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Friday, February 18, 2011

Facebook Adds Civil Union, Domestic Partner Statuses

By Mark Hefflinger -

Palo Alto, Calif. - Facebook has added the ability for users to designate their relationship status as "in a civil union" or "in a domestic partnership," after consultation with leading groups that represent the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities, the Huffington Post reported. "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."

The new statuses will become available in countries including the U.S., U.K., Canada, France and Australia, which have created such legal arrangements.

Other options offered by Facebook include single, in a relationship, married, engaged, "it's complicated," in an open relationship, widowed, separated and divorced.

"As LGBT people face a patchwork of relationship recognition laws, this gives people more tools to adequately describe their relationship," said Michael Cole-Schwartz, a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign.

"Facebook has been a company that has tried to be inclusive of the LGBT community and this just one sign of it."


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