What Is the Red Equal Sign All Over Facebook and Twitter?

The Human Rights Campaign has been promoting a symbol of equality to mobilize supporters as the Supreme Court begins hearings on gay marriage

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Human Rights Campaign / Facebook

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.

(LIST: 13 Parodies of the Human Rights Campaign’s Red Equal Sign)

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:

(MOREPride and Prejudice: An Interactive Timeline of the Fight for Gay Rights)

Other followers, however, are skeptical about the efficacy of this social media tactic:

MORE: Senator Mark Warner Endorses Gay Marriage. Who’s Next?

534 comments
abaton7
abaton7

Nope, not doing it.  I do not support homosexual marriage.  Why?  A child should be raised by a male, and a female. 
End of story.  And, no, I'm not sorry.

neversink
neversink

Wish people would get on the bandwagon of more important issues. Let's see. Let's all change our profile pictures to elephants as they are getting brutally slaughtered by poachers working for the Chinese and East Asians who don't care about destroying nature. Let's all put on burkas and cover our facces in support of all the women in the Islamic nations who have no rights and are treated like crap and are often considered criminals if they are raped. 

Come on. why is it that this issue has taken on more importance than the destruction of our environment, than child and sexual slavery, than the lack of rights and freedoms of people throughout the world.

I don't care if gays get married or not. Some of my neighbors are gay and married and have kids one way or the other. I'm not a divorce lawyer. If i was a divorce lawyer I would be thrilled about this issue and fighting for gay marriage. I have no problem with gay marriage. i just have a problem that this issue takes on more importance than other issues, and that once this issue dies out, the same people who thought up the equal sign will go back to their boring mundane and selfish lives and not fight for the rights of those who are really in desperate situations.

TonyConnelly
TonyConnelly

Abolish all legal rights associated to marriage and replace them with declaration documents that state the person's wishes and relationship for legal purposes. Government should stay out of our relationships.  Grandfather in all those who are already married. Plus, more weddings are good for the economy. And more divorces mean more money for the judicial system; it's a win/win financially.

TheLogician
TheLogician

You supporters should realize that marriage is a state issue. The federal government cannot force states to accept gay marriage. Many states have marriage restrictions in their state constitutions. If it were violated, say, in Texas, that would be grounds for secession, since the government infringed on their rights as a state. I am not against gays or civil unions or whatever, but it is NOT A FEDERAL DECISION! Plus we have economic issues that, frankly, are more likely to sink us than 10% of the populace being unable to wed.

TheLogician
TheLogician

Oh, what you people in support of this don't realize is the fact that marriage is a state issue, so the fed can't impose ANY laws on marriage. Many state constitutions have marriages exclusively reserved for heterosexuals, so the Feds can do nothing.

mimibirdss
mimibirdss

I gladly support gay marriage. Why should the pain of losing everything in a divorce be reserved exclusively for naive heterosexual people? I had a friend tell me he was gay and I didn't believe him. He just wouldn't give me a straight answer. Also, this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDL7fN8mS4A

aboutbebout
aboutbebout

Woolsey:  Lovers before gay marriage were just as viable as "two people in love" today.  How gay live morphed into "family land" is a creation of today's  self entitled generation.  And who made you the thought police, cheerleader and disciplinarian?  Your comments reflect a bitchy queen -- as old as time.  

TheodoreHyczko
TheodoreHyczko

Why I will not support gay marriage we all sin and fornication is just as much a sin as gay marriage but to support marriage to gay people is to honor sin you saying God word doesn't count I may sin but I will not honor sin

Georgieh
Georgieh

interesting when you read how narrow minded some people are, makes me laugh how someone else can decide on whether you can be happy or not.....marriage is a human right-not a heterosexual privilege-get over yourselves

apoeticverse
apoeticverse

To all religious American's who are against equal marriage; do not hide your bigotry behind your God. The fear and misinterpretation of your God should not override someone else's civil rights. I was raised catholic and I do not interpret our God to be a bigot. If marriage under God is between a man and woman; the marriage of a man and man, or a woman and woman should be observe by the state to give rights to all Americans. The state is separate from God, is it not?

