Have you noticed that Facebook and Twitter users are changing their profile pictures and avatars to an image of a red equal sign?
That’s because the Human Rights Campaign, which advocates equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, has been promoting an image of a pink equal sign over a red background in lieu of its blue-and-yellow logo to mobilize supporters online as the Supreme Court begins hearings on gay marriage today in Washington. A symbol of equality, the photo has racked up more than 25,000 likes and 78,000 shares on the group’s Facebook page in the past 24 hours. In fact, Mashable reports that since actor George Takei changed his profile picture to the red equal sign, the post has received more than 40,000 likes from fans.
Today, the court is deliberating 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.
While the court’s favorability rating is at an all-time low, some supporters have taken to social media to add to the weight of public opinion. On Twitter — where Supreme Court ranks in the top 10 in the world’s trending list — supporters like actress Sophia Bush have changed their icons to the equal sign:
Sophia Bush (@SophiaBush) March 26, 2013
Other followers, however, are skeptical about the efficacy of this social media tactic:
Hurry up and change your Facebook profile pictures for marriage equality! The Supreme Court Justices are tallying them all up right now!—
Molly Fitzpatrick (@mollyfitz) March 26, 2013