You might have woken up this morning to find your Facebook or Twitter news feed covered in a pink and red equal sign and been curious as to the image's origin. Well, here are the details.
The Human Rights Campaign is the nation's largest advocacy group for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered communities. Their logo is a yellow equal sign set on a blue background. The current incarnation is meant to bring awareness to the cause for marriage equality in light of the Supreme Court hearing arguments for two groundbreaking cases in the fight for marriage equality. For the next two days, Tuesday and Wednesday, proponents of marriage equality are also encouraged to wear red to show their support. Also, using popular Twitter hash tags like #Equality, #UnitedforMarriage, #SupremeCourt, and #Love will help your tweets launch into the discussion taking place on social media.
Personally, I have never understood why a person should have to fight so hard just to be considered equal to the majority. But this view also comes from an American son raised by Canadian parents ... I am lucky to be a dual citizen. LGBT rights in Canada are a model for the world. Canada was the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage and actually the first country in the world to perform a same-sex marriage.
However, if you are in the constantly shrinking minority of those who oppose same sex marriage, then you will go down in history alongside those opposed to gender equality and race equality. Your picture will be in the history books next to those who were assaulting marchers with fire hoses and police dogs. Frankly it does not matter if you view marriage in the context of your theology, the aim of marriage equality is not to influence policy in your church or place of worship.
Rather, the fight for marriage equality is strictly a matter of state or national legal policy and the application of equal protection under the law. To deny a fellow human being the right to express their love for a fellow human being, in an adult and consenting fashion, just because they are a homosexual, is nothing short of hateful and vitriolic. Make no mistake, opposition to marriage equality is nothing short of hate, regardless of how you try and justify it. Opposing homosexuality may be part of your religious beliefs, but you have absolutely no right to make someone else submit to your beliefs in such an arbitrary manner.
Now some pessimists may write this graphic off as nothing more than slacktivism or pointless, but they are completely wrong. The belief is not that doing this will have an effect on the Supreme Court's decision, but rather that it will help sway the general public's opinion. Many people who are ignorant or perhaps just unsure of where they stand on gay rights might be surprised to see everyone dressed in red or may inquire about your new profile picture. This is a great foot in the door for discussing the case for marriage equality.
I myself have already had a few conversations on the topic and have explained the graphics meaning to numerous inquisitive Facebook friends. If people just see how many people support equality and civil rights, they may reconsider their negative views or become involved themselves. Don't believe me? Change your profile picture to this graphic and see how quickly you receive positive feedback and curious inquiries.
[Follow PolicyMic's live Prop 8 and DOMA gay marriage coverage here]