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Roommates.com liable under Fair Housing Act

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A federal district judge has ruled the Web site Roommates.com can be held liable for violations of the Fair Housing Act because it requires users to disclose their gender, sexual orientation and family status, and allows them to use the same information about others to facilitate roommate matches. But the site continues to collect such information from users, and an attorney representing parent company Roommate.com LLC says the company intends to appeal the decision -- all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary. In the meantime, fair housing groups that have reached a partial monetary settlement with Roommate.com are seeking an injunction to stop the site from collecting information that could allegedly be used to discriminate against users, such as their sexual orientation. A hearing on the injunction has been scheduled for Jan. 12. Since it was filed nearly five years ago, the lawsuit has been closely watched for the precedents it could set for other interactive We...