Hmmmmm. Does this mean that if someone was once married, they can never be single again? Isn't someone who is divorced single? Unless they moved on to a relationship other than a married one, but that option isn't offered. Nor is "cohabitating" - which could easily be added as an alternative in the marriage checkbox ("married or partnered").
This suggests that what is important in the data collection is not information about someone's basic relationship status. Otherwise, there would be a better range of choices. If it's a space issue, well, it would seem like a yes/no, on/off type of question would be sufficient: either you are married or you are not.
But no, there is always enough room on all these forms to include "divorced or separated". Why is this particular factoid deemed necessary to winnow out? Are those who were once married, but failed to remain in that state, somehow different enough that they should be, well, singled out? That perhaps they aren't a) homosexual b) weird c) selfish d) irresponsible , e) an old maid or f) a playboy, because hey - once they were part of a legally and religiously sanctioned couple!
Can I never again aspire to singleton status because I once tied, and then untied, the knot?
Well, I do refuse that thesis, and I sure as hell refuse to check the divorced box. The days of the social stigmatization that clung to the heels of divorce like a streamer of toilet paper are long gone. It's also time to stop the subterranean ways homophobia creeps through our society. This vestigial limb of social discrimination should have been lopped off long ago. Most def!