But now the company has been compelled to changed its nationwide policy as part of a New Jersey lawsuit settlement.
On March 14, 2005, Eric McKinley filed a lawsuit against eHarmony, claiming the company discriminated against him when it refused to accept his advertisement for a "gay" partner.
McKinley's complaint triggered a state investigation
into the dating service.
Last week, eHarmony agreed to begin providing an eHarmony-affiliated "Compatible Partners" service to gays and lesbians, with listings labeled "male seeking male" and "female seeking female" by March 31, 2009.
For complying, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights has dismissed the complaint against eHarmony, and Warren is considered "absolved of liability." Also, the dating site has been ordered to pay the division $50,000 for investigation-related administrative costs
and give McKinley $5,000. It has agreed to provide a free one-year membership to its "gay" service to McKinley, plus free six-month memberships to "the first 10,000 users registering for same-sex matching within one year of the initiation on the same-sex matching service," according to the settlement.