Facebook goes gay-friendlier

Two more options join the multiple-choice of relationship status on personal pages

Facebook, the online representation of modern society, is a-changin' with the times by adding two new options to its list of relationship statuses: "in a civil union" and "in a domestic partnership."

These new options roll out today in the U.S., Canada, France, the U.K. and Australia. Facebook made this change on the recommendation of Facebook's Network of Support, a coalition with gay and lesbian advocacy groups to encourage tolerance and combat harassment.

"This has been a highly requested feature from users," a Facebook representative said in an e-mail to CNET. "We want to provide options for people to genuinely and authentically reflect their relationships on Facebook."

"Today, Facebook sent a clear message in support of gay and lesbian couples to users across the globe," GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said in a statement. "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."

Social media has made huge bounds towards embracing gay culture. Not only are there several gay-centric social networks out there, such as D-List, but social gaming is making strides as well. At the Web 2.0 Summit, Zynga's CEO Mark Pincus shared that its Facebook game "FrontierVille" boasts roughly 650,000 same-sex marriages. While same-sex avatar marriages may not spell "inclusion" or "social change" to you, to me it is an indication that the perception of homosexuality is changing for the better. Today's Facebook changes are the same: a subtle step forward in tolerance.

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Brennon Slattery

PC World (US online)
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