Russia’s leading social networking site has come under fire from gay rights activists for the lack of a same-sex relationship status option.
VKontakte, which has, in the past, reported around 120 million active accounts, only gives the option of an opposite-sex relationship on user profiles.
A user identified only by the name Oleg requested the option of displaying that he had a boyfriend from the site’s helpdesk, but was reportedly advised to “change sex” on his profile, and that gay marriage is still illegal, Radio Free Europe reported.
This does not violate Russian law, but has come under heavy criticism for the moral reasons, and because the site has a large LGBT user-base.
Russian LGBT activist Nikolai Alekseyev, told RFE: “From a moral and ethical point of view, considering that a huge number of gay and lesbians support this network, use it and help it make money, they should recognize such relationships.”
Comparisons have been made between VKontakte and Facebook. Facebook has the option for same-sex marriages, as well as relationships.
The Russian LGBT population has faced difficulties on and offline, as arrests were made amid violence at Moscow’s Pride parade earlier this year.
Administrators of the social networking site reportedly confirmed that they are not planning to implement a same-sex relationship option in future.