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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 18, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 07
Facebook adds 'civil union' and 'domestic partnership' to relationship status options
Section One
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Facebook adds 'civil union' and 'domestic partnership' to relationship status options

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

The social network giant Facebook has added two new relationship status options users can include in their online profiles: 'in a civil union' and 'in a domestic partnership.'

Previously, the set options included 'single,' 'in a relationship,' 'married,' 'engaged,' 'it's complicated,' 'in an open relationship,' 'widowed,' 'separated,' and 'divorced.'

The new relationship status updates debuted in the U.S. and several other countries on February 17. 'This has been a highly requested feature from users,' said Facebook's Andrew Noyes, manager of public policy communications. 'We want to provide options for people to genuinely and authentically reflect their relationships on Facebook.'

According to Facebook, the changes were made in consultation with the company's network of support, a group that includes LGBT organizations such as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation; the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network; and the Human Rights Campaign.

'As LGBT people face a patchwork of relationship recognition laws, this gives people more tools to adequately describe their relationship,' said Michael Cole-Schwartz, spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign. 'Facebook has always been a company that has tried to be inclusive of the LGBT community, and this is just one sign of it.'

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