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Facebook adds ‘civil union’ status to profiles

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  1. The Rev JRB 18 Feb 2011, 11:55am

    Matthew Handy began this effort two years ago.
    Typical of HRC to lumber in after the win and crow about its “victory.” They’ve become virtually irrelevant. Get Equal and AFER (Amer. Foundation for Equal Rights) kept plugging away at DADT repeal in December AFTER HRC had thrown in the towel.

  2. ‘Domestic partnership’ is a bit of a pants description.

    Why not ‘civil union’, ‘civil marriage’ and ‘civil partnership’ as these do actually exist.

    Does anyone know of anywhere in the world that has a ‘domestic partnership’ alternative to marriage? I can only think of the PACS in France, but I’m not sure if that’s enshrined in law as a ‘domestic partnership’ or not.

    I’d rather put ‘in a relationship’ than ‘domestic partnership’, it sounds like I am co-habiting with a canine. Or my mother. Though, at times, that could be the same thing.

  3. “By acknowledging the relationships of countless loving and committed same-sex couples in the US and abroad, Facebook has set a new standard of inclusion for social media.”

    Pish. Friends of mine who’re CPed just put ‘married’ – which they are.

  4. @mmmmmmmm – They do have “civil partnership.” I switched my status to it last night.

  5. Peter & Michael 18 Feb 2011, 2:31pm

    We always state ‘Married’, because that’s how we feel we are!

  6. Weetzie

    Good to hear :)

  7. Weetzie is right, you can put “civil partnership”. I’m glad I can put this now as I have never wanted to be married – I guess like the opposite-sex couples who want a CP.

    It’s good to have “domestic partnerships” as I think some places have this as a kind of legally in-between status (i.e. some but not as much protection etc. as marriage/CP).

    Whatever, at least now people can choose whatever they think suits them best. I don’t think fb has done anything very grand though so they shouldn’t be so self-congratulating, I’m sure it wasn’t too hard for them to change a wee bit of programming.

  8. That’s nice at least, but I’d like polyamory options.

  9. May as well leave it as “It’s Complicated”,
    it amounts to much the same thing.

  10. Firstly, Mmmmmm, some US states do indeed have domestic partnerships in place of civil unions. California and NY being two of them. What the difference between a civil union and a domestic partnership is (other than some states having one and some states the other) I’m not sure. I suspect it’s just a name… we have civil partnerships, some US states have civil unions, others have domestic partnerships… Califonia’s domestic partnerships, I think, give basically all the same STATE rights as marriage (ie. no federal rights as determined by the federal DOMA) so it’s definitely no weak union.

    Secondly, I think it would have been better to change marriage to “marriage/civil union” or partnership for the UK… creating a separate entry just adds to the sense of separation between LGBTs and straights who have made a formal commitment to their partners. We are moving towards marriage equality, Facebook could have taken us there first.

    Finally, what’s with limiting this option to a selected few countries? If they wanted to make an LGBT inclusive gesture and be political, they should have implemented this change across the board, supporting their LGBT users in less progressive countries.

  11. The Rev JRB 18 Feb 2011, 4:56pm

    mmmmmm –

    Val’s explanation of domestic partnerships is spot-on. I was covered by my late other half’s employer-provided medical coverage. We had to sign a form attesting that we were “domestic partners,” which contained a clause specifying that we would have to register (within 30 days) with our locality if it should pass any sort of DP law.
    About two years later, our city instituted domestic partnerships (and very limited they were, allowing only hospital and jail vistation rights). We registered to keep our much-needed health benefits status quo – and had the fun of introducing each other as “my RDP.”
    The registration was enormously helpful once our state (California) passed DP legislation just about the time my “spousal unit” (a pet phrase) spiraled into his terminal illness. We were “grand-fathered” into the system.
    Prior to that, we had had to execute wills and instruction packages (hundreds of dollars of legal fees) in order to get the rights conferred by the state’s very affordable $10 DP registrations.

  12. Good to know :)

    On a semi-related note, I wonder how long it will be before they do away with the enforced binary gender choice for profiles. Genderqueer people exist…

  13. They still don’t have it in Mexico…I’ve been checking all morning since reading this article….

  14. Val/Rev

    Cheers for the information on domestic partnerships.

    Val, I agree, these should be available to all, it is a little strange they are not. I guess we’ll see in the coming days whether there is a technical or political reason for that…..

  15. I’ve never needed this ID on Facebook I am in a Civil Partnership and as far as we are concerned we are MARRIED and that’s what our status says. We aren’t in a second class relationship as opposed to heterosexual marriage as a CP suggests we are.

  16. To answer the question of “Why isn’t this implemented across the board?”,

    Many countries do not recognize the civil unions carried out in England, sorry to say. Same applies for the domestic partnerships in the USA.

    (This means you actually are second class, Martin, if you ever ran into trouble in another country that refuses to recognize you as “married”)

    Thirdly, somehow people do not realize this, Facebook is a business. They are not going to offer pro-LGBT options to countries that could easilly just ban facebook entirely.

    Much like how google will bend to orders to block certain search results in countries like Australia or China, who don’t want their population to have free access to information – including pro-LGBT issues in both.

  17. Agree with those guys who say they are married , that’s what we do….in fact we were saying this over 20 yrs ago…still waiting for the UK govt to catch up with us!

  18. In aus , we have de facto at federal level and a mish mash of things at state level , most aren’t like CPs they’re more like domestic partnerships…one CP/civil union in one country/state probably won’t be like another cp/civil union in anther country/state anyway..not sure there is a global definition for these things…Technically I’m still not sure what option I’d used in Australia..I think like most things offerred to gays “it complicated” is still quite a good option to use..

  19. It is soooooo confusing terms and termolologies to have soooo many terms for relationships!!!!

    There is the following terms:

    * civil marriage;
    * religiousely marriage;
    * in a de facto relationship;
    * one night stand;
    * dating or looking
    * domestic partnership;
    * registered partnership;
    * civil union;
    * civil partnership
    * PACS (french term);
    * unregistered cohabitation;
    * divorced;
    * seperated;
    * single;
    * married;
    * widowed
    * married but living separately and apart from one’s spouse;
    * in a civil union but living separately and apart from one’s spouse
    * in a domestic partnership but living separately and apart from one’s spouse
    * in a registered partnership but living separately and apart from one’s spouse
    * in a de facto relationship but living separately and apart from one’s spouse

    The list goes on and on and on…

  20. Domestic Partnership is the ‘only’ thing available to defacto same-sex couples in South Australia. That is why I have listed it on my facebook!

  21. I agree with val – would have been better to change “married” to “married/in civil partnership”

  22. ZRK, there are definitely more than 4 countries who would not ban Facebook over a couple of relationship options. Be that as it may, I hear what you’re saying about Facebook being a business it just annoys me to hear these big speeches about Facebook being “inclusive of LGBT people” when it’s barely updating its system to add legal categories that were worryingly excluded in the past.

    As far as I am concerned this news is nothing to celebrate. On any level.

    I hate the constant comparing of sexual minorities to racial minorities but imagine, if you will, a system where you can enter your ethnic origin but “black” is missing. Then the company comes out all self-celebratory telling you that they’ve always been inclusive of black people so now in your ethnic origin you can even specify that you’re black. Hurray!!

  23. Wellsprungalice 22 Feb 2011, 2:40pm

    I attempted to change our status last night, and selected ‘civil partnership’. My wife then got an email from FB asking her to confirm she’s my girlfriend.

    FB equality = FAIL

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