Facebook added “in a civil union”, “in a domestic partnership” and “in a civil partnership” to its list of possible relationship status options a few days ago. They only appear if you live in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France or Australia. Same-sex unions are recognized in many other places, of course, and Facebook plans to roll the update out to other countries eventually, but until then there are a couple of ways to change your relationship status to one of the new options right now.
Facebook determines which options to make available to you based on your IP address and its corresponding location. Using a proxy located in any of the five regions listed above will allow you to see the new choices. Hide My Ass has a list of free proxies here. Scroll to the bottom of that page for instructions on where to change the proxy settings in your web browser. Be sure to read the security notes as well — using random open proxies can make you susceptible to data theft!
If you don’t want to worry about having your information intercepted by using a proxy there is a second method you can use. It requires editing the data submitted by the “Featured People” form on the site. If you’re not familiar with HTML it may be a little bit tricky. What you need to do is fill out the form using one of the existing options, such as “in a relationship”, then use a tool such as Firebug for Firefox to select the drop-down and change the “value” attribute of the “in a relationship” option to 10 for “in a civil union” or 11 for “in a domestic partnership”. Some Firebug basics can be found here.
And hell. I was bored today, so I put together this little userscript that you can use with Greasemonkey or in Chrome. All the code is there on Facebook to allow users worldwide to use the new statuses and to accept the requests except for the options in the drop-down menu. I added them back. Install my rinky dink first ever userscript here: New Facebook relationship status options for the WHOLE DAMN WORLD. I tested it using a few different proxies, and it seemed to work for me (hopefully I’m not just loopy). Maybe this is the first method I should have mentioned…
One final note: users with their language set to “English (UK)” have “in a civil partnership” listed twice as possible statuses (unless they’re using my script, because it doesn’t bother checking) and will see “in a civil union” or “in a domestic partnership” replaced with “in a civil partnership” on other users’ profiles. This is because Facebook has actually created only two new relationship status options and translated them both to “in a civil partnership” for the UK language setting only.
All language options other than “English (UK)” on the site that I’ve checked do not translate the new relationship status text at all, showing “in a civil union” or “in a domestic partnership” in English, so it looks like Facebook has been pretty lazy here so far. If you’re looking at the site using the UK translation and you care what everyone else in the world is going to see, be aware that the first “in a civil partnership” in the drop-down corresponds to “in a civil union” and the second corresponds to “in a domestic partnership”.