With two landmark cases for gay marriage equality awaiting a decision at the U.S. Supreme Court this week, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) red equal sign is back on social media sites.
The two cases slated for decision this week include the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which would bar federal recognition of same-sex couples, and Proposition 8, the 2008 bill to ban gay marriage in California. The high court will issue rulings on the two cases, Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor as early as Monday morning. The Court also heard the Fisher v. University of Texas case about affirmative action on Monday, but sent it back to the lower court for another hearing with a 7-1 decision.
Last March during the first Supreme Court hearings, the red equal symbol was rapidly shared on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter in solidarity with marriage equality. According to the HRC, the special red logo went viral, with more than 2.7 million profile photo changes just on March 26. The campaign also said millions more users were involved in the “sea of red” by sharing the photo on social media.
Thanks to the popularity of the red equal symbol, which typically has the traditional yellow equal sign in front of blue background, the HRC has released a new method for Internet users to show support. The campaign released “Picture Equality” to share the photo with options to personalize profile pictures. Designed by Fueled, the app is available on iPhone and Android, allowing users to overlay the HRC red equal sign over an existing or new image.
“HRC’s red logo gives smartphone users an easy yet visible way to show their support for marriage at this crucial moment in history,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “‘Picture Equality’ is a fresh and innovative way to reach new people and harness the passion Americans feel about this fundamental fight for fairness.”
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The HRC is urging all Americans in support to, again, participate by using the new app. “When the landmark marriage equality cases were argued in March, you turned the Internet red to send a clear, unequivocal message to the justices and your friends and family that you stand on the right side of history, and that they should too,” the HRC said in a blog post. “Now it’s time to send that message again. … This is a crucial time to show your support for marriage equality. With only weeks left in the Supreme Court’s term, the justices are set to issue their rulings on this year’s cases any day now.”