page.
Spark also has to implement this change on all its other niche dating sites that only presented hetero pairings on its front page, including LDSSingles.com, CatholicMingle.com, AdventistSinglesConnection.com, you get the idea. The company's other popular dating website, JDate.com, was not covered in the lawsuit—probably because it already has the options for gay singles.
The change already has gone into effect on ChristianMingle.com:
After the account creation process, there is now a search function that lets users toggle between searching for men or women.
An interesting thing happens with the results. The website doesn't ever ask or record any information on a person's sexual preference and the search function is as binary as the account creation process. So the results you get back are all the Christian Mingle users of that gender, straight or otherwise.
Could it be that the site is embracing fluid sexuality? Doubtful. It's more likely that it had to quickly implement an awkward court-ordered work around into its system. Either way, the straight Christian Minglers of the world have little to worry about.
But they're still worried. Very worried.