alkluttz
alkluttz

@neversink Also, how about walking in someone else's shoes, eh? How about I say you never can get married? While I will not say that there might be bigger issues to discuss, I will not discount the severity of this issue-as you can so easily. The very reason that people can so easily discredit it, is the reason why it must be pressed so heavily. People are so blind, so inconsiderate, that they say it is not a big issue. The question you must ask is what makes you think its not? If it weren't a big issue- would people be discussing it?

alkluttz
alkluttz

@neversink I agree entirely neversink. I think that people should openly be willing to give equal liberties to everyone who lives in this country, that it should not be such an issue. Nevertheless, people make it this way. If everyone had your view on it, then we could move on from this issue. Therefore, we won't until that happens, as it did with slavery. 

THE_TRUTH
THE_TRUTH

@neversink couldn't agree with you more! There are so many more critical and worthy causes in the world that affect millions more ... than what amounts to nothing but a deviation of nature and 'alternative lifestyles.' 

NegusOkami'Siri'Watson
NegusOkami'Siri'Watson

@neversink I agree soo much with what you're saying.
And it's a shame. :\
At least there are others who see what I see :)
Keep spreading the light!

ChrisMartin
ChrisMartin

@neversink 
Pretty sure we don't have any jurisdiction to make/enforce laws in China/East Asia/Islamic nations of the world. 

Even if we DID have the authority to do anything, it's really hard to enforce human or animal rights in other countries when there are human and animal rights being trampled on all the time in America. 

neversink
neversink

@TheLogician -- Before the civil war, people once said that slavery was a state issue. 

DanielVanKoughnett
DanielVanKoughnett

@TheLogician What you don't realize is that DOMA is a federal law which is being debated. Repealing DOMA won't force states to enact marriage equality, but it will prevent the federal government from discriminating against same sex couples, based on some state's discriminatory laws.


It is a step, and it's an important one IMHO. It changes the direction of the conversation and the fight. It will put bigots in the position of having to defend discriminatory laws and policies. It removes from them the protection of status quo.

IrenaChristiansen
IrenaChristiansen

@TheodoreHyczko I respect your opinion, even if I do not agree with it. But consider this: you are saying it is the word of God, however, is it not the Bible that speaks against same-sex marriage? And was not the Bible written by humans like you and me? So you are condemning something on the basis of another human's opinion, a human that lived two thousand years ago. I find that to be a rather flawed logic to go by.

DanielVanKoughnett
DanielVanKoughnett

@TheodoreHyczko Great, so why does your not being able to stomach same sex marriage mean that you have the right to prevent other people from honoring it?

TheLogician
TheLogician

@Georgieh First of all, marriage is NOT a human right, 2nd marriage is not a federal institution, it is a state institution, so Feds can't restrict, unrestrict, or touch in any way the institution of marriage.

JasonLaPorte
JasonLaPorte

@Georgieh There's a difference between a right and a restriction.  Everyone has the right to marry.  They also have many restrictions on that right.  One of them is that you have to marry someone of the opposite sex.

TheLogician
TheLogician

@apoeticverse What state do you live in? Ohio? Texas? North Dakota? Anywhere but California, Colorado, Washington, New York, Oregon and Idaho has the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman written in their constitutions! Marriage isn't a civil right, trust me, it isn't! There are no businesses that ban gays, some, like that one baker, refuse to provide certain services like a wedding cake, but guess what? They CAN DO THAT! Unless we have somehow turned Communist as a nation, they can deny service to anyone they want! You seem like a person who boycotted Chik-fil-a when they said that because of their religion, they did not agree with gay marriage. Back to religious people being 'bigots', the Bible says marriage is between a man and a woman, and the Binle is the word of God, so you ARE calling God a 'bigot'. We didn't complain when cities forced us to take down nativity scenes and banned praying in schools, but we have to put our foot down somewhere, don't we? You are being 'bigots' for not respecting our religion. What makes gays more important than Christians that a law they want is crammed down our throats, and if we say something, we are bigots? What does their ability to marry have any effect on you? They can sue churches that won't marry them. They could and they would, they wanted to sue the baker! If you say "marriage is a right that should be allowed for everyone!", I say no, marriage is an institution, not a right! Don't call me a gay-hater, I have gay friends, and, though I disagree with them, I don't hate them.

