A Californian couple settled their lawsuit against Adoption.com. Three years ago Michael Butler and Richard Butler (San Jose, CA) attempted to post their profile on Adoption.com. Their application to join the site was rejected.
A federal judge ruled early in 2007 that California’s anti-discrimination laws applied to the Arizona-based Adoption Media, which runs both Adoption.com and Parent-Profiles.com. He said, “It is the discriminatory conduct that is at issue here – defendants’ refusal to do business with the plaintiffs.”
Adoption.com believes it has free speech rights to exclude same-sex couples from its paid listings, which are designed to match birth mothers with qualified parents. The company also believes that California anti-bias policies do not apply because Adoption.com is based in Tempe, Arizona. Arizona state laws don’t bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or marital status.
Under the settlement, the company could have kept doing business in the state of California if they had been willing to let same-sex couples participate, but they were not. The site’s owners agreed to stop doing business with California residents as part of the settlement.
The couple, who have been together for 12 years and changed surnames to share the same last name, have since adopted a daughter, now 3 years old, through an adoption agency.