Why You're Seeing Red on Facebook Profiles

Supporters of gay marriage adopt logo for profile pictures

You've probably noticed by now that some of your friends on Facebook have changed their profile picture to a pink equals sign inside a red square. The logo is the work of the Human Rights Campaign and is designed to signify one's support for gay marriage.

"It's a modified version of our logo that we use on a daily basis. It's been around for 25 years," explained HRC spokesman Charlie Joughin. "But we launched the modified version Monday around 1 o'clock."

"Who's wearing red tomorrow? Show your support for marriage equality — make your profile image red for tomorrow and check out www.hrc.org/StandForMarriagefor more ways to get involved!" the HRC declared Monday via Facebook.

The HRC, founded in 1980, is one of the leading lobby groups representing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. The logo is part of their Stand for Marriage campaign, which has been gaining momentum as people across the country await the Supreme Court's decision on California's Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage. Arguments in the case were heard Tuesday morning.

"We chose red because red symbolizes love, and that's what marriage is all about," said Joughin. "We wanted to give folks a chance to put on display their support for marriage equality. Everybody's on Facebook these days, so it seemed like a great opportunity."

While it's difficult to track how many people are using it as their profile photo, within 24 hours the original post had more than 55,000 shares and 16,000 likes.

The Supreme Court will hear two hours of arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday, but a ruling on same-sex marriage isn't expected until June.

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