Facebook has updated the official list of relationship statuses with two new choices appealing to its gay and lesbian users in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Australia.
Choosing either "In a civil union" or "In a domestic partnership" on their profile, gay or lesbian individuals can now publicly disclose their romantic relationship to their friends.
The new choices augment the usual assortment of relationship options that include "Single," "Married," "Engaged," "In a Relationship," "In an Open Relationship," "Divorced," "Separated" and "Widowed," bringing the variety of relationship statuses on Facebook to ten.
Interestingly, the announcement first came via a statement from Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) rather than Facebook itself. GLAAD’s president Jarrett Barrios said the group was among the organizations that pushed for the change and applauded the new relationship statuses:
Today, Facebook sent a clear message in support of gay and lesbian couples to users across the globe. 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 popular social networking site followed-up by publishing a blog post confirming the new relationship statuses:
This has been a highly requested feature from users. We want to provide options for people to genuinely and authentically reflect their relationships on Facebook.