It turns out that the Human Rights Campaign is the group behind those red equal signs popping up all over Facebook. The symbol is part of a social media initiative to support gay marriage and equality as the Supreme Court stands poised to make a potentially landmark decision on the matter.
"Let's paint the town red! Make sure you wear red to show your support for marriage equality," the HRC posted on its Facebook page Tuesday with a photo of the red equal sign. "And make your Facebook profile red too!"
The photo had racked up more than 25,000 likes and 78,000 shares as of Tuesday, the same day the Supreme Court began hearing arguments on same-sex marriage laws
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The court deliberated California’s Proposition 8 on Tuesday, which bans the right for same-sex couples to marry. On Wednesday, arguments were heard regarding the national Defense of Marriage Act
, which has legally defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman since 1996.
The court is expected to issue a ruling by the end of June, but several justices have reportedly indicated interest in striking down a law that denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples, presenting the possibility of a major change in gay marriage law.
"What gives the federal government the right to be concerned at all about the definition of marriage?" Justice Sonia Sotomayor said during oral arguments Tuesday.
Many members of Congress have shown their support for gay marriage as well by adopting the red equal sign as their Facebook avatars.
Celebrities like Beyoncé, Martha Stewart, and George Takei have also shown their support with the red equal sign. Others, like Madonna, Ben Affleck, and Leonardo DiCaprio, have also spoken out in support of gay marriage this week.
But some Twitter users questioned what changing one's Facebook profile photo would really accomplish.
The red equal sign also spawned a series of spoofs
, with companies like Bud Light jumping on the bandwagon.
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