eHarmony Settles Same-Sex Class Action Lawsuit

Pasadena-based online dating site eHarmony has settled a class action lawsuit over its lack of support for gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals, the firm reported Tuesday evening. According to eHarmony, it is in an agreement to settle Carlson, et. al. v. eHarmony, Inc., which was filed in 2007. eHarmony said that as part of the settlement, all claims will be dismissed, and it will create a $2M settlement fund, with $500,000 of that fund to be designed for claims by the class, with any unclaimed portion of the fund to be donated to a charity designated by the court. The lawsuit came about as a result of eHarmony's earlier refusal to allow gay and lesbian users into its computerized matching system for online dates, and refusal to add same-sex support into its system. The firm later launched Compatible Partners, a same-sex matching service, in March of 2009, on pressure from the State of New Jersey. According to eHarmony, the new settlement also calls for the firm to add links to Compatible Partners from its main web site, show its logo on the Compatible Partners page, indicate that Compatible Partners is an eHarmony web site, and to indicate that Compatible Partner is "Brought o you by eHarmony" instead of "Powered by eHarmony."