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Facebook adds new relationship statuses

Soon, Facebookers will be able to designate themselves as "in a civil union" or "in a domestic partnership". This in addition to "married", "single", "in a relationship", "widowed", and the ever popular and still whimsical "it's complicated". Facebook is making the change, it says, after consulting with several LGBT groups. Those groups were part of Facebook's Network of Support, formed in response to suicides of gay teenagers last fall.

But the new move is leading to some criticism:

The civil union/domestic partnership distinction is one that many LGBT groups are currently trying to erase. In fact, marriage equality is one of the key campaigning points for many groups in the NOS, including the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD and PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).
And many couples in same-sex relationships who have already defined themselves on Facebook as "married" aren't necessarily eager to adopt the new nomenclature. As one user wrote in a Facebook comment on the Trevor Project's wall, "I'll just leave myself listed as 'married' -- after 14 years, that sums it up, even if it isn't legal!"
Other commenters were more harsh in their statements, saying that Facebook was adopting the "separate and unequal" policies of the many states that do not allow gay marriage.

About the author

John Moe is the host of Marketplace Tech Report, where he provides an insightful overview of the latest tech news.
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