Facebook Supports Gay Families -- Finally

Jeanne Sager

Facebook Just when we were all ready to tell Mark Zuckerberg where he can stick his private-detail baring, breastfeeding-hating, oversharing website, up pops a light at the end of the tunnel! We can all continue on with our Facebook addicted ways and feel good about ourselves. We're supporting a site that's all-inclusive! Yup, Facebook is now gay family-friendly.

The site unveiled two new relationship status settings yesterday for users: civil unions and domestic partnerships. Aww. I knew Zuckerberg had bestie material somewhere in that litigious heart of his! We can be fag hags together. 

Add this to something I discovered just this week when I was screwing around on Facebook and "adopted" my daughter's 14- and 18-year-old babysitters: you can put up more than one "mother" and "father" in your relatives on Facebook. In fact, when I put "M" as my daughter, it automatically made me her "mother" on her page, even though she already had her real mom listed on there.

So -- two-mom-friendly and acknowledging the different ways that a family can come together all in one week? I think I can almost forgive the boys at Facebook for being grossed out by baby on boob. What? I said almost.

I'm cynical enough to see this as pure public relations. Facebook just became more inclusive to please us, and it will be happy to reap the benefits. Twenty years ago it was estimated that 6 to 14 million kids were growing up with a gay-head-of-household, and those kids -- gay and straight alike -- are now the adult population of Facecrack Facebook. Addicted to FarmVille and poking, they're trying to find something to justify all the time they waste spend on Zuckerberg's masterpiece. The site acknowledging their moms were really their moms certainly fits the bill.

So Facebook has simultaneously pleased groups like the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation -- which has lobbied for the extra statuses -- and opened the site up to more users. I'm willing to bet it will be the straights who support gay rights that will give Facebook just as much love for this move, if not more, than the gay folks who benefit. Why? Because it makes us feel good. I look no further than my own feed for proof: One lesbian friend already has "married" on her status, another gay couple simply has "in a relationship with X". The only person to grab "domestic partnership" on my feed today is a straight female with a boyfriend ... and a lesbian sister.

It's a way to show support. And if that benefits Facebook, what the hey. I'll be Zuckerberg's BFF if he'll give my gay friends some love.

Does this move shine a kinder light on Facebook's other issues?

Image via Facebook

Read More