Facebook has jumped further on the inclusion bandwagon with the addition of new marriage icons reflecting two female or male figures for same-sex unions.
Facebook acknowledged more committed gay relationships before many states recently legalized gay marriage, by adding the option of “in a civil union” and “in a domestic partnership” back in February of 2011. But as is often the case, the default leaned heavily toward straight couplings, including the default icon of a bride and groom in Facebook’s graphic representations.
At the time the “civil union” option was added, Facebook rep Andrew Noyes explained that the move came in response to strong user interest in having their relationships recognized:
“This has been a highly requested feature from users. We want to provide options for people to genuinely and authentically reflect their relationships on Facebook.”
But now gay and lesbian married couples on Facebook will see a more accurate icon, as the new feature has gone live. (The LGBT blog Good As You spotted the icon on one of their own timelines, pictured above.) Facebook has not publicly commented upon the new gay Facebook icons yet, but the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, also known as GLAAD, had this to say on a blog post announcing the change:
“In June, Facebook became the first social media company to be given an award at the GLAAD Media Awards. Facebook was presented with the award by Spirit Day founder Brittany McMillan. McMillan launched the idea for Spirit Day in 2010 and began working with GLAAD on the annual event which inspires millions of participants to wear purple or change their Facebook photo to purple in support of LGBT youth and to stand up against bullying.”
The blog continues:
“Facebook was first involved in 2010 when a Spirit Day event page on Facebook was flooded with anti-gay comments and violent images, and the company worked with GLAAD to come up with a solution to the problem.”
Facebook’s new acknowledgement of same-sex couples in icons follows a similar move by Apple, which added gay emoticons very recently to one of their services.