Facebook adds civil partnerships to relationship options

Congratulations, gay people! Even though you still can’t get married officially in most states, you have now have equal standing to better classify your relationship to people you vaguely know on Facebook!

One of the larger modern tenets of relationships is that it isn’t official until it’s on Facebook. (And indeed, breakups and divorces become all the more humiliating when you realize an inevitable stream of pity-posts will follow having to do the update of shame indicating you’ve been unceremoniously given the elbow- far more publicly nerve-racking than just filing some papers with your local court.)

Although the new relationship status option was added “quietly,” the news spread virally over Twitter and Facebook, with mostly straight people changing their relationship status to “in a civil partnership” to “show solidarity” with their gay brothers and sisters who still do not have the right to marry. Which feels a little patronizing considering many of these people have availed themselves of the aforementioned right- the gesture makes sense, but I don’t know many hetero people really can understand what it’s like to lack that option. (“Jane is in a civil partnership- JK, I had a wedding and it was so totally awesome and fun!”)

Still, the acknowledgment of committed gay relationships is an important social one, and the move is worth commending. Do you think changes like this will help further the acceptance of gay rights?