Image by bobster1985 via FlickrRecently, I've begun working on some genealogy research again. As I've moved notes into a new program from Heritage.com called "Family Tree Maker" I've noticed that it has a bit of a homophobic bent.
Of course, I realize that even 50 years ago putting a gay relationship into a genealogy chart might have seemed weird. Yet, today gay couples are quite common and in some states are now able to marry.
As I worked with the software I noticed that it seemed to think it strange I wanted to enter two men as partners.
Not to mention that even though you can choose "partners" and get a nice little logo like two rings (different from the single gold wedding ring for "married") the print out still lists a "husband" and "wife" thus assigning gender roles.
Now, of course, I realize the response to the inquiry I sent to the makers of the software will be that since the "majority" of people are in heterosexual marriages it would just be too much trouble to create a software that was neutral or that actually changed the labels based upon the the sex of the couple.
Still, it's a little disheartening to print out my genealogy chart and see Michael listed as my "wife" (although it is a little funny) or my brother's partner listed as his "wife".
Maybe one day the genealogy crowd will move into the modern era along with the rest of us. It must be very hard for them and their inheritance charts to find that relationships and families are no longer defined just by shared genes and blood lines.