Facebook has added the categories of ‘Civil Union’ and ‘Domestic Partnership’ to its relationship status options.
The categories reflect the growing number of countries and US states that are legalising same-sex relationships through these forms of partnership recognition.
“We want to provide options for people to genuinely and authentically reflect their relationships on Facebook,” explained Facebook’s Andrew Noyes, manager of public policy communications.
The addition to the category status will be rolled out in the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Australia and other countries in the coming days.
The change was undertaken in consultation with Facebook’s Network of Support, which includes a number of LGBT groups that help the social networking site “address issues faced by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community”.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) applauded Facebook for the move.
“Today, Facebook sent a clear message in support of gay and lesbian couples to users across the globe,” said GLAAD 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. As public support for marriage equality continues to grow, we will continue to work for the day when all couples have the opportunity to marry and have their relationship recognised by their community, both online and off.”
GLAAD was among the organisations that met with Facebook to advocate for the change.