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Because of the focus on relationships between Christian singles, Christian Mingle is considered a special-interest online personals site.
Former CEO Adam Berger has referred to this type of service as "niche" dating.
"Spark has engaged in a systemic and intentional pattern and practice of arbitrary discrimination against gays and lesbians throughout California by denying them full and equal services, accommodations, advantages and privileges in connection with many of its commercial dating services," reads the class-action complaint filed in December 2013.
As the Wall Street Journal points out, a California state law known as the Unruh Civil Rights Act mandates that "all business establishments of every kind whatsoever" treat every person within the jurisdiction as free and equal regardless of sex, race, religion, marital status and sexual orientation, among other things.
The reports that a judge ruled that practice to be in violation of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, which states that “business establishments” have to have “full and equal accommodations” for everyone, no matter their sexual orientation.
This ruling also applies to the other dating sites owned by Spark Networks, including Adventist Singles Connection and Black Singles.
Christian Mingle members may choose whether to specify the Christian denomination to which they belong.
Members can also search the site for free, though a subscription is required to communicate with other members.
Johnson of the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles County approved a settlement agreement in which Spark agreed to modify its site and search features to include LGBT singles within two years.Now, Christian Mingle restricts users to either gay or straight relationships with a single individual — users can choose only whether they are listed as male or female, and identify which sex they are attracted to.But this restriction leaves the site open to the attack that it is refusing to cater to those with other gender identities and to those, such as the polyamorous, who do not believe in monogamous relationships. In order for a dating website to function at all, it has to be able to set parameters for relationships."I thought Christian Mingle was a website for Christians to mingle," wrote one commenter on a forum post about the ruling."I guess that's not allowed." "Of course it is," another person replied.