In a boon for diversity, Facebook has added two new relationship categories to its list of choices: “In a domestic partnership” and “In a civil union”.
The new options are already available in the US, but will be introduced to other countries soon. In countries where same-sex marriages are already legal, these options will not appear.
“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,” a Facebook representative told Mashable.
A range of LGBT-focused changes have been seen on Facebook of late, following a series of high-profile gay teen suicides in the US. Facebook has teamed up with GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) in an effort to control anti-gay bullying on the site, and Facebook has also established its own Network of Support (NOS).
Adding these new categories is great in the sense that it makes the site more inclusive, but it is also a reminder of the fact that few countries will legally allow the term “married” to apply to gays. But it’s a start:
“When millions of Facebook users see these relationship status options, they gain a greater understanding of the legal inequalities faced by loving and committed same-sex couples in so many states today,’ GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios told Mashable.
Previously, Facebook offered the options of Single, In a relationship, Engaged, Married, It’s complicated, In an open relationship, Widowed, Separated and Divorced – or blank.