Facebook Adds Gay Friendly Status Options

Facebook has come up with new settings to meet the needs of users in same-sex relationships.

Facebook has come up with new  settings to meet the needs of users in same-sex relationships.

AP (“New Facebook status options applauded by gay users“):

Facebook’s addition of civil unions and domestic partnerships to the list of relationships its users can pick from came after talks with gay rights organizations, including GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

The social network has “sent a clear message in support of gay and lesbian couples to users across the globe,” said GLAAD’s president, Jarrett Barrios. “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.”

He added that the new status options, available to Facebook users in the U.S., Canada, Britain, France and Australia, will serve as an important reminder that legal marriage is not an option for gay couples in most states.

Only Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Washington, D.C. allow same-sex marriages. Hawaii will soon become the seventh state to permit civil unions or similar legal recognition for gay couples.

Of course, there’s also a Facebook option to say “It’s complicated” — and that’s exactly how some users felt about the new changes. Because, for people both gay and straight, more options mean more decisions to make: What exactly is my relationship, and what should I call it?

I’m surprised Facebook didn’t address this issue long ago, given its roots.  For the cohort that was at Harvard in 2004, homosexuality has always been a normal fact of life.  It’s really only a hot button political issue for older people or those who’ve always lived in very religious, provincial communities.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. I’ll tell you what status option I definitely could have used on Facebook: “divorcing.” “It’s complicated” does not adequately capture where one is during the sometimes interminable-seeming process that is a divorce. “Single?” “Married?” Neither fit or communicate one’s condition.