By now, you probably are asking, what is that red equal sign all over Facebook and Twitter? It’s for Marriage equality activists who are protesting the Supreme Court.
Human Rights Campaign, an organization in support of gay marriage asked everyone to paint the town red to show their support.
“Red is a symbol for love, and that’s what marriage is all about,” Human Rights Campaign spokesperson Charlie Joughin told MSNBC on Tuesday. “We wanted to give people an opportunity to show their support for marriage equality in a public and visible way.”
“We never expected anything like this—for it to go viral,” Joughin added. “So we’re excited. But more importantly, we’re excited that the public support for marriage equality has been so great.”
The court is talking about California’s Proposition 8, which bans the right for same-sex couples to marry. Tomorrow, arguments will be heard regarding the national Defense of Marriage Act, which has legally defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman since 1996.
The HRC, the largest lobby group for LGBT rights, shared a pink and red version of its navy blue and gold equality symbol logo on Facebook Monday.
“If you’ve logged onto Facebook or Twitter today, one thing is clear enough: young people are standing up for equality at this decisive moment. Follow @HRC on Twitter and at www.hrc.org/blog for live-updates from the first day of at the Supreme Court hearings. Make sure you wear red to show your support for marriage equality. And make your Facebook profile red too!,” the HRC posted.
Celebrities and politicians have replaced personal Facebook profile pictures with the HRC’s red logo.
Actor George Takei’s changed his profile picture and gained nearly 40,000 likes from his fans. “For those friends wondering, this special ‘red’ equality symbol signifies that marriage equality really is all about love. Thanks to the Human Rights Campaign for this effort. Please consider changing your profile today in support—esp if you are a straight ally,” Takei wrote.
The HRC has also started an online petition, which it hopes will gain significant traction.
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As the justices and lawyers played out the arguments for and against same-sex marriage inside the supreme court on Tuesday morning, the atmosphere outside was more celebratory.