alkluttz
alkluttz

@DanielVanKoughnett @TheLogicianSo, since slavery is a state issue, and African Americans are a minority, slavery is ok? The rationale you use for your argument is not valid. The fact of the matter is 10% of the population is a huge portion of the population. In fact, laws such as DOMA are discriminatory in nature, and while I cannot argue that it is merely defining marriage- you can also not deny that it is discriminatory in nature. As such, the "act," at question here is not Sherman Anti-trust. Sherman Anti-trust did not violate the liberties of a minority. The Sherman act has a purpose in maintaining the livelihood of the entire market, by ensuring some type of equality. The DOMA is in the other direction, and was/is not the purpose of the constitution. 

TheLogician
TheLogician

@DanielVanKoughnett @TheLogician DOMA is actually a defining act, it defines marriage. It prevents the question of "what actually is marriage" in future debates or laws. That is not a law, it is an act to define marriage. There was a crisis over this in the late 1800's with the Sherman Anti-trust act, Trust was not defined in the act. 10 years later, an act was passed that defined a trust and a law was put up against it.

TheLogician
TheLogician

@TonyConnelly @TheLogician no, it doesn't. The constitution restricts the Feds from making laws out of their power, marriage is one of them, as is intrastate commerce.

RobertHale
RobertHale

@IrenaChristiansen So basically you're saying that this person's beliefs are wrong?

I too support Gay Marriage, and I'm a str8 and happily married Christian man.

When Jesus was asked what the greatest Commandments were, He replied: Love God, and treat other people as you wish to be treated (paraphrased).

I wish other people would respect my beliefs and that I would have equal right.

You'll never win your argument disrespecting other people's gods. I want homosexuals to have the same rights as heterosexuals and be treated as human beings by government.

If gay folks are sinning, that's between them and God. I will still love them and treat them as I wish they would treat me. God loves them too.

TheLogician
TheLogician

@DanielVanKoughnett @TheodoreHyczko Great, so why does you being able to stomach same sex marriage mean that you have the right to force other people to honor it?

DanielVanKoughnett
DanielVanKoughnett

@JasonLaPorte @Georgieh A restriction based entirely on the religious prejudices of a couple of sects of one religion.

You people drip and moan all the time about how Sharia law will be the undoing of us all, yet you expect everyone else to abide by your religious law, whether they share your chosen beliefs or not. 

That's un-American.

TonyConnelly
TonyConnelly

@TheLogician  - I have read about cases where marijuana was legal in states but the Feds were still arresting people. Tommy Chong was arrested and convicted for selling bongs across state lines.... by the Feds. If we have 50 sets of laws on top of federal laws, how are we the "united" states? I am not being sarcastic. 

TheLogician
TheLogician

@RobertHale @TheLogician But the keyword here is not couples but people. They get taxed the same, vote, work for wages and receive social security the same way everyone else does. I am in favor of a form of a union for them that has the same form as a marriage, but most states would not be able to agree with gay marriage because their state constitution bans it. As far as morally, I could care less, I am not gay, my wife isn't gay, my teenager isn't gay, so whatever, but some people don't want it, and you have to respect their rights to refuse the law.

RobertHale
RobertHale

@TheLogician Unfortunately, we have the government we deserve.

And buttsects aside, the rights they want are those we already enjoy. We cannot be forced to testify against our wives/husbands, and if your wife, God forbid, is in intensive care, her parents cannot trump your right to be with her as she goes to meet her maker, because they disagree with her "choice" to be straight. We can file federal income tax as a married couple and reap some benefits. There are more reasons they should have this right. Many couples, both gay & straight, have sexless marriages, and this is nobodies business but the couples. 

The 14th Amendment is the force that makes states recognize couple's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, whether some of us like it or not. 

TheLogician
TheLogician

@RobertHale @IrenaChristiansen I agree, I am a Christian and accept everyone, EXCEPT the part where you say the government should recognize... The Feds should already, considering they only control certain things, they are unequal in states and you can't force a state to recognize a marriage it does not want to.

alkluttz
alkluttz

@TheLogician I don't know what you were going for guys, but they made no sense. There is no coercion here involved except laws/acts like the DOMA. Legally allowing gay marriage, does not cause one to commit sin, nor does it force anything on you. I don't know what makes you think as such. Allowing gay marriage just gives someone freewill to marry who they want. Disallowing gay marriage removes someones free-will to marry. Put simply, there is an oppressor and an oppressed.

JacobCombs
JacobCombs

@DanielVanKoughnett @TheLogician The word Facist is a contraction of two italian words the first meaning Federal and the second Socialist. The word Nazi is a contraction of two German words the first meaning National and the second meaning Socialist.

TheLogician
TheLogician

@DanielVanKoughnett @TheLogician Naziism was socialist, so left- wing. They called themselves the National Socialist Party before Adolph changed the name to the Nazi party.

TheLogician
TheLogician

@DanielVanKoughnett @TheLogician sorry, but no, on a political standpoint, Nazis believe in big government, control on weapons (domestic), command economies and executive-only government. Hitler called fascists far-right, when in fact they wanted huge government. So in calling conservatives fascists, you in fact are calling them liberals on speed, big government, social reform, etc. I could call extreme liberals fascists, because their views are more similar. In what way are Naziis far right? Get your facts straight. I only believe liberals to be stupid, not evil. Unlike liberals, I don't base my arguments on emotions. I base it off logic. To say I am prejudiced is also incorrect, I don't believe in gay marriage from a political bounds standpoint, not a religious standpoint, but I really cannot stand it when people call others bigots just because they disagree.

DanielVanKoughnett
DanielVanKoughnett

@TheLogician Really? You honestly think Naziism was leftist or Liberal? Really? REALLY?

Wow.

Up until this point I thought you were just ill-informed and prejudiced. I hadn't realized that you were completely ignorant of the basics of political systems.


Nazism is a for of fascism, which is an expression of the extreme right of the political spectrum. If you think Nazi's were liberal, you simply could not be more wrong, by definition.


Of course the other question is why you would want to try to portray Nazi's as liberals. If it's to try to upset me, you're barking up the wrong tree. I'm not a liberal. I vote conservative, and I'm a registered Republican.


Maybe your ridiculous and ignorance based prejudices aren't limited to Gays? Maybe your one of those morons who think all liberals are demons and satan worshipping Godless evil-doers? That wouldn't surprise me.


I feel so sorry for you.

TheLogician
TheLogician

@DanielVanKoughnett @JasonLaPorte @Georgieh How about when you force us to stop praying in public schools? Or when you force us to remove our nativity scenes? Do those things offend people, hmm... No! And if someone is offended by the word 'Christmas', they should get checked mentally, I kid, I kid, but seriously, my child nearly got suspended for saying "Merry Christmas" to a fellow student, and the kid wasn't offended, a teacher heard him and reported him. great job, Los Angeles School System! A professor at a prominent college told his students to jump on a slip of paper with the word "Jesus" emblazoned on it, no issue was made in the liberal media, imagine if the paper said "Allah". So it is only insensitive if the aggressors are Christian. 9-11 is now being written off as the U.S.'s fault according to teaching materials. Blame can never be allocated on gays, liberals or Muslims.

TheLogician
TheLogician

@DanielVanKoughnett @mimibirdss @JasonLaPorte @Georgieh liberals were the majority in Germany during the Holocaust, were they correct? Naziism is a left-wing, liberal ideology.

RobertHale
RobertHale

@Kubush Whether he's an American or not, he's still (I assume) a human being. I didn't know human rights were only for Americans. I think this debate *should* be worldwide.

DanielVanKoughnett
DanielVanKoughnett

@Kubush Are you under the mistaken impression that I'm not American? I guess that's just one more foolish assumption of yours that you're completely wrong about.

Kubush
Kubush

@mimibirdss @DanielVanKoughnett @JasonLaPorte @Georgieh If you're not American, why are you involved in our politics?

mimibirdss
mimibirdss

@DanielVanKoughnett @JasonLaPorte @Georgieh Those couple of sects of one religion make up a larger population than any other group of people on the planet. Catholics alone are 200 million people stronger than China, and there are a "couple" more sects on top of that. I'm not american, I'm catholic. The sanctity of heaven is safe for eternity, no matter what. Have a lovely wedding.