On Facebook, couples can describe themselves as "in a civil union" or "in a domestic partnership."
In what's being lauded as a victory for the LGBT community, Facebook has added civil unions and domestic partnerships as relationship statuses for users in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. The feature, which went into effect last Thursday, allows you to choose either of those options (or "in a civil partnership," for those in the UK), in the drop-down menu of familiar statuses like "married," "in a relationship," and "it's complicated." /node/67121
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) organization, which worked with Facebook to implement this measure, said in a press release that "By acknowledging the relationships of countless loving and committed same-sex couples in the U.S. and abroad, Facebook has set a new standard of inclusion for social media. As public support for marriage equality continues to grow, we will continue to work for the day when all couples have the opportunity to marry and have their relationship recognized by their community, both online and off." The Day My Gay BFF And I Became Lovers
According to Facebook spokesperson Andrew Noyes, the network's users have long advocated for the addition of these relationship statuses. "We want to provide options for people to genuinely and authentically reflect their relationships on Facebook," he said.
Despite the praise Facebook has received for its new feature, some commenters across the internet are unimpressed, saying that same-sex couples shouldn't have to identify as a "domestic partnership" when that's not what they're really after. In an ideal world, where marriage equality is accepted online and off, gay and straight people should be able to enjoy the privilege of a legal marriage, period. On the flipside, heterosexual couples in domestic partnerships are rejoicing that their statuses finally appropritely represent their arrangements.
Regardless of whether these statuses will apply in the future, there's no denying that Facebook has invited an interesting discussion around the inclusion of same-sex relationships in online and social media. Top 10 Secrets of Successful Gay Daters
What do you think of Facebook's latest measure?