eHarmony agrees to settle case alleging discrimination against gays

The online dating service eHarmony.com agreed today to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging it discriminated against gays.

The proposed settlement filed in Los Angeles Superior Court calls for eHarmony to link its straight and gay Web site, called Compatible Partners, and allow bisexual members to use both sites without paying double fees.

Plaintiffs' attorney Todd Schneider said the company would pay $500,000 to an estimated 150 Californians to settle the class-action suit, plus around $1.5 million in court and attorney's fees.

California residents who filed written complaints with the company stand to receive $4,000 each from the settlement funds, he said. A judge must sign off on the settlement. A court date is scheduled for Feb. 3.

Founded in 2000, the Web site did not provide same-sex matching services until last year.

As part of the California agreement, the Compatible Partners site would display the eHarmony logo in a prominent position and state that the service is supplied by eHarmony, Schneider said.

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