Prop. 8: Pro-gay marriage red logo goes viral on social media

This post has been corrected; see note at bottom for details.

Facebook users are seeing red Tuesday, and it has nothing to do with a Taylor Swift album or a Target commercial.

Instead, gay marriage supporters across the nation have changed their profile pictures to a stark red equal sign as they monitor the Supreme Court’s hearing of California’s Proposition 8.

The red equal sign is an alteration of the Human Rights Campaign’s standard blue and yellow logo. The advocacy group, which “seeks to improve the lives of LGBT Americans,” has called on its followers to show support for marriage equality by wearing red Tuesday.

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The special logo has been shared more than 26,000 times, according to Facebook. Celebrities like TV star Sophia Bush, N’Sync’s Lance Bass and Star Trek’s George Takei have used the logo on their Facebook or Twitter pages. A number of politicians also followed suit.


Tania de sa Campos, who works at a Seattle nonprofit, said she changed her profile picture because it was “a vibrant, visual way for me to demonstrate my support.”

She added that she and her colleagues talked about how the display may have had “limited values, since we all tend to be Facebook friends with the people who share our beliefs, but I was pretty heartened to see all those red profile pics.”

As sometimes happens in the social media realm, the logo has become so popular that offshoots of it have already been created and are now being shared. Some of the new logos change color scheme, while others attempt to symbolically tweak the message.

One particularly popular choice is a red logo that displays a greater-than sign rather than an equal sign. According to written explanations Facebook users have provided with the picture, many say the greater-than sign offers a critique of the equal sign: Inequality will continue, they say, even if the high court strikes down California’s ban on gay marriage.

[For the record, March 27, 2013, 10:45 a.m.: A previous version of this post incorrectly spelled the first name of Tania de sa Campos as Tanya.]